Published on : Saturday, March 1, 2014
Tourism businesses in UK affected by the floods are to get a £2 million Government support fund to drag them out of the precarious situation they have been due to the terrible weather during the past few months.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced it 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 fund is in addition to the £10 million, to help flood-hit businesses generally, announced by the Prime Minister on February 17.
The fund was announced as tourist industry leaders say bookings are down across the Westcountry.
The advice sessions for the affected businesses will be hosted by VisitEngland and run
Malcolm Bell, head of VisitCornwall, said a survey showed that 74% of 600 businesses across Devon and Cornwall had bookings down between 10% and 20% – and called for more help from the Government to get the message across that the Westcountry is open for business for holidays as much as it always is.
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 next few months. ‘’