Cultural tourism is able to deliver things which few other sectors can. It brings our country to life and encourages people to visit our shores, it develops a sense of community and attracts visitors to disparate parts of our nation. It cultivates the creativity that underpins our wider industrial efforts. Jonathan Mountford takes a look at the arts as not just a visitor add-on, but as being fundamental to our success as a nation and in an age of testing austerity how we need to bank this.
Part of this strategy is to ensure Britain is packaged and sold widely by working with the travel trade in key markets. For those unaware, the travel trade is a complex mixture of commercial companies who usually act as an intermediary between the public and tourism products. Tourism products in the wider sense include visits to museums, galleries, theatre, opera and ballet. The travel trade comprises largely of travel agents, tour operators, coach operators and group travel companies. Although they usually demand discounts or commissions, the travel trade will sometimes pay extra for additional services such as behind-the-scenes tours and special talks. However, the travel trade is just one tiny part of the tourism industry.