Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


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 landmarks.

  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.

April 2001

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 10 May 2001