Deputy Prime Minister calls for plan to boost Northern tourism
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is calling for a strategy to make the North a top tourist destination on the eve of the Northern Futures summit.
He has announced that £10 million of government RGF money will become available to back proposals for a clear strategy for tourism in the North, bringing harmony to the current offer from 29 individual tourism boards into one great offer.
Funding will be channelled into the national tourist body, VisitEngland, with support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This will need to be matched by local funds to ensure potential tourists are provided with a compelling joined up picture of what’s on offer in the North.
London has 4.5 times more international visitors than the North of England as a whole. Scotland has twice as many tourists as Yorkshire or the entire North West.
30% of UK visitors chose not to travel beyond London because, according to the DPM, they simply didn’t know what there was to see outside the capital. The whole of the North only accounted for 22% of all visits to English tourist attractions.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “It’s absurd that our great North is missing out on visitors when it boasts such stunning countryside, history and culture.
“Through the Northern Futures project, I asked people what our Northern cities needed in order to compete globally, and to grow.
’Your resounding call is clear - a strong Northern future relies on putting the North back on the map: a top tourist destination.
“From next year, I’m putting funding in place for there to be a clear strategy for tourism in the North, bringing harmony to the current offer from 29 individual tourism boards into one great offer.’
Minister for Tourism Helen Grant said: “This £10 million fund will build on the success of the Government’s tourism strategy to date, which has bought record numbers of visitors and spend to the UK.
“But we want to see a greater spread of tourism across the country and this will ensure that the North benefits from this element of our long term economic plan.”