42. Tourism is a wholly devolved issue and so the accountability
of the WTB and VisitScotland now rests with the Parliament and
Assembly. This has given a higher profile for tourism within Scotland
and Wales and transformed promotion overseas of the individual
Airways felt that devolution led to a "disparate approach
to tourism, with a number of separate bodies ... These fragmented
organisations have separate funding and differing objectives",
diluting resources and reducing return on investment.
43. There are serious disparities in the funding received by the
three tourist boards, with the WTB receiving a £22.6 million
grant-in-aid from the Welsh Assembly for 2002-03,
VisitScotland receiving a core grant-in-aid of £28 million
for 2002-03 and the
ETC receiving only £11.6 million for the same year of which
less than half is passed onto the RTBs for marketing purposes.The
ETC commented to us that their funding per capita (24 pence per
head of population compared to £8.1 in Wales and £5.5
in Scotland) was
"clearly not enough" and that funding throughout Britain
was "completely out of whack".
Dr Kim Howells, Minister for Tourism, justified this disparity
by arguing that the funding in England had no correlation to the
numbers of visitors or spend. Of last year's spending by overseas
visitors in GB "England accounted for £9.9 billion worth
of it, Wales £250 million and Scotland £760 million".
He suggested that the disparity in funding is due to the need
"to correct market failure".
When previously investigating tourism the Committee was stunned
by the levels of funding available to single states within the
USA; for example "the State of Virginia spends $1 million
overseas from a tourism budget of $17 million, the State of Massachusetts
spends $2 million on overseas marketing from a budget of $9.8
are concerned at the serious under-funding for tourism in England,
and believe there is a need to make increased funding available,
especially with the adoption of the additional marketing of England
proposed for the new body.