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Culture secretary Tessa Jowell today gave the strongest indication ...
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell today gave the strongest indication

yet that tourism in England will be marketed nationally at home.

England is currently marketed to the domestic audience solely at a

regional level through the regional tourist boards.

Speaking to industry representatives at the biannual Tourism Forum

held at the British Museum, Tessa Jowell said:

'We all agree that the lack of strong co-ordination to market

England's tourist assets puts this country at a competitive

disadvantage. Finding a solution is one of our top priorities.

'What we need is a new arrangement for marketing England with a

strong national and regional dimension. It should also be based on

the kind of strong partnership with private business that we have

seen for our multi-million pound Million Visitor Campaign.

'We also need to develop better and more efficient arrangements for

marketing English tourism at a regional and local level than

currently exist.'

Tessa Jowell said that she was giving close consideration to advice

provided to her by an industry group established following the

Hartwell House Seminar to look at the issue of domestic marketing.

She confirmed that the new plans would be announced to parliament in

the coming weeks, then discussed with the industry and public bodies

involved in their implementation.

The Tourism Forum met today to consider the progress made and to

discuss the way forward for the tourism modernisation programme that

had its foundations in the Hartwell House 24-hour Seminar in October


The culture secretary provided the Tourism Forum with a summary of

the issues discussed and action points agreed at the recent

ministerial Tourism Summit. The summary is available on

the DCMS website .

Amongst the issues under discussion were:

Training and skills - it is agreed that a strategic approach to

education, recruitment and professional development is essential.

Strong backing is being given to the bid for a new Sector Skills

Council which will have a key role to play in tying together the

skills agenda.

'Fitness for Purpose' initiative - a critical part of building

standards in the hotel and restaurant sectors, the Local Government

Association and DCMS officials are working on firm recommendations to

implement this scheme. The Fitness for Purpose initiative would bring

together existing regulation into a single quality assurance

guarantee for consumers.

Data and e-tourism - received a huge boost with the recent

announcement of£3.6m of public money for the English Tourism

Council to develop EnglandNet, a world-class on-line tourism network

for England. Improving data gathering and having the supporting

technology was highlighted by the events of 2001. It was agreed at

the Hartwell House Seminar in October that the many sources of data

on tourism performance and trends should be brought together in order

to aid strategic decision-making. Short-term improvements have

already been made with the decision to reinstate the day-visit survey

and the commissioning of a public attitude survey.

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