Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board responds to the VisitBritain/VisitEngland annual review on tourism spending in Britain
Responding to the VisitBritain/VisitEngland annual review on tourism spending in Britain, which revealed that visitors spent £951 million in the last financial year as a result of VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s investment, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“Councils play a crucial role in leading and creating a thriving visitor economy, but it is important they are properly resourced.
“As the biggest investors in place, council cultural services, as well as planning, business support, highways and environmental health are fundamental to creating destinations that people want to visit, as well as live in.
“However, funding pressures and increasing demand on council services, such as adult social care, children’s services and homelessness support, means we need a national debate about how the tax income from tourism is reinvested in the communities and local services supporting the visitor economy.
“The tourism zones announced as part of the Government’s Tourism Sector Deal offer a timely opportunity to develop this debate and explore new mechanisms for investment, in line with the Government’s “levelling-up” agenda.
“We look forward to working with government and industry to ensure the long-term success of the visitor economy.”
Research by Tourism Alliance found direct council funding for tourism fell from £122 million in 2008 to £59 million in 2018 as councils are forced to spend on rising demand for statutory services like social care.