Thursday, February 27, 2014
Calls for North Devon+ to revisit its decision to stop funding TICs
COUNCILLORS have expressed their concerns at North Devon+’s decision to cut funding to the region’s tourist information centres.
Councillor Mike Edmonds has called on North Devon Council leader Brian Greenslade to write a letter to North Devon+ to re-examine its decision to completely cut funding to the area’s eight TICs.
North Devon+ plans to focus its future spending on electronic marketing, through the internet and mobile apps.
At a full council meeting on Wednesday night, opposition leader Des Brailey proposed an amendment to the 2014/15 budget to cut the grant to North Devon+, which is responsible for Northern Devon’s tourism marketing, by a further £40,000.
Although the motion was not passed, it did spark a heated debate amongst councillors about the future of TICs in the region.
Cllr Paul Yabsley said he wanted to see the proposed £26,000 to be cut from funding be re-instated to the TICs.
“According to figures from some of the TICs, there are around 250,000 people coming through the doors every year,” he said.
Cllr Edmonds said that in the light of recent bad weather, it was especially important to invest in tourism this year.
“We need to be more pro-active in tourism this year and we don’t want to see funding cut if it’s going to have an effect on the area’s tourism industry,” he said.
A number of other councillors also defended the importance of TICs to the area’s tourism industry, with the council resolving to ask North Devon+ to reconsider their decision.