The grey pound

THE growth in "grey tourism", as revealed by VisitBritain today, is not a new phenomenon. Pro-active tourist organisations, like Welcome to Yorkshire, already have effective marketing strategies in place to appeal to people of all ages.

They also realise, in a consumer-led society where people have increased expectations, that tourism is an incredibly competitive industry – it is, therefore, encouraging that WTY should have been shortlisted last week for a global award alongside some of the world's most iconic destinations.

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As well as confirming what many already know, namely that our Antipodean cousins are particularly keen on visiting British

pubs, VisitBritain's research does serve one useful purposes. It shows that it would be extremely short-sighted, from a broader economic perspective, if the Government's austerity clampdown had a detrimental effect on the ability of the whole country, including Yorkshire, to promote itself to a world audience.

Put simply, fewer marketing campaigners will mean fewer visitors – and, therefore, less money for the country's coffers. It can only be hoped that Ministers recognise this.