Tourism is key for rural economy in England and Wales, says CLA.

24 October 2013

As the late May Bank Holiday weekend starts, the CLA said today that more needs to be done by government, working with the tourism industry, to boost visitor numbers in England and Wales.

The Association, whose 34,000 members run a wide range of different tourism businesses, said the National Rural Tourism Partnership needs to be reformed to drive integration of the tourism sector.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "As one of the big holiday weekends of the year begins, we need to ask ourselves if our tourism industry is getting the support it deserves.

"Are small and medium-sized tourism businesses getting what they need from Visit England and Visit Wales? Is rural broadband provision sufficient for the needs of the tourism industry? Is there enough coordination of Destination Management Organisations, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the rural tourism sector? The answer to these questions is clearly no."

The CLA's views on improving rural tourism are spelled out in its recently published report, Wish You Were Here?: CLA Policy on Rural Tourism.

The CLA President added: "Wish You Were Here? throws down the gauntlet to the tourism industry to do more to help individual rural tourism businesses, of which more than 5,000 are run by our members.

"We need to push for more locally sourced food at tourism sites and better signage to tourism destinations."