Thursday 18 November 2010

VisitScotland Budget Cuts

The copy below is recounted from the press release and is for reference. Once we've had time later today to look through the media we'll see what the general reaction is and where possible get a view from "the industry" in due course.

However the one thing again that keeps jumping out of every press statement and quote eminating from either the chair, CEO or VS spokespersons is this £20 return for every £1 invested.
Is anyone else sceptical? Does anyone else think it should be higher? Does anyone else think that more effective and efficient (yes perhaps reduced) spending may actually increase that ROI substantially?
Later perhaps...Here's the copy

Tourism body VisitScotland has given itsreaction to the announcement of the Scottish Government’s budget, announced yesterday by finance secretary, John Swinney.

Swinney presented his draft budget for 2011-2012, announced a pay freeze for public sector workers earning over £21,000 per annum, in order to protect around 10,000 jobs.

He also announced departmental budget cuts in enterprise and tourism as a measure of ‘increased efficiencies’ which may mean staff cuts in order to achieve a cost saving of £61m in 2011-2012 and £200m over the next three years.

Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland's Chairman said that the organization was ‘delighted’ at the recognition by the Government towards tourism that the he believed that funding levels offered were ‘still at a significant level’ in a tough financial climate.

“Scottish tourism has proved to be resilient through the recession and this shows confidence in the industry and its potential,” Cantlay continued.

"Although we face challenging times ahead, we have and will continue to deliver for tourism. We know that our activity delivers at least £20 for every £1 invested in marketing and that it is helping to grow the Scottish economy.

 "We believe that funding for tourism is an investment in economic recovery. We are committed to working together with the tourism industry to deliver sustainable economic growth and best value for Scotland. We have already made significant internal efficiency savings to release more funding for marketing activity.

 "We have been reviewing our business over the last few months, focusing on becoming more efficient and putting more of our resources into the high yield activities that bring the biggest returns for Scotland. Our Board will consider these proposals at the end of November.”

Cantlay added that despite the organisation’s budget cut, he was still confident that the refocus on the business would ensure that tourism was still ‘at the heart of economic recovery’ for Scotland that that the money it invested in marketing offered immediate return for the country, with around £400m being brought into the economy last year as a result of VisitScotland’s key marketing campaigns.

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