Call to boost tourism funding

PUBLISHED: 20:24 20 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:51 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.

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 town council should be involved in the process.

He said: "Due to the terrible weather and the economic climate, talking to shops, cafés 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 costed money - money the town council did not have - but he added that East Devon District council have '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 their thoughts on promoting tourism and too that end I urge then to consider increasing their 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 EDDC did offer subsidise rent of the Tourist Information Centre and gave £10,000 towards the town mangers budget, but he added: "To encourage more visitors to Exmouth we have no option in my view 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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