Chief executives from the some of the UK's largest hospitality and tourism businesses today wrote publicly to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to criticise current tourism policy.
The letter, written on behalf of 200,000 UK tourism businesses, is signed by the chief executives of Travelodge, Gala Coral, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group, Merlin Entertainments, Butlins, Accor and the Caravan Club.
In the letter the chief executives:
- State the industry's anger and disappointment with the Government's tourism policy and ask it is addressed as a matter of priority by Gordon Brown
- Reveal a loss of industry confidence in the Department for Culture Media and Sport's support and leadership on tourism following a decade of funding cuts since Labour was elected in 1997
- Warn that a lack of investment in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics Games will squander a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost the UK's tourism receipts
Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, said: "Britain should be out in front of our international competitors, not lagging behind them.
"Critical issues such as 2012, investment, skills and planning are limiting industry growth because DCMS is inadequately defending our interests. Now is time for Gordon Brown to wake up to our potential."
Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group, added: "There is no cabinet level minister dedicated to the industry and the gradual reduction in the Visit Britain budget is an opportunity squandered.
"As one of the largest industries and employers in the country, we would urge government to take tourism more seriously through the time, effort and budget dedicated to it."
By Daniel Thomas
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