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Wednesday 19 March 2003, 11:23 AM

The Tourism Alliance has welcomed the Public Accounts Committee’s report on the Government’s handling of the foot and mouth crisis.

The Committee criticised the Government for the lack of understanding of the damage to Britain’s tourism industry and for failing to consider compensation on the scale afforded to the farming community. Britain’s tourism industry is worth £73 billion per year, with the value of inbound tourism at £12 billion. The value of livestock exports is £500 million per year. The loss to the tourism industry during and following foot and mouth is estimated to have cost tourism £5 billion, with minimal compensation paid to the industry. Farmers on the other hand were compensated for their animals slaughtered. Richard Tobias, Tourism Alliance Deputy Chairman said: “There is not a lot of comfort in hearing that there is now recognition of the difficulties that faced the tourism industry during the foot and mouth crisis. Many jobs in the industry have probably been lost forever and we are still struggling to recover from both that event and the aftermath of 9/11. “It is even more difficult to accept the Committee’s report given that all during the crisis the industry was pleading with the Government for support – with those pleas falling on deaf ears” he continued. “It is to be hoped that the Government has finally recognised the value of tourism to Britain’s economy and that the industry in the future receives the support and recognition it rightly deserves” concluded Tobias. ends m/f NOTES FOR EDITORS The Tourism Alliance is an alliance of seventy private and public sector bodies promoting Britain’s tourism industry. It was created with the encouragement of the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, to co-ordinate and facilitate communications between government and the tourism industry. Tourism is a devolved power that falls to the Scottish Parliament in Scotland and the national Assembly for Wales in Wales. In England tourism is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Tourism Alliance also addresses national issues such as taxation and skills development. MEDIA CONTACTS For further press enquiries please telephone Karishma Chandaria on 020 7395 8246. Richard Tobias’s mobile telephone number is 07710 098 110. Tourism Alliance, Centre Point, 103 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1DU

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