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First Base is the equivalent of an 'Editorial'. It is the opportunity for S & A to provide comment and provoke discussion on topical issues relating to leisure and tourism. This will be provided each month and we would welcome your feedback on the matters raised.

First Base 10: The Last Straw - Free admissions to National Museums

Date: 20/5/2004

The financially precarious nature of many private sector visitor attractions has been highlighted in a number of recent reports (see for example : English Tourism Council, Wales Tourist Board, CBI). It has also provoked a vehement attack on subsidised lottery-funded white elephants by several industry representatives (see First Base 5).

The financially precarious nature of many private sector visitor attractions has been highlighted in a number of recent reports (see for example : English Tourism Council, Wales Tourist Board, CBI). It has also provoked a vehement attack on subsidised lottery-funded white elephants by several industry representatives (see First Base 5).

Many attraction operators now face ruination as a result of the foot and mouth epidemic on top of their difficulties to survive in an already cluttered and artificially biased market place. For the Government to announce free admissions to national museums and galleries will be the last straw now for many.

The concept of a level playing field is an anachronism in the attractions sector. The Government shows little understanding of the market place yet interferes to make life impossible for the life blood of the tourism industry in many areas.

CBI call for Greater Government Understanding

The CBI's Tourism Action Groups report 'Targeting Tourism' was published on Wednesday 14 March 2001. The report calls on "the government to give explicit recognition to the importance of tourism to the economy, to lighten the burdens of tax and regulation on it and to invest in measures to improve the quality of the product". It asks them to:

Review the levels of VAT on all aspects of the tourist business. Britain is out of step with almost all EU countries by not introducing reduced rates for hotel accommodation and admission tickets.

Invest in the right infrastructure. Tourism relies on people being able to move easily into and around the country. Government must deliver on its ten-year transport plan and discuss priorities with all parts of the tourism industry.

Spend more on marketing. For too long the focus has been on numbers of overseas visitors rather than spending yield - now both are down. The British Tourist Authority needs extra funding to re-promote Britain abroad and the English Tourism Council needs to be able to adopt a stronger leadership role for domestic tourism.

Increase capital allowances to encourage re-investment in the tourism product.

CBI Director, Digby Jones, writing in The Daily Telegraph on 19 March calls for urgent action and a "flexible approach to red tape". Here, here!!
Dr. Terry Stevens

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First base archive

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    It is rather auspicious, writing this on April Fool's Day, at a time when the UK is wracked with... more

  • First Base 10: The Last Straw - Free admissions to National Museums
    The financially precarious nature of many private sector visitor... more

  • First Base 9: Foot and mouth The crisis for tourism
    Malcolm Bell of the West Country Tourist Board stated yesterday (9 March) that the foot... more

  • First Base 8: Competition from the Other Edge of Europe?
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  • First Base 6: The Wembley way... To international embarassment
    Over the past 12 months the level of criticism levelled at the Organising... more

  • First Base 5: Attractions fight back
    The clear distortion that now exists in the marketplace as a result of the Lottery funded and heavily... more

  • 24 items

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