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Thousands To Be Spent To Bring In Tourists

A new effort to boost tourism in Warwickshire is set to take off, with up to £100,000 of work to be considered at Shire Hall.

Warwickshire County Council acknowledges the work of South Warwickshire Tourism and Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions, but wants to push harder in the north and east of the county and coordinate the efforts of others.

The council is also a member of the Heart of England Tourism Board giving £11,000 a year and another £7,500 to support a tourism officer for North Warwickshire Borough Council.

There has been a wish list of projects drawn up including: membership of South Warwickshire Tourism and Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions, plus developing and publishing a tourism strategy, working for Business Link and appointing a tourism development officer.

District councils look to build on their tourism with town centre generation, Britain in Bloom Success and the Ryder Cup in North Warwickshire

The county has been involved with projects such as the World of Rugby (to trade on the town’s home of the game), The Compton Verney Opera Project, The Edgehill Battlefield Museum and the National Museum of Food and Farming. The county runs tourism information points in Nuneaton and Kenilworth.

Much of the work is left to South Warwickshire Tourism, marketing Leamington, Warwick, Stratford and Kenilworth, plus Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions, whose work is centred mainly on the city and to a lesser extent on the Nuneaton area.

The county council is looking at taking a more strategic role and working harder on the Rugby, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Atherstone and Coleshill areas that do not have such dedicated efforts.

John Deegan, director of planning, transport and economic strategy for Warwickshire, said tourism plays a ‘key role in the economy’ especially in the south of the county.

He said it was time to look away from the ‘honey pot areas’ around Warwick and Stratford and develop tourism in other parts of Warwickshire. He said:

“Tourism is a key contributor to the retail and other service industries throughout the county.

“The tourism industry in the county is characterised by the a few large operators with an infrastructure of hotels, guest houses and small visitor attractions which are in the main, micro business.

“Tourism has potential for contributing to the achievement of our aims for social and economic regeneration. It has the potential for the generation of jobs with lower levels of skills and there is a particular potential for tourism to be instrumental in the regeneration of our market towns and rural areas.

“It offers potential for activities to be geographically targeted so as to assist social inclusion

“There are weaknesses in the marketing of the north and east of Warwickshire and any intervention to redress this would involved the council in spending for which new allocations will be needed and would lead the council into an area of activity which is particularly resource hungry.”

County councillors on the economic and social regeneration policy advisory group will be looking to make a decision on the way forward at their meeting next Tuesday.

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CWN / Politics / Warwickshire County Council / 20 Sep 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM