A one million pound cash boost to support rural tourism in England was announced today by Culture Secretary James Purnell. He confirmed the funding at a meeting of tourism chiefs in London.
£750,000 will be given to the national tourism agency, VisitBritain, to promote rural destinations and visitor attractions which are vital to the economic health of local communities. The package, supplemented by £250,000 from VisitBritain’s existing budgets, will fund a targeted marketing campaign for the regions of England and businesses such as B&Bs, caravan parks and attractions. The campaign will begin this weekend.
Mr Purnell is today visiting the Courtyard Theatre, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Hatton World Farm Village. These two popular Warwickshire destinations demonstrate the range of first-rate entertainment on offer for visitors, both local and international.
James Purnell said:
“Britain is open for business. Right across the UK there are fantastic cultural and tourist attractions putting on high quality events.
“This £1,000,000 cash injection from Government and VisitBritain will help promote England’s many great destinations. I want to remind people across the country of the wealth of world class cultural and leisure opportunities on our doorsteps. You don’t need to go far to have a great day out. And we’ll be making sure that overseas visitors are reminded just how much there is to do in Britain.
“The RSC is one of the finest cultural institutions in the world, and makes a major economic as well as artistic contribution. It attracts visitors from all over the world. And Hatton World is a fine example of how farming and tourism are now intrinsically linked. Half way through the school holidays, what better time to get out and make the most of the great opportunities on our doorsteps?”
Tom Wright, chief executive of VisitBritain, said:
“Government commitment to additional marketing funds comes at an opportune time for England and particularly rural destinations. It enables us to implement high profile activities on a larger scale and remind potential visitors of the appeals of a rural escape and that our tourism businesses remain open for business.”