Tourism trade association UKinbound has urged the Government not to cut spending for local and national tourist boards amid concerns their budgets could be slashed.
The call came in the form of a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne from UKinbound chief executive Deirdre Wells, ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year.
There are fears that the Review could see the axe fall heavily on non-protected Government departments such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - resulting in cuts for VisitEngland and VisitBritain.
Wells asked the Treasury to acknowledge the importance of the national tourism boards and the vital role they play within the British tourism industry.
In a recent survey of its 350 members, UKinbound reports that 80% of members said that support from local or national tourist boards was important for their business. Marketing strategies such as VisitBritain's GREAT campaign coupled with strong product development at local level were frequently cited as factors supporting the success that the inbound industry has benefited from in recent years.
Wells said: "VisitBritain and VisitEngland are recognised universally as having done an enormous amount to deliver the step change in visitor numbers to the UK, which we have seen in recent years.
"Every extra visitor who comes to the UK brings an additional £630 in export earnings and contributes £216 to the Exchequer; therefore supporting VisitBritain and VisitEngland in growing this industry further is sensible economics."
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