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Tourism Alliance hits out at Olympic trip after cutting VisitBritain job cuts

08 August 2008 by
Tourism Alliance hits out at Olympic trip after cutting VisitBritain job cuts

The Tourism Alliance has hit out at the Government for spending £1m sending 600 officials to the Beijing Olympic Games a week after VisitBritain announced job cuts due to a funding shortfall.

Last year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport slashed the national tourism body's budget by 18%.

"It's staggering that we're happy to spend near enough £1m on sending politicians, who may not be in office by 2012, and officials to Beijing but deny, on the grounds of economy, any extra funding to VisitBritain in order to promote London's Games in 2012," said Bob Cotton, chairman of the Tourism Alliance.

He warned that the Government was looking for a public private partnership to promote tourism in the future.

"If that's the case, the private partners will be looking for some serious commitment and resources from the public sector, which - on the evidence so far - is precisely what we don't have," he said.

"This only highlights its obstinate refusal to take tourism seriously - and emphasises the need for the Tourism Alliance's campaign to urge the Government to adopt a more positive approach to this important industry."

Cotton's criticism comes hot on the heels of other UK tourism bodies slamming last week's news of major job cuts at VisitBritain, labelling the move symptomatic of the Government's continuing failure to take the industry seriously.

VisitBritain begins staff redundancy talks >>

Government's tourism strategy criticised by MPs >>

Beijing Olympics official site >>

Read more on the London Olympics 2012 here >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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