Friday, March 03, 2006
"The route to success is to do what you do best, and keep improving"
I was very surprised to read in his column this Friday that that Adrian Sanders is still advocating diversifying Torbay's economy away from tourism.
It would seem that Mr Sanders has learned little from the experiences of his party in power since 1990. When the Lib Dems took over Torbay they turned their back on the hotel industry opting instead for Government-grant dependent manufacturing jobs.
Now that the grants have dried up and the jobs have gone Mr Sanders talks about Torbay as if we were an economic basket-case whose only salvation will come from yet more Government hand-outs.
But Mr Sanders' frequent doom laden predictions for British tourism in general and Torbay in particular are twenty years out of date.
Nearby resorts like Padstow have flourished by appealing to new kinds of visitors - young, professional people, for instance, with lots of money and little time who choose 'cool' locations in the South West for a fast-fix of intense relaxation.
The fastest growing consumer sector in Europe is now the over 60's; who are fitter and richer than ever. They flock in their millions to places like the Eden Project and they need high quality accommodation and entertainment while they are here. Tourism to Britain from abroad is flourishing, with visitor numbers up sharply since 2002. Britain is now the 5th most popular global destination with 25 million foreign holidaymakers coming to Britain every year.
The route to success in business is to do what you do best, and keep improving.
Conservatives believe that the time has come to restore the English Riviera to it's rightful place as the No 1 destination for visitors and residents in the South West and in the process bring much more money into the local economy.
We think that Torbay residents want a council run by people who understand business, who recognise the importance of visitors to our economy and who can manage our civic finances so that we can afford to provide the high quality facilities that visitors expect.
Unlike Mr Sanders, we believe in Torbay's future as a world-class coastal resort.
PS. I am away this week, posts to this thread may not appear for a few days.