Support funds for tourist industry


Conservative Party Annual Conference

Tourism businesses affected by the floods are to get a £2 million Government support fund.

Announced by Culture Secretary Maria Miller today, the fund will enable experts to visit flood-hit areas to give practical advice and support to tourism firms.

The experts will help tourist bosses to communicate effectively with their customers online, give advice on what business support measures are available and how to access them, and marketing their businesses so that tourists know what is still on offer.

The advice sessions for the affected businesses will be hosted by VisitEngland and run throughout March.

The fund is in addition to the £10 million, to help flood-hit businesses generally, announced by the Prime Minister on February 17.

Ms Miller said today: "We want to help all those tourism businesses that have been affected by the horrendous floods get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

"Experts will be put on the ground to help small businesses with practical advice and communications while a bespoke Easter marketing will bring people back to the areas hit."

Welcoming the funding, VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: "Our message to customers is 'Business as usual'. Despite many areas having been affected by bad weather and some travel disruption, the tourism infrastructure is largely unaffected."

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "International tourism is worth around £1.5 billion to the economies of south west England and Wales. We are already getting out the message that it is a great time to travel to Britain and will be intensifying that activity over the coming months. "