It’s Our County visit the Tourism and Travel Show
We visited two local companies today, the ‘Rural Concierge’ and ‘Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire’, who were representing Herefordshire tourism at the National Tourism and Travel show at the NEC.
It’s Our County Chairman John Harrington said “It was great to see some wonderful local businesses putting Herefordshire on the map. They had a great response from fellow exhibitors, who were delighted to finally see Herefordshire represented again after a long absence”. IOC Vice-Chair Paul Neades added, “What I was most impressed with, more than the gumption and business drive of our exhibitors to ‘get up and go’ without a penny from our Tory Council, is the love of our gorgeous county and their determination to spread the word about just how special and unique Herefordshire is. That came across so strongly”. The huge and increasing cuts in funding for tourism, both nationally and especially on a local level, seems to at odds with the Tories boast to be the party of business. John Harrington said, “In Herefordshire, our local Conservative administration, despite boasting a glut of retired businessmen and bankers, does not see the merits of the largest and most readily available source of income stream we have in the county. The last time tourism income was measured in-county was 2011 and our income from tourism was put at nearly half a billion. Half a billion! This is more than light industry and agriculture put together. And yet, whilst we fritter tens of millions of pounds on relocating businesses 1/2 mile from their existing premises and bend over backwards to accommodate national house builders, we invest no money into growing tourism; the most democratic, cash flow and environmentally friendly business going! It is beyond comprehension. I simply genuinely do not know what the Tories are doing and more alarmingly, I suspect they don’t either. In my opinion this is a matter than needs investigating”.
This is an important area for Its Our County and we plan to do everything we can to help develop a strategy for supporting local tourism. Paul Neades said, “We know there are other groups and businesses in-county, who couldn’t make the NEC show but who are doing similar good work, trying to sustain and support our tourism sector. We would love to hear from them all and intend to organise a seminar asap. This is such a crucial revenue stream for the county and it’s people. We need to get together as an alliance to work effectively, efficiently and consistently. It’s Our County recognises the momentous importance of tourism to the county and are determined, that unlike the Tories, we must not stick our heads in the sand for a single moment on this. We’ll be reaching out to all groups and individuals involved in the sector, we need their input to help form our policy for 2019. And we need to do what we can to support them in the meantime “.
If you work or earn an living in tourism or represent a group please get in touch.