Visitors to the UK

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

What assessment he has made of the attractiveness of the UK as a visitor destination.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The UK is an incredibly attractive destination for visitors, and we scored third overall top nation in the Anholt nation brands index. London was recently rated the best destination in the world by TripAdvisor. The west end is one example of a huge hit for visitors to the UK and London, and in 2018 audiences exceeded 15.5 million and generated box office revenue of more than £765 million—both record figures.

Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

I thank my hon. Friend for his answer, but if I may, I would like to bring it to a more parochial level. The sunshine coast of Clacton has a proud history as a visitor destination. We had a Butlin’s and we have glorious sands. As a rural community we have often been overlooked by Government initiatives in the past. What can my hon. Friend do to assure me that that will not be the case in the future?

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Butlin’s in Clacton is on my list, Mr Speaker. I very much appreciate rural and coastal areas and understand their value. The local county council received more than £600,000 of coastal communities funding for Clacton and the Essex coast, and this January Clacton pier received £50,000 from the same fund for the “Jolly Roger” project—[Laughter.] That is actually what it is called. That project is supported in Clacton, and we will do everything we can to continue that.