Should government offer more support to our tourism industry?
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The release of results in a regional tourism survey has raised questions about government's commitment to supporting to the sector.
In the Larking Gowen tourism and leisure business survey 2017 77% of participating firms believed Westminster was not doing enough to support the industry, which has been rocked by Brexit, the weakened pound and rises in wage costs.
A quarter thought better government grants would help to improve the sector in the east, while 40% wished for more support from local authorities.
This raises questions over the sufficiency of governmental help for the industry, now worth £10bn annually to the East Anglian economy.
Destination marketing organisations – like Visit East Anglia and the Broads Authority – which help to promote specific areas were supported by 42% of firms surveyed, but 51% thought it was too early to tell if they would help the sector.
Almost half (45%) of businesses thought more advertising would benefit the sector, and in 2016 39% of firms increased their marketing spend in response to cuts to local and national government support.
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However, only 29% were committed to the same goal for 2017 and 11% actually planned to shrink their marketing budget to combat rising costs.
Chris Scargill, tourism partner at Larking Gowen, said there was 'a perception that tourism just happens' that needed to be challenged.
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