A cross party group of influential peers has called on the British government develop a new strategy to support music-based tourism and help grow the UK economy.
The call was made during a House of Lords debate on the impact of music on tourism.
The debate’s sponsor, Liberal Democrat Lord Storey said music festivals have been attracting unprecedented numbers of overseas visitors and have been pouring money into local economies.
He argued that the world’s “evident love” of the UK’s musical heritage should now be harnessed and used to support music tourism.
A 2011 report estimated music tourists spend £1.4 billion and sustain over 20,000 jobs.
“I have seen first-hand the positive impact music can make on local tourist economies.
“But, we must also consider the impact music can have on the country as a whole,” Lord Storey said.
“Great Britain simply has too much potential for musical tourism for the Government to stand idly by.
“I strongly urge the Government to consider how best to implement a well defined music strategy.”
Storey suggested that to attract more overseas music tourists, government should emphasise and engage with existing tourist bodies and authorities across Britain and help them market themselves as music tourist destinations.
Storey’s stance was supported by Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, who is also a non-executive director of the national tourism agency VisitBritain.
“We are not doing as well as we could for music tourism,” she explained.
“We need to have more resource behind promoting our music tourism,” she argued, adding that it was important to cultivate the overseas music visitor because although they only make up a minority of music tourists, they account for nearly 20 per cent of music tourism spend.
“We have the talent, the determination and the worldwide focus. Let us make this a key pillar of our tourism strategy into the future.”