Boost call on tourism

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:53 10 June 2010

FEARS that this year's falling visitor numbers could be repeated again next summer have prompted councillors to consider a national advertising campaign for Exmouth. Councillor Steve Gazzard is calling for East Devon District Council to review tourism fun

FEARS that this year's falling visitor numbers could be repeated again next summer have prompted councillors to consider a national advertising campaign for Exmouth.Councillor Steve Gazzard is calling for East Devon District Council to review tourism funding - and set aside 'substantial resources' to fund a campaign for next summer.He added it was vital that they adopted a strategy for 'future years' and that the town council should be involved.He said: "Due to the terrible weather and the economic climate, talking to shops, cafes and tourist attractions it appears that this year's visitors will be drastically down on previous years."It is vital that a campaign is undertaken to promote Exmouth for 2009."He conceded that this cost money - money the town council did not have - but he added that East Devon District Council has 'historically' failed to make tourism a priority."We cannot do it on our own," he said. "We need a coherent, joined up strategy."It is vital that EDDC revisit its thoughts on promoting tourism and to that end I urge it to consider increasing its budget to Exmouth in order that a challenging campaign can be put into place."He said any campaign should be based around its special identity, promoting tourism, leisure and the arts - and possibly even a joint venture with other East Devon seaside towns like Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth.He also conceded that the council did offer subsidised rent on the Tourist Information Centre and gave £10,000 towards the town manger's budget, but added: "To encourage more visitors to Exmouth we have no option in my view but to spend money. People will not come just because we are here and we cannot afford to rest on our laurels."Councillors will debate the issue on Monday.

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