Tourism travails

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THE importance of tourism to this region is illustrated by continuing efforts to ensure Welcome to Yorkshire’s outstanding promotional work is not compromised by unfavourable spending decisions that disadvantage the White Rose county.

As such, there will be relief that City of York Council has no immediate plans to levy a £1-a-night charge on future visitors to this iconic location. It would have put York, and the region in its entirety, at odds with the rest of the country – even though the Government has indicated that a tourism tax could be a means to raise additional revenue to fund marketing campaigns and so forth.

Yet there are also intriguing political contradictions in play. A Tory-led government is considering an extra tax, an approach that should be at odds with the Conservatives’ pro-business values. And then there is James Alexander, the Labour leader of City of York Council, on the side of enterprise by advocating a temporary VAT reduction to help hoteliers attract even more visitors and, thereby, stimulate the wider economy.

They are contradictions that must not be allowed to detract from the over-riding priority: namely continuing efforts to ensure Yorkshire remains one of the world’s “must-visit” tourist destinations.