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Deirdre Wells OBE unveils plans to boost Bournemouth at Hotel and Catering Show
A GOVERNMENT chief outlined plans to boost tourism on a trip to Bournemouth.
Deirdre Wells, OBE, gave a seminar at the launch of the Hotel and Catering Show at the BIC and told how she is working on encouraging families to rediscover the traditional British holiday.
The head of tourism at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the focus remains on seizing on the legacy of the Olympic Games.
She said: “People are rediscovering the staycation and we do such a good job of persuading them to stay so that when the economy goes in the right direction they will still try to spend time here rather than going abroad all the time.”
As part of the Keynote speech, entitled Holding the reins of economic recovery in the South, Mrs Wells showed a video montage of the Olympic Games.
She said: “The world sees the UK as urban because of London but the torch relay showed off the green and pleasant land.”
Mrs Wells said tourism is growing faster than the rest of the economy with a 12 per cent increase in overseas visitors in 2012, spending £18.7 billion.
But during a question and answer session one hotelier said Bournemouth was outside the 2012 “bubble” and felt they are “being left out in the cold”.
Mrs Wells urged tourism workers to get messages across about their area offers as a package.
She said: “There's much more that you can do in Bournemouth than you could probably have time to fill so it's about educating the consumer.”
Bournemouth councillor Barry Goldbart asked if the Government can help with encouraging the airport to create a link between China and Bournemouth.
He said: “We have a very good airport so is there anything you can do to encourage direct flights?”
Mrs Wells responded that her department would not interfere with commercial decisions but can provide evidence to show how such flights causes visitor numbers to grow.
Deirdre Wells, OBE, said VisitBritain's international campaign GREAT will invest more than £130 million in tourism to the UK.
“Early forecasts show that our investment in the GREAT campaign to date is projected to help generate around a quarter of a billion pounds for the British economy over the next two years,” she said.
The Hotel and Catering Show features exhibitors and live cooking events as well as speeches in the business seminars area and concludes at the BIC tomorrow.