In the hope of finding why KCC are peeing our money away, we’ve asked Sharon Dawson (top banana at Visit Kent) some simple and obvious questions. We’ll let you know what, if anything, comes of them.
Dear Ms Dawson,
I understand that Visit Kent has been given £100,000 of public money in order to ‘market’ KLM flights at Manston. My understanding is that you believe that this money is to enable you to bring visitors into the county as tourists to the county in order to spend money in the county.
I would be grateful if you could answer some questions.
1. What research have KCC or Visit Kent done in terms of revenue brought specifically into a county that has a regional airport? The research I have undertaken shows that regional airports are exporters of tourists to a very significant degree and that even those visitors they do attract tend to head straight for major tourist centres, most notably London, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc. could you provide me with some concrete evidence that you have that shows significant revenue streams from incoming tourists at comparable regional airports? I am assuming that such research must be available or such a significant sum of money would not have been committed to a privately owned operation?
2. Exactly how is this money to be spent and where? Given the aim is to attract foreign visitors – which countries/cities/areas are to be targeted and on what basis? I would like confirmation that no money is to be spent advertising outward bound routes given that simply takes money OUT the county. The UK’s tourism deficit is already greater than in any other country so it hardly benefits our ailing economy, both local and national to spend public money on persuading people to spend their money abroad.
I look forward to hearing from you.