Kent has so much to offer visitors, but some of its greatest treasures – like the historic town of Faversham itself – are not as well-known as they should be. I’m keen to promote Kent, not least because visitors contribute to the local economy. There’s not only the income for tourist attractions themselves, like Leeds Castle or Belmont House, but also local hotels, B&Bs, pubs, shops and so on. However, our tourism industry suffered badly last summer as a result of Operation Stack, which cost the industry an estimated £50 million in July alone. Leeds castle saw its profits fall by a quarter.
The Government is supporting regional tourism through a new £40 million Discover England fund. I spoke to Visit Kent, which represents around 3,000 tourism businesses in Kent, and they want to bid for a share. So I asked Tracey Crouch, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, if organisations like Visit Kent would be allowed to bid for a share of the fund.
I said: "Faversham and Mid Kent is rich in fascinating tourist destinations, such as Leeds castle and the historic market town of Faversham itself, so I welcomed the recently announced £40 million Discover England fund. Will organisations such as Visit Kent have a chance to bid for a share of this fund?”
Ms Crouch responded: “As a fellow Kent MP, I am proud of the tourist attractions across the county. I reassure my hon. Friend that all parts of the country, including Kent, will have an opportunity to bid for the Discover England fund.”
I hope we will be able to use this money for things like advertising, or perhaps family discounts, so we can make sure people know about all that Kent has to offer and more people can access our tourist attractions.
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