The UK currently runs a “tourism deficit” of £19 billion a year and about £17 billion of that flies out of the UK every year with people flying abroad on holiday. This aviation tourism deficit is costing the UK about 900,000 jobs a year because people spend their money abroad instead of here.
On Infratil’s own numbers, this year twice as many local people flew from Manston to spend their money in Edinburgh than the number of people who flew from Scotland to spend their money here. For every inbound holidaymaker or business person to Thanet, we lose two to Edinburgh.
Manston is leaching money from the local economy.
Worse still, night flights over Thanet and Canterbury will cost us tourism-based jobs – that’s real jobs that exist today. People don’t choose go on holiday somewhere where they will have noisy 747s flying over their B&B all night. The Council’s independent experts have already said, a 747 taking off at night over Ramsgate will create a noise footprint that can be heard by 30,903 people. That wipes out Ramsgate as an attractive tourist destination.
Thanet has over 5,000 tourism jobs and tourism grew 10% here in the three years to 2009. Every 10% increase creates 500 more jobs – that’s five times as many jobs as Manston has created in the last eleven years. We should be protecting and growing our existing tourism business, not exporting tourist expenditure abroad and decimating the ability of Ramsgate to continue to develop as a successful tourist destination.