English Tourism Week 2012 highlights importance of British hospitality

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: English tourism, Tourism

(L-R): Prime Minister David Cameron, VisitEngland’s chairman Lady Cobham and Millennium & Copthorne’s David Curtis-Brignell, chairman of English Tourism Week
(L-R): Prime Minister David Cameron, VisitEngland’s chairman Lady Cobham and Millennium & Copthorne’s David Curtis-Brignell, chairman of English Tourism Week
National tourist board VisitEngland has reported the success of the first ever English Tourism Week, which saw hospitality businesses from across the nation play host to over 400 special events and promotions.

The Week, which ran from 10 ​– 18 March, was set up to raise the profile and importance of domestic tourism and showcase the value of the industry to local communities and the national economy. The event’s launch coincided with the announcement that Prince Charles will be the patron for next year.

“We are delighted with the success of English Tourism Week, and the enthusiastic support it has received, said VisitEngland’s chairman, Lady Cobham. “Tourism operators and destination partners across the country have taken the initiative to heart, and come up with an incredible array of imaginative events and promotions, all aimed at highlighting the value of the industry.

“We hope this week-long celebration has inspired people to become tourism ambassadors for their local area, and we are already looking forward to building on this success for English Tourism Week 2013.”

Tourism boost

English Tourism Week also saw the national tourist board announce the findings from a major survey into the value of day visits to the economy.​ The research revealed that British residents took 1.5billion tourism day trips in the UK in 2011, spending £54bn; in England, Brits took 1.3billion trips, spending £44bn.

Also marking the start of the Week, a number of leading hospitality businesses and industry bodies including the British Hospitality Association, Travelodge and Whitbread united ahead of the 2012 budget to urge the Government to slash the rate of VAT for the tourism sector to five per cent.

But, following last week’s 2012 budget​, no such cut was made by Chancellor George Osborne, and various members of the restaurant​, pub​ and hotel​ industries revealed their disappointment of the lack of support.

English Tourism Week concluded with Lady Cobham and David Curtis-Brignell, the Week’s chairman, joining the Prime Minister at an English Tourism Week networking event in his constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire (pictured). David Cameron highlighted the importance of the tourism industry in driving the economy, as the country’s third-largest export.

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