MPs to hear plea for tourism support

RURAL tourism needs specialised support from the Government to thrive, MPs will be told today.

Rural tourism will be the focus of MPs today

The Country Land and Business Association will call for action on rural broadband, skills and investment to help the tourism industry.

MPs on the Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee will be told “bespoke” policies are needed to help tourism in the countryside.

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The committee is holding hearings today as part of an ongoing inquiry into rural tourism.

Charles Trotman, the CLA’s senior rural business and economic adviser who will give evidence today, said: “The Government has to recognise that rural tourism is different from urban.

“Rural tourism supports rural businesses and local communities providing around £11bn a year to the English economy.

“However, poor digital connectivity and underinvestment threatens the unique nature of rural tourism.

“Rural tourism businesses need confidence to invest in the future.

“It is crucial that the tourism industry and the Government work together to establish how vital funding which supports tourism across the countryside currently provided under EU funding streams will be replaced up to and beyond Brexit.”

The CLA will present a five-point plan to support rural tourism including the development of better “intelligence” to help businesses make decisions.

It will make the case for an apprenticeship programme that helps rural businesses address skills shortages.

The organisation will also call for a Government funding that encourages investment in rural areas.