Tourism: Coastal Areas and Rural Areas

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 13 May 2024.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the impact of tourism on the local economy in (a) rural and (b) coastal communities.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

With coastal and countryside destinations making up 25% of domestic day trips and 31% of domestic overnight stays in 2023, tourism is recognised as a key sector with the potential to contribute strongly to economic growth and pride in place of an area.

The Government is implementing a range of measures to support the sector and maximise its benefits for local economies, including working with VisitBritain to champion visits to the British countryside to a worldwide audience, and promoting rural areas such as the South Downs, Northumberland, Pembrokeshire and the Yorkshire Dales. Additionally, as mentioned at Heritage Day in March, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will be launching a dedicated fund to support enhancements to our seaside heritage to help protect and rejuvenate coastal assets which are in need of love and attention.

To ensure that the tourism organisation landscape works for local communities, the Government has introduced the Local Visitor Economy Partnership accreditation programme and the North-East Destination Development Partnership pilot. These aim to bring clarity and coherence at a regional level and drive investment and both domestic and international visitor spend across a region including in rural and coastal areas. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, through VisitEngland, has accredited 33 LVEPs so far across a range of English regions.

As set out in the Tourism Recovery Plan Update (2023), the Government will work to ensure that the benefits of tourism are shared across every nation and region, and expects the sector to contribute to the enhancement and conservation of the UK’s cultural, natural and historic heritage and minimise damage to the environment.

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