Memorandum submitted by St Paul's Cathedral
Robin Broke, Director of ALVA, has sent us a
copy of your letter dated 6 April asking for written evidence
to present to your Committee as part of the review of the current
situation in the tourism industry.
We welcome the additional short-term resources
given by Government to both the BTA and ETC to market the UK.
Even with these extra resources, however, the BTA is still predicting
that there will be a 20 per cent decline in overseas visitors
to the UK this year. At St Paul's over 80 per cent of our paying
visitors are from overseas, the majority coming from North America.
We predict that the decline in foreign visitors to the UK will
hit us very hard and that we will lose in excess of £0.5
million revenue. For St Paul's to lose such a substantial proportion
of its tourism business will have a very serious effect on our
ability to continue to care for the building in the way we had
planned. We do not receive any subsidy from Government, although
we will receive a grant this year of £100,000 from English
Heritage for work on repairs to the Dome Peristyle.
St Paul's is first and foremost a working church.
We rely very heavily on the income generated from tourism to maintain
this great building and to look after it for future generations.
Arguably St Paul's is one of the leading national and international
Clearly, from what the BTA are saying, it is
going to take a number of years, and a great investment in marketing,
before overseas tourists have the confidence to return to this
country in the volume we have been experiencing over many years.
We believe, therefore, that the Government should be looking at
ways of compensating organisations such as ours in the not for
profit tourism sector for the loss of income from overseas visitors.
I hope that this information is of some use
to the Committee.