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Can tourism revive the UK economy?

09:54 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged people to be more "proud" of the UK and seize a "huge" opportunity to attract overseas visitors. What action should be taken to boost tourism?

Currently, the United Nations ranks the UK as the sixth-most visited destination in the world behind France, the US, Spain, China and Italy.

Measures to help the industry would include speeding up the process of getting visitors' visas for the UK for tourists from India and China. There will also be attempts to encourage UK citizens to spend more of their money at home rather than abroad.

A recent study for Visit Britain suggests that tourism's contribution to the economy could grow by more than 60% to £188bn by 2020.

Does tourism offer an economic opportunity for Britain? Which part of the UK would you recommend for overseas visitors? Do you work in the tourism industry? Would you holiday in the UK?

David Cameron: Tourism vital to British economy

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    I was at the Interceltique festival the other day in Lorient, France and all of the major Celtic 'nations' had a tent (except Wales), Cornwall had a little tent next to the Isle of Man and Galicia had a huge tent with an exhibition, Ireland and Scotland had several tents. If this is promoting UK tourism to millions of Europeans then we're in trouble....

  • Comment number 2.

    I am sure that this is a good idea in principle. Britain has much to offer the tourist but there are several negatives not least a dodgy climate and a congested transport system.
    It is perhaps commendable that the government are looking at ways to boost the economy but reinforces the fact that we now have little in the way of a manufacturing base and look increasingly to services and now tourism which incidentally will do nothing to improve either congestion or the weather.

  • Comment number 3.

    Shouldn't be long before we get the first immigration rant on here.

  • Comment number 4.

    I wish the British Tourism industry every luck in trying to get more tourists here. It's a daunting task. Our weather is traditionally not too good when compared with Spain and France, most places and facilities are over priced, we don't have the Theme Parks on the scale of the US. There are some nice parts of the country but they are tending to become over populated during the holiday period. Our transport infrastructure is a joke compared with the other countries mentioned, just check out France, Spain and the US. We do have a lot of history in this country and, of course, the Royal Family. Perhaps we can exploit both our heritage and our Royals?

    As for me, I shall be off to my place in Spain for my break, I like to be in the sun and I don't like being ripped off when it comes to food and drink, Spains much better value from that perspective.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sure tourism is an important economic tool, and yes the UK is a marvellous place to explore.

    But this is about the usual suspects, the expensive places to visit, our heritage turned into money spinning ventures. It isn't about 'guided tours' of our ghettos, our weekend drunken orgies, our cardboard jungles, or our once proud hidden cultures.

    And does the sun shine out from somewhere in Cameron's anatomy, because he needs to improve the weather if he wants more people here just to relax and really enjoy Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

  • Comment number 6.

    First of all, how sad to see Cameron try and whip up blind patriotism. They say it's the last refuge of a scoundrel so what should we make of someone for whom it is their first refuge?

    Cameron so far has done nothing (other than talk, of course) to send out the signal to the world that British tourism is open for business. All the rest of the world sees is endless talk of deficit cuts and they think "do I really want to go there?"

    That's not to say the British tourist industry is in jeopardy, of course - it isn't. The advent of the staycation will keep it in good financial shape for the time being at least but in future years as the cuts keep coming, how long can even that be guaranteed?

  • Comment number 7.

    No it can't, but it would help. Unfortunately the infrastructure costs to provide for such popularity would cost billions (which should have been ongoing spent over the past 30 years & more)
    Tourism sitting in traffic jams or standing on trains or being strip searched at airports isnt going to be attractive.
    Nice idea though.
    Any large increase in service jobs & we will be like Spain in the 1960's full of "Manuel" Faulty Tower type jobs. Trouble is no one here will do them and the Poles & Romanians et al will be back employed while natives loaf about moaning (Just like me ;-)but about job opportunities.....

  • Comment number 8.

    Try Bognor Regis on a wet and windy day or indeed any day and ask this question with a straight face!

  • Comment number 9.

    Tourism could help the economy, however the Government is actually making the United Kingdom less attractive by increasing air passenger duty. It has gone up substantially over the last few years and is going up again in November.
    Americans will have to pay substantial amounts in tax to visit Britain, and you have to ask the question why should they when they have plenty of wonderful places to visit on the North American continent. If they do want to visit Europe there are a lot of other European countries who are not imposing the level of taxes that we have.
    You also have the problem that Vat will be increased at the end of the year which will make Briitain a more expensive place to visit.

  • Comment number 10.

    Can tourism revive the UK economy?

    Absolutely from Roman Ruins to Edwardian houses - Britain has a fantastic cultural heritage.

    Not only would I recomend a holiday in Britain to foreign tourists, I'd highly commend it to the British public as well.

  • Comment number 11.

    Having visited may countries in the world without doubt the UK is a disgrace its filthy , rubbish everywhere , rude people with no manners , drivers who belong in a zoo and overpriced venues that the ordinary UK citizen cannot get anywhere near or afford . In two words forget it .

  • Comment number 12.

    A big selling point for tourism in the UK is our rich history, made into a tourist draw by museums, heritage attractions, galleries and the like. I just wonder if the funding will remain to use them to their full potential once DCMS and local government cuts are announced, not least after the misguided decision to axe the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (anounced at the same time as the Film Council cuts). The 'Big Society' can't keep all museums well run, with good opening times, exciting and interesting galleries and above all well maintained collections, despite the already amazing work done by volunteers and poorly paid front of house staff. Without this there will be little to draw tourists to our cities and towns.

  • Comment number 13.

    Overseas visitors are welcome to come over and fill up our coffers. However relaxing the Visa system for non-EU tourists will just fuel the illegal immigrant problem.
    We islanders appreciate how foul this country is to holiday in (cost, weather, thugs, dirty streets etc; Blackpool!!!!), so we take our hard-earned money to far cheaper, more cultured and sunnier places overseas.
    Balances out quite nicely!
    I would never, ever, ever take annual holiday in UK, as long as I live.

  • Comment number 14.

    I have just looked up the Air passenger duties payable on flights from November. It will cost someone from India £300, and from America £240 in taxes, so a family of four will be paying a thousand pounds for the priviledge of holidaying in Britain. Does anybody seriously think they will come when there are other places in the world they can visit without paying such a stupid amount of tax.

  • Comment number 15.

    Britain would be the first place in the world to visit if it only had good weather. We have to move the normal weather systems six hundred miles north. We could try for climate change, it used to be called global warming but it is really just bad weather for UK and good weather for places like Africa, by creating huge green house gas factories. This would allow us to fully utilise the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetlands in a similar way as the Spanish use the Canaries.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    3. At 10:23am on 12 Aug 2010, you wrote:

    Shouldn't be long before we get the first immigration rant on here.


    And Chris #13 is the winner!

  • Comment number 18.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 19.

    3. At 10:23am on 12 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Shouldn't be long before we get the first immigration rant on here.

    ........................................................

    It only got to 13 before immigration was brought up.

    It won't be long before the Sun and The Daily Mail want tourists taged so the goverment know why they are

  • Comment number 20.

    Can tourism help the UK economy?

    No, but it certainly helps the London economy.

    Visitors come to see London, the Royal Family, the galleries, Whitehall etc. Next to no one comes to see Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham etc.

  • Comment number 21.

    12. At 10:35am on 12 Aug 2010, Pandoricastar wrote:
    A big selling point for tourism in the UK is our rich history, made into a tourist draw by museums, heritage attractions, galleries and the like. I just wonder if the funding will remain to use them to their full potential once DCMS and local government cuts are announced, not least after the misguided decision to axe the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (anounced at the same time as the Film Council cuts). The 'Big Society' can't keep all museums well run, with good opening times, exciting and interesting galleries and above all well maintained collections, despite the already amazing work done by volunteers and poorly paid front of house staff. Without this there will be little to draw tourists to our cities and towns.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    If the Gov cut all overseas aid and sunk the money into domestic services like the above, they could and there is nothing more certain of that.

  • Comment number 22.

    In the south west we already appreciate the importance of tourism, that's where most of our income comes from. Towns & villages that are almost dead in the winter come alive in the spring/summer. Tourism here means plenty of low paid, seasonal work, for those prepared to do it, but no stable year round employment. While trying to encourage tourists here, nothing has been done to make the public transport fit for purpose. The public transport here is appalling, with buses late or even cancelled & extortionately expensive fares put people off using them, especially if they need to be in a place by a specific time. Tourism is a good thing for our economy, but how about making the infrastructure fit for purpose before encouraging thousands more on to our roads & transport system.

  • Comment number 23.

    I love visiting different parts of Britain. Does internal tourism not count any more?

    I suppose we'll have to try and get back in America's good books to attract all the Americans with an English greatgreatgreatgreat grandparent, like the Irish do.

  • Comment number 24.

    Can tourism revive the UK economy?
    Only if you want to create a load of low paid, low skilled jobs.
    What a shame MR C doesn't want to revive our BRITISH owned industry.
    Maybe its because people with skills might want decent pay and pensions, thus putting up inflation.
    Why do i get the feeling we are back to the Thatcher era, all over again.
    Nothing changes!

  • Comment number 25.

    If we need to rely on tourism to get us out of recession we are in a worse state than I thought.

    Doesn't this align us with the PIGS, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain ?

  • Comment number 26.

    I think it would be great, however compared to the other countries mentioned we have the problem with unpredictable weather.

    Another problem is the lack of hospitality certain secions of our society provide to people who look or sound a bit different.

  • Comment number 27.

    Tourism is the only thing that this Country has because the brand Made in Britain dissapeared in the 80s thanks to Thatcher.

    Foe Tourism to work we need investment and I don't see much chance of that with this government in charge.

    In Britain we don't make the best of what we have to offer our History is our strength but we are losing it. We have battlefields all over the country that most people are not even aware of and many people are ignorant about what's on their own doorstep.

    In America their battle sites are sacred but also used for tourism destinations.

    I think the Bosworth Battlefield centre in Leicestershire is that county's biggest tourism attraction so it shows that with some planning and investment it can work.

    I live about ten miles from Britains bloodisest ever battlefield in Towton Yorkshire and apart from an old stone cross no one would even know it was there without research. A few miles further on is Marston Moore the second bloodiest bsttle site and niether have any information centres for tourists. Worse of all the site of one of the most important battles that ever took place in this country Stamford Brige, near York now has houses on it.

    We have castles left to fall to pieces all over. Our History and herritage is the main reason people visit our shores after all they don't come for the weather do they.

    We do also have some magnificent natural scenery and dramatic coastlines in Britain that when the weather is fine makes this Country still for me the best in the World because we have just about everything and no where is that far away.
    The weather we can do little about but our history and herritage is in our hands and it's up to the government and the people to protect what we have.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    Overseas tourists? It depends, do you want to attract the elite class (small majority but lots of money) or the cash-cows (mass majority and not much decency nor respect)?

    Careful who you want to attract there, you don't want one of them to end up trashing a Ming vase in the museum somewhere by accident.

  • Comment number 30.

    Britain might have been appealing last week but with this new superbug now having reached here I would say it's best to stay away!

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree provided he can fix the weather.

  • Comment number 32.

    The UK is a beautiful place and has much to offer. We all take it for granted sometimes - I know that I do. Despite its problems, its the place that I call home.
    Its a good idea in principle. Whether it will work or not is a different story altogether. For this to work we need to know which areas attract tourists and protect them. For example, if its our beautiful countryside, tourists would soon stop coming if we built over it due to the housing shortage issue. I'm not saying leave people homeless just for the tourism industry; I'm just saying this country seriously needs a joined up thinking and common sense approach to its problems.

  • Comment number 33.

    This is a joke question right BBC?

  • Comment number 34.

    Cameron is as usual talking nonsense and as with most of his 'Big Ideas' they are lacking in any substance and ill thought out.

    Our climate is such that even UK residents don’t holiday here for a two week break now. I could spend a less than a grand for a two weeks in many countries with an all inclusive deal staying in a high quality hotel with excellent service.

    Here in the UK a hotel of a similar quality would cost me over £200 a night and that’s without food or drink. As a teenager our Island used to be swamped by tourists and in the 70s our beaches at this time of the year would have been packed. Sadly no more as most of us now travel to sunnier destinations and experience different cultures and pay less for the privilege.

    For residents of many countries we are just too expensive as a destination of choice.

  • Comment number 35.

    19. At 10:50am on 12 Aug 2010, frankiecrisp wrote:
    3. At 10:23am on 12 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Shouldn't be long before we get the first immigration rant on here.

    ........................................................

    It only got to 13 before immigration was brought up.

    It won't be long before the Sun and The Daily Mail want tourists taged so the goverment know why they are

    -----

    What do you expect? - they've been brainwashed by the their choice of tabloid into despising the country of their birth - why would they recomend it to anyone else.

    Seriously, if the Mail had tried to publish their constant stream of articles designed to denigrate the UK and reduce patriotism during the second world war, they'd have been prosecuted.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's a fine aspiration, but if tourism is that important we must stop spoiling the things tourists come to see. Vast new housing developments and roads are eating up the landscape, quaint old market towns are becoming over-developed and dominated by the same big retail chains, traditional country pubs are closing or being converted into gastro-restaurants, even local inhabitants are now as likely to be foreign as British.
    These are not just my views - I live in an important tourist centre and these are issues which tourists themselves raise. In the long term we are slowly killing the goose that lays this golden egg, so Cameron needs to look at wider policy issues. Tourism isn't an industry that can succeed purely by its own efforts.

  • Comment number 39.

    Having spent the last decade running a small guesthouse in Wales. I think I can comment with some authority on the subject.

    The first thing the government should do is to dismantle the national park system and allow the tourist industry to operate. Living under the jackboot of Snowdonia national park. I cannot even double-glaze my windows and it appears to be their aim in life to prevent people staying in North Wales

    The Tourism industry is being strangled by the ever-increasing burden of costs. Councils in particular seem to think of small business as a bottomless pocket of cash, for instance my business rates the year have increased by 500%. No that’s not a typo Five Hundred Percent

    If the government wants the Tourism industry to bale it out then the first thing to do is allow it to operate


  • Comment number 40.

    Mass tourism is fun.

    Go to any busy tourist venue and take with you a collapsable rolled up umbrella. Wait at a busy juction for a tour party guide with a similar umbrella and raise your umbrella up high and walk off in the opposite direction. The winner is the person that gets most tourist lost.

  • Comment number 41.

    The main problem for tourism in the UK is the weather and there is nothing we can do about that. However, there are beautiful places in Britain which I'm sure could be promoted more. I am off to Brighton for the weekend this weekend and go up to Whitby on the coast my the North Yorkshire Moors which is beautiful twice a year. Also Rye near hastings is lovely and I never even knew it existed, near by Camber Sands is actually far nicer than you would expect as well. I am ashamed that I have still not got round to visting York, Warick, Newcastle, or Sheffield but hope to do a tour of the northern towns next year.

    As a nation we do not appreciate our country enough so if a campaign helps to make the local population appreciate Britain more as well as attracting more toursits, it will have done a good job

  • Comment number 42.

    To start off, I'm a Brit living and working in France who is often trying to persuade his French friends and colleagues that the UK is much better than they think. In France, the UK is a bit misunderstood.

    This is a bit simplified and a little unfair (as I have condensed a number of assertions from many French people into a single point of view), but it illustrates the point:

    In the eyes of many French, the weather is always bad, the food is worse than the weather, there are no beaches (the whole country is surrounded by cliffs), until you reach the Scottish border there is no landscape, and there is nothing to do outside London.

    If you show a Frenchman a few photos of the Lake District, some Cornish beaches and fishing villages, the Pembrokeshire National Park and so on, or get them to taste some proper, good-quality British food, then they are often genuinely surprised.

    This image abroad does not help the UK's tourism aspirations. Of course the weather is less warm and reliable than countries such as France, but nor is Norway's, Denmark's or Iceland's, but these countries sell their other assets so much better.

    It is worth adding that for potential visitors from countries such as France, the other big problems are that we drive on the wrong side of the road and we don't use the Euro (rightly or wrongly) - these are all barriers to people choosing the UK in general and England in particular for a holiday.

  • Comment number 43.

    David Cameron has a short memory.

    “Proposals for a new £25m visitor centre at Stonehenge are in doubt after funding is cut by the government.
    English Heritage said it was "extremely disappointed" that £10m promised would not be forthcoming - but said it did not mean it was the end of the project.
    It had wanted to move the visitor centre 1.5m (2.4km) away from the stones and to divert the nearby A344.
    The remaining £15m was due to come from English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other private sources.”

    How can we compete, our public transport cost is astronomical, thanks to privatisation and errrm the Tories, our train lines were diminished thanks to errrm the Tories, our Roads are jam packed with cars as we have such astronomical transport costs and very poor transport infrastructure thanks to errrrm the Tories.
    The Tories are currently cutting the budget on culture sports and media up to 50%. They have absolutely no idea about investment and return when it comes to public money.

    They are intent on turning our communities into slums, as they did before, which I’m sure will have overseas visitors fleeing over here for a look.

    This government is a joke………………………….




  • Comment number 44.

    Wonder when the first "we don't want these tourists as they are obviously members of the "owner clases" and are likely to be capitalists oppressing the working classes of their own country" or "it is only another way that the "owner classes" can exploit their property and make money off the backs of poor workers paid under the national minimum wage" posters will appear?

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    12. At 10:35am on 12 Aug 2010, Pandoricastar wrote:
    A big selling point for tourism in the UK is our rich history, made into a tourist draw by museums, heritage attractions, galleries and the like.
    ####################################################

    Sorry; our 'history' is the ONLY selling point.

    We have virtually no landscape to look at, certainly not big areas other than the lake district and the scottish and welsh highlands. The first is full every summer and the others are inaccessable.

    If call-me-dave wants to promote more tourists then give them something other than visiting stately homes and tours around London.

    I'm sure I'll get lots of posts from regional persons and activities such as rambling but these are never promoted to tourists.

    A good tourism industry takes years to develope, an example I know of is the City of York, full every summer with scandinavians. York works constantly at being easy to get to, activities for all etc.

    If call-me-dave thinks this will save the economy me thinks he is clutching at straws.



  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    27. At 11:01am on 12 Aug 2010, phill wrote:

    Tourism is the only thing that this Country has because the brand Made in Britain dissapeared in the 80s thanks to Thatcher.


    Another one on the Thatcher bandwagon. Come on, try an think of something a little bit more original.

  • Comment number 49.

    This is surely some sort of joke or wind up?

    I can't wait to get out of this place to go on holiday; why on earth would anyone come here on holiday just to find unreliable weather, overcrowding, horrendous levels of traffic congestion, and poor quality expensive microwaved pub food.

    In addition will the very high levels of air passenger duty put people off? if you want to attract tourists try welcoming them instead of taxing them into oblivion.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    It can certainly make a huge contribution. Tourism is yet another area where England going it's own way would help. All the home nations have a lot going for them in terms of attracting tourism not least the Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English diaspora(s).

    But England has got something very special on top of that. We have the English language which is not really levered the way it should be.

    First we need to relearn how to call England - England. And what's English - English.

    How much more influential would the "British Library" be if it was called what it is - the "English Library". Same for the British Museum although I believe a fair bit of the contents should be returned in the process.

    England has a long and fascinating history. Combined with our rich culture and language; tourism could go through the roof.

    We do of course need an English parliament working in the interests of the English people in place in order to achieve that.

  • Comment number 52.

    So, from the nation that gave the world the industrial revoltion, we are now retreating to a Costa Brava type economy with a country that hasn't got the gift of plenty of sunshine, Oh lordy, what is going to become of us? Will Cameron and Clegg start looking at reality, we are an Island nation, we need to be able to survive without any outside intervention, they call it self sufficiency. We had it and let it slip, production of goods, ideally quality goods that the rest of the world wants to buy. If we constantly buy goods that other nations make, we make them richer and ourselves poorer. If we rely on the whims and fancies of tourists then even the popular tourist destinations will suffer, those areas where tourists don't go, will end up like the back-waters of eastern europe.

  • Comment number 53.

    As a worker in Central London for many years I used to detest tourists, wandering all over the pavement when I just wanted to get to and from work. However they probably saw more of London than I did in in all the time I was there and I can understand that London has a lot to offer.

    I help out at at a local museum on the South Coast and we do get foreign tourists in there, some of whom have been all over Britain and our relatively gentle countryside and attractive villages have a lot to offer.

    Of course, when I'm abroad I regard myself as a "traveller" rather than a "tourist"!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Announcing cuts of billions that were being used to regenerate places like Blackpool and then saying tourism should grow is typical of Cameron's failure to think beyond his ideology.

    Blackpool has some of the worst areas of poverty in the country (12th in the country for poverty) with over two thirds of children living in poverty there. People would really want to become poverty tourists to visit many of the "traditional" holiday destinations in the UK.

    The truth is Cameron's Party are blind to the scale of investment that areas like Blackpool need to succeed. He puts forward a lot of rhetoric about how the future will be better and then quiety announces that the solution to the problem is to cut finance. The regeneration of Blackpool is in danger of stalling or reversing. Why would people want to go and see poverty that is being made worse as a matter of national policy?

    The truth is that public investment works. Liverpool as Capital of Culture gained a massive boost - both financially and socially. That boost did not come cheaply. It needed a lot of community engagement and a lot of financial engagement. With Cameron Cutting everything in sight, there is no chance of financial engagement. With the introduction of ever more draconian hard treatment of the poor and unemployed being outsourced to bullying private companies, there is little chance of community engagement. Engaging with bullies and bankers is hardly top priority for most people - even less so is creating additional revenue for those bullies and bankers.

    In order to be an attractive destination for international tourists, Cameron needs to make the UK a nicer place to want to live. By entrenching poverty in tourist destinations the Tories are creating a 1980's theme park. Who really wants to visit that?

  • Comment number 55.

    Shouldn't be long before we get the first immigration rant on here.

    It only got to 13 before immigration was brought up.

    It won't be long before the Sun and The Daily Mail want tourists taged so the goverment know why they are

    And only took to No.19 to get a anti Sun / Daily Mail comment. Close, but Commiserations on coming 2nd.

  • Comment number 56.

    28. At 11:01am on 12 Aug 2010, joshua goldblum wrote:

    13. At 10:39am on 12 Aug 2010, Chris wrote:
    Overseas visitors are welcome to come over and fill up our coffers. However relaxing the Visa system for non-EU tourists will just fuel the illegal immigrant problem.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Well said Chris.
    The so called Brit Citizens as in 19. At 10:50am on 12 Aug 2010, frankiecrisp & 3. At 10:23am on 12 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher must be some form of donation animals to all causes that are not British.


    I can't speak for frankiecrisp but I don't have the extreme xenophobia and paranoia of foreigners that you and Chris appear to have.

  • Comment number 57.

    Go on David, put your money where you mouth is and provide funding for this new marketing play.

    Bet you wont provide an extra penny as we are so bust!

  • Comment number 58.

    Undoubtedly Britain has much to offer tourists, but then that is true of many, probably most, other countries. Let's look at the realities: it has rained here every day for weeks; the place is dirty and run-down wherever you go; it is very overcrowded (second only to Malta in the EU, I believe); and above all it is rip-off merchants' paradise. I think that a great deal of hard work has to be done before we can think of being a tourist attraction, although (to appease the royalists) no doubt millions will flock here because we still have a royal family which they will never see. Personally, I don't take holidays in the UK - the rip-off factor, the constant feeling of being spied on by millions of cameras, the badly-behaved chavs, the jobsworths everywhere telling you gleefully what you aren't allowed to do in their opinions, it's just not worth it. I go to Europe where as far as I can see there is none of this.

    Before anyone starts whining that I am "running down my country", no I am not, I am telling it how it is, and I do NOT read the Daily Mail, either. We need to face the facts - no-one in their right mind would come here if they knew what it was really like.

  • Comment number 59.

    It's definitely one way to bring money in, but I'm sure there are other ways too

  • Comment number 60.

    Lots complaining about the high room rates here in the UK and I agree. Why don't we target advertising in foreign countries at serial layabouts and teenage single parents. They would instantly get housing support when they got here and that would make room rates cheaper for them.

  • Comment number 61.

    Now that the Old Etonian failed spin doctor has announced that he will be creating 700,000 new unemployed in the private sector and 600,000 in the public sector could he have plans to take the tourists to visit the dole queues?

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    I really don't think this is going to be pushed. Our most visited archaeological site Stonehenge is presented in a less than favourable way because of a lack of funding given to our heritage.

  • Comment number 64.

    Can tourism revive the UK economy?

    Not on it's own, but it certainly helps keep a certain level of stability, not to mention national pride. Though I'm sure many Daily Mail readers would not be so enthusiastic about it.

  • Comment number 65.

    Stay in Harlech wrote:
    The first thing the government should do is to dismantle the national park system and allow the tourist industry to operate. Living under the jackboot of Snowdonia national park. I cannot even double-glaze my windows and it appears to be their aim in life to prevent people staying in North Wales


    I think your solution is a little extreme.
    There is no need to dismantle the national park system; we just need to amend the regulations so that people living and working within the national parks are able to make reasonable changes to their buildings as well as allowing a limited amount of new buildings to be built within them.

    Having friends who live and work in Snowdonia I can understand your frustrations about double glazing and other issues but the idea that we should dismantle the national parks would be unacceptable to many, if not most, of the people in this country as they're some of the most loved areas to be found anywhere in these islands.

    A compromise could be found that satisfies the needs of those living and working within the national parks while protecting the areas for those of us who regularly visit them. For me this would be a far better answer than dismantling the whole system.

  • Comment number 66.

    First they say in the industrial sector will not many people work in the future, most people will work in the private service in the future. Then they realize it is impossible to export fromm the private service sector an begin talking about the industrial sector again. Then they again see the industrial sector diminish and deficits in the budget.

    How shall our society survives by scratching each others backs ?

    If all old GDP growth are worthless there must be better ways to prosperity than continue chasing the same GDP growth again.

  • Comment number 67.

    So now Cameron lays out his Thatcherite vision of Britain! No industry just lots of disposable, service jobs.

    Hang on! Haven't we just been through a "financial hiccough" caused by over-reliance on the service sector? Wasn't Cameron's pre-election argument based on generating "good quality" jobs? He is busy dismantling the Public Sector on the basis that it doesn't generate money but is advocating a huge increase in service sector jobs that don't actually generate any money either - they just move other peoples' disposable around! This seems to be the first ripple of a tsunami of blatant hypocrisy and political double-speak.

    One further point is that a significant proportion of the catalogue of heritage sites is in the care of government. These places take money from visitors - and therefore argue against DC's assertion about the public sector not making money. To be consistent, is he planning to carry on Maggie's good work by following in her footsteps: Maggie sold off the family silver; is Cameron planning to sell off the furniture as well?

    Do the decent thing, DC. Come clean about the fact that you want a fragmented, contracted-out, "rights poor" workforce so that you can permit near-developing world conditions to return here.

  • Comment number 68.

    I had something to say, but I see that someone else has also said it, and said it very well, so I'm just going to repeat it, as it's probably the most important point yet made:

    "38. At 11:12am on 12 Aug 2010, Rabbitkiller wrote:
    It's a fine aspiration, but if tourism is that important we must stop spoiling the things tourists come to see. Vast new housing developments and roads are eating up the landscape, quaint old market towns are becoming over-developed and dominated by the same big retail chains, traditional country pubs are closing or being converted into gastro-restaurants, even local inhabitants are now as likely to be foreign as British.
    These are not just my views - I live in an important tourist centre and these are issues which tourists themselves raise. In the long term we are slowly killing the goose that lays this golden egg, so Cameron needs to look at wider policy issues. Tourism isn't an industry that can succeed purely by its own efforts."

    It's completely true: it's getting harder and harder to find anywhere intrinsically "English" any more, our architecture, our shops... all being blandly homogenised into one big gleaming glass American shopping mall, with the same shops over and over again.

    If you want to know what works, just look at where the tourists do go, towns like Chester, which has taken measures to preserve its historic centre. Don't see many tourists flocking to Walsall, do you? Why does Dave think that is?

  • Comment number 69.

    48. At 11:25am on 12 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    27. At 11:01am on 12 Aug 2010, phill wrote:

    Tourism is the only thing that this Country has because the brand Made in Britain dissapeared in the 80s thanks to Thatcher.

    Another one on the Thatcher bandwagon. Come on, try an think of something a little bit more original.

    ............................................................

    Unoriginal doesn't necessarily make it untrue, and I don't see you putting up a good argument against.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    This is a long term strategy which will involve huge investment to market the UK abroad.

    No, this will not help the economy in the next few years.

  • Comment number 72.

    I wish I had a £1 for every time I've heard 'If the weather is fine there is no better place than the UK to have a holiday'

    But do we really have a service culture that genuinely treats visitors and holiday-makers well enough to grow tourism significantly?

    I think not.

  • Comment number 73.

    I guess we could advertise the UK as some kind of safari park.

    See neanderthals in action.

  • Comment number 74.

    The first thing tourists face landing in the UK is an overpriced sambles of a train system. £28 return from Stanstead for example, I wince ever time as a businessman, god knows how a family feel.

    Our hotels are also over priced and many in the hospitality industry are clueless about service. For example try buying a pup lunch in Norfolk at three in the afternoon.

    If we want to be a leading tourist destination lets train people to offer good service, get a grip on public transport costs and focus on reducing syaying costs.

    People need to feel great after thier holiday so lets stop ripping them off!

  • Comment number 75.

    49. At 11:26am on 12 Aug 2010, MrSBaldrick wrote:

    This is surely some sort of joke or wind up?

    I can't wait to get out of this place to go on holiday; why on earth would anyone come here on holiday just to find unreliable weather, overcrowding, horrendous levels of traffic congestion, and poor quality expensive microwaved pub food.

    In addition will the very high levels of air passenger duty put people off? if you want to attract tourists try welcoming them instead of taxing them into oblivion.

    ...............................................................

    I'm, sorry but, microwaved pub food? You've been spending too many evenings in Wetherspoon's, there's a reason it's never been in the good food guide! There are loads of good eating places, country-pubs with local dishes, Michelin Star restaurants, park cafes, not to mention international cuisines. Food is not the problem in Britain, you just need to find the good places to go and spend a little more.

  • Comment number 76.

    I've since had time to reflect on my earlier comment (#2) which may have been a little too gracious to my country of birth.

    Although Britain, London notably, has a lot to offer the tourist I would not be in a rush to recommend it. Apart from the congestion and weather there is the filth and grime, the litter, anti-social people and high prices. In general the UK is essentially cramped and everything is on a small scale. Personally I prefer 'big sky' country where you have a feeling of freedom and continually wonder at nature. I live a few hundred miles from London in Brittany and the difference is like chalk and cheese. Hardly surprising then that France remains the #1 tourist destination for the umpteenth time running. Like the USA, Spain, Italy and China it offers things that Britain never can such as space, excellent travel and communications, variety, a wonderful road system and vastly more clement weather.

    Britain could improve its grimy litter strewn and anti-social image but it can never do anything about the above.

  • Comment number 77.

    Great idea to promote tourism, and provide jobs for even more immigrants from eastern Europe, who seem to be the only ones willing to do the minimum wage jobs created by hotels and restuarants.

  • Comment number 78.

    So call me Dave wants us to be proud of our history - this from a man who recently has proved he knows nothing about it! Dear gods, can't his advisors keep him quiet? He's an embarrassment!

    Oh, and Dave, most of us can't afford to holiday in the UK - it's too expensive, the service is not very good and neither is the weather.

  • Comment number 79.

    · 65. At 11:38am on 12 Aug 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    Stay in Harlech wrote:
    The first thing the government should do is to dismantle the national park system and allow the tourist industry to operate. Living under the jackboot of Snowdonia national park. I cannot even double-glaze my windows and it appears to be their aim in life to prevent people staying in North Wales


    I think your solution is a little extreme.
    There is no need to dismantle the national park system; we just need to amend the regulations so that people living and working within the national parks are able to make reasonable changes to their buildings as well as allowing a limited amount of new buildings to be built within them.

    Having friends who live and work in Snowdonia I can understand your frustrations about double glazing and other issues but the idea that we should dismantle the national parks would be unacceptable to many, if not most, of the people in this country as they're some of the most loved areas to be found anywhere in these islands.

    A compromise could be found that satisfies the needs of those living and working within the national parks while protecting the areas for those of us who regularly visit them. For me this would be a far better answer than dismantling the whole system.
    ################################

    Unfortunately the word Compromise is not in the vocabulary of Snowdonia National Park, or if it is then they spell it “Dictatorship”

  • Comment number 80.

    If we want to get more people to visit our singularly beautiful and interesting country, we need to improve our hotels and restaurants. Most hotels I have stayed in over many years have been over-priced, uncomfortable and the staff have given the impression of having been sentenced to twenty years hard labour. And I can't remember the last really good meal I had in a pub - Home Cooked Meals usually means taking the food straight from the freezer into the microwave.

  • Comment number 81.

    I think we definitely do undersell Britain. Just look at all the comments on here about it raining all the time (it doesn't), traffic (it's no worse than many other countries), everything's expensive (it may be to us but may not be to tourists) and it's bound to put people off. The fact is we do have an amazing heritage and some wonderful tourist sites and museums, many of which are still actually free (which is unusual compared with many other countries).

  • Comment number 82.

    This is coming from the man who officially holidays in humble Cornwall but privately spends the summer on a £21,000-a-week mediterranean yacht...

  • Comment number 83.

    One of the aims should be to make this country beautiful in every way possible. This will help tourism.

    Beer cans, crisp bags, cigarette butts, chewing gum strewn all over the place.

    It's a shame that a handful of "neds" and "wasters" canny be bothered to find the bin.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    58. At 11:31am on 12 Aug 2010, Michael Lloyd wrote:
    Undoubtedly Britain has much to offer tourists, but then that is true of many, probably most, other countries. Let's look at the realities: it has rained here every day for weeks; the place is dirty and run-down wherever you go; .......

    Before anyone starts whining that I am "running down my country", no I am not, I am telling it how it is, and I do NOT read the Daily Mail, either. We need to face the facts - no-one in their right mind would come here if they knew what it was really like.

    -------------------

    What are you talking about? The weather has be lovely this year, proper crisp winter, lovely hot July, yes it has rained this week, but that is hardly the same as what you have stated and if we didn't have some rain the country wouldn't be so green. Britain is also far cleaner and it better reapir than many places. I was in Malaysia earlier this year and while it was stunning as soon as you got away from the tourists squares, there was decay and litter everywhere.

    You are not telling it like it is, you are looking for the negative. Britain has an awful lot to offer, it can be hard to see that if you spend your life in a modern, run down town but you have these in every coutry, you don't see them when you holiday as this is not where you visit, for exmaple in the UK, you wouldn't go on holiday to Reading but you may to York. Places like Reading exist in all countries.

    PS No offence anyone who lives in Reading, it was just an obvious example as a grew up near there

  • Comment number 86.

    YES. Tourists could watch traditional British sports, such as fox hunting (due to be restored) and quail fighting (illegal but not prosecuted...wonder why?) Ponder on that moderator.

  • Comment number 87.

    3. At 10:23am on 12 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Shouldn't be long before we get the first immigration rant on here.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    You win at #3

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    Unreliable weather, poor service, uneatable food, sky high prices, accommodation charged per person rather than per room. England is the only country I know where you can't get a meal on a Bank Holiday because 'the chef's off, it's a Bank Holiday you know', or they don't serve food between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. unless you want to go to some US fast food franchise.
    We normally take a week in Majorca in June, total cost, flights, room, transfers, entertainment & meals, £1,000, this year we took a week in the UK in May, total cost £1,500, for a really miserable experience.
    There are many things to be proud of in the UK but I would not take a holiday here again.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    Mass tourism is fun.

    Go to any busy tourist venue and take with you a collapsable rolled up umbrella. Wait at a busy juction for a tour party guide with a similar umbrella and raise your umbrella up high and walk off in the opposite direction. The winner is the person that gets most tourist lost.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fantastic! I'm trying that at the weekend.

  • Comment number 92.

    A couple of problems with our country and tourism seems to me to be these:

    Although there are many specific local attractions, the general surroundings are often rather depressing. Unimaginitive and utilitarian residential developments are everywhere, engendered by some of the laxest planning regulations in Europe. Cheap, synthetic materials such as imitation stone, paving, roofing slates and even red brick, made from coloured cement, are endemic. These are never convincing and degrade quickly. Seen in our often grey weather the result is fairly awful.

    However, we have one of the best climates for gardens, but a great deal that could be done is not. Perhaps community service for offenders could help here.

    The standard of eating out is often awful: franchises with low-paid, demoralised staff rather than proprietor-owned family businesses as in rural France, Italy etc. The British have capitulated to the joints being run for the convenience and profit of the owners rather than their pleasure, with the "find a table number then order and pay for your 'food'-before eating it- at the bar, after queueing for some time" anticulture. This "food" is usually erzatz "catering" supplies (no translation for the English word "catering" in this context into French etc.). My favourite is the "Kiev style reformed chicken", sold as simply Chicken Kiev by the outlets on their blackboards. (Basically a large chicken nugget of gelatinously bound mechanically recovered meat filled with what appears to be grass cuttings in oil, coated with, well, a "coating"). However our cities do have many fine foreign restaurants too.

  • Comment number 93.

    Whenever I fly back into Stansted, it never fails to appal me that the main screens in baggaage reclaim which have information on getting trains, lost property, buses & taxis etc, are ONLY in English.

    It's a TV screen - there's no reason for it not being in French/German/Spanish - it's very tourist unfriendly.

  • Comment number 94.

    what a good idea to promote Britain as a holiday destination for oxerseas people. In fact its such a good idea lets start the ball rolling with our own residents we can encourage the wealthy, the landowners even our own MPs to holiday in britain The bankers could even give back to Britain some of their ill gotten gains. No the wealthy will go to america and help their country to recover The MPs will go to china and india on a fact finding mission of course. The land owners will head for the Carribean . MMMMM so its just down to us poor people again Skeggie here we come.

  • Comment number 95.

    yes,it is a good idea,but the UK is too expensive to holiday in, I would love to see the rest of my country I live in. Somehow alot of places in the UK are snobs and want to charge you an arm and a leg.

  • Comment number 96.

    We need to be more welcoming to tourists. I always offer to help tourists out with directions. If I see couple trying to take photos of one another, I offer to take a photo of both of them. I also get in conversations with tourists and offer to take them round, and basically try and get them to stay longer here than go to other countries by suggesting other places that they can visit. A number of people slept on my sofa. The aim is to keep people spending their cash in UK and give them a positive image of Britain and our culture so that they go back to their country wanting to do business with us, or buy DVDs and CD of our bands and TV programmes etc.
    (Plus I like foreign girls ssssssshhhhhhhhh.)

  • Comment number 97.

    "Mr Cameron said tourism should focus more on national parks, seaside towns, heritage sites such as castles and country houses, museums, galleries, theatres and festivals."

    yet he sees fit to take money away from such projects as the stonehenge visitors centre, a world heritage site, which could substantially increase tourism to the UK...

  • Comment number 98.

    Our PM really is a two faced liar isn't he? He vows to create a dedicated tourism minister job before the election then throws this out.

    He then introduces an even higher tax on flights out of the country and scraps all airport development and then declares that we need to focus on tourism more.

    At least he is now recognising the importance of tourism to this country, something which the previous government failed to do. Bit his duplicitous nature gives me no comfort whatsoever.

  • Comment number 99.

    Chris posting no 13 misses the point;

    The UK has a great deal to offer tourists even when it rains. (and Yes! that includes Blackpool, which throughout the year proved that has not only got entertainment to please all ages, but is within easy reach of some of the most spectacular scenery in England.

    Another point he is missing is that people come here bacause the weather, scenery, history and culture is different than that they find at home - possible the reason why you want to go somewhere else Chris.

  • Comment number 100.

    If we want people to holiday in Britain then it is important to invest in public transport, make it cheaper, reliable and more extensive to allow easy access to all parts of Britain.

 

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