Attractions industry news
16 Oct 2012
Government's commitment to tourism under question
Tourism prices need to be more competitive and visa restrictions relaxed,
especially for Chinese visitors, if the UK is to remain competitive for tourism
and build on the Olympic legacy, says Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin
Speaking to the Financial Times last week – as VisitBritain launches a strategy to attract an extra 40 million visitors by 2020 – Varney attacked the government, complaining it doesn't take tourism seriously enough, especially with the departure of Tourism Minister, John Penrose, in the latest cabinet reshuffle.
Varney's comments come after a difficult season for visitor attractions, with visits down by 20 per cent as a result of the poor weather and the Olympics.