Examination of Witnesses(Questions 38-39)|
TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2002
Chairman: Gentlemen, I should like to
welcome you. We are going to be very brisk in order to get the
best we possibly can out of you and I am going to ask Mr Fabricant
to open the questioning.
38. You probably heard the evidence which was
being given just now by the English Tourism Council. They talked
about the disparate sources of funding they have had to deal with
in the past. They gave us a ray of hope when they said they thought
the new arrangements would mean that monies which come from regional
development agencies, local councils could all be pulled together
by this new organisation. How?
(Mr Quarmby) May I just introduce my colleagues? Bernard
Donoghue is on my right, who manages our relationships with Westminster
and with the devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff.
On my left is Tom Wright, who is our new Chief Executive who joined
the BTA in June and took over on 1 August. I, as you know, am
David Quarmby, the Chairman of the British Tourist Authority.
Let me answer Mr Fabricant's question. One of the objectives of
the new organisation, so far as its England marketing role is
concerned, will be to co-ordinate a marketing strategy for England,
working with the regional tourist boards and the regional development
agencies, with the industry and with the main national organisations
such as National Trust, English Heritage, etcetera and with local
government. Of course we still have to work on the mechanisms
of achieving that co-ordination but I do not believe it is a particularly
daunting task. It is very much what the regions and the industry
are looking for and it is a clear task of this new organisation
to bring that co-ordination about.
39. Is there not going to be a distortion to
the system, an imbalance, by your relationship with Scotland and
(Mr Quarmby) May I just make some general remarks
about that because we need to look at the overall context? The
creation of a proper marketing function for England has indeed
been strongly advocated by your Committee in your 1999 report
on DCMS and its quangos and again last year in your 2001 report.
Achieving this by bringing BTA and ETC together was perhaps unexpected,
but we believe there are significant benefits: first of pooling
the expertises and particularly bringing to bear the professional
marketing experience of BTA; second, making relevant overseas
marketing material available for domestic purposes to England,
as indeed we have done for many years to Scotland and Wales for
their own purposes; also providing a simpler structure for the
industry to relate to and the regions and local government. We
in BTA have been particularly concerned to retain the trust and
the confidence of our strategic partners in Wales and Scotland
under this new plan. I want to make three points. The new overseas
marketing strategy, which we launched last week and which we shall
be pleased to tell you more about if you wish, proceeds unchanged.
It has some key features in it which benefit Wales and Scotland.
Secondly, government funding for overseas marketing in the new
organisation will be ring-fenced and contained in our funding