Tourism: why we should be proud

15 January 2010
Tourism: why we should be proud

David Curtis-Brignell, co-chair of British Tourism Week, says the Government should pay more heed to the tourism industry to address job creation.

As we go head-first into another decade it is hard to imagine what we were looking forward to 10 years ago. No one predicted the effect that terrorism would have on global tourism in the early part of the noughties and we similarly failed to appreciate the consequences of the financial chaos towards the end of the decade.

But tourism survives as the UK's fifth-biggest industry, our third-largest export earner, employing around 2.7 million people directly or indirectly, and worth £114b a year to the UK economy, yet it still seems to be a Cinderella industry as far as the Government is concerned.

Hopefully you will soon become accustomed to the "Three E's" and will join others in evangelising tourism as a unique opportunity for Britain.

Everyone: we all benefit from British tourism either as taxpayers, citizens or tourists ourselves. Tourism creates jobs at all skill levels and every £40,000 of overseas visitor spending creates a job in the UK.

â- Everywhere: it's one of the few industries that employs people, creates wealth and sustains local economies in every part of the UK - urban, rural and coastal communities.

â- Everyday: it is a 24/7 industry.

Our industry is one to be proud of and tourism can create jobs more quickly, at all skill levels, in all parts of the country than any other sector. And they are jobs that can't be outsourced or moved abroad, as they are in manufacturing, IT, call centres and banking, for example.

Tourism does so much for the UK but we could do so much more for everyone, everywhere, every day. This and the next Government have in us an economic powerhouse; we're raring to go.

And there is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in showing our pride and passion for our industry on 15-21 March when the 4th British Tourism Week takes place across the country. It's easy to get involved and can reap rewards; from inviting your MP to come to see you at work, to offering customers a special reason to visit and spend money with you.

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