Bacta National President Gabi Stergides was flying the flag for the amusements industry at last week’s Parliamentary Reception held to mark the annual celebration of English tourism.
English Tourism Week, which ran from 17-25 March, served to highlight the importance of the visitor economy which is the country’s third largest employer supporting 2.6 million jobs and is worth £106 billion a year to the domestic economy. Held each Spring, Tourism Week campaigns to raise the profile and understanding of tourism among a range of audiences including political decision makers, the media, domestic and international visitors as well as business owners and those who work in the sector.
Gabi Stergides believes bacta members representing high profile visitor destinations as well as the many SMEs that are based throughout the country, make significant contributions to domestic tourism. He explained: “One of the messages of Tourism Week was that the sector is one of the few that’s active in every part of the country. Businesses owned by bacta members are at the coalface of the hospitality and visitor economy, as such it is vital that we engage with organisations that represent and promote tourism as a major employer and a major contributor to GDP.”
Anne Ackord, CEO of Brighton Pier Group plc and chair of the Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance, which represents a £1 billion contributor to the south coast city’s economy, confirmed the importance of the amusements sector as an important part of the tourism mix. She stated: “The key to the success of Brighton is that it has such a varied offer, so once you start taking things away, of course it has an effect. If there were no amusement revenue streams in the whole city, while it may not prevent people visiting, it would definitely reduce the city’s offer and once you reduce the offer you reduce the dwell time and the length of the visit.”