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Proposals to boost tourism unveiled

Councils are set to join forces to boost tourism in Leicester and Leicestershire, which is currently worth £1.57 billion per year.

A review was launched by the city and county councils to see how tourism management and promotion could be improved. The current contract with Leicester Shire Promotions is due to end in June.

The review comes after the city, county and district councils submitted a bid for Government approval to set up a combined authority, to guide key decisions on transport, planning, skills and other key issues, which could include tourism and place marketing. If approved, the combined authority will be set up later this year.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “It’s vital that we build on the momentum that began with the discovery of King Richard lll and is gathering pace thanks to the success of Leicester City Football Club. Both have opened up the city and county to a global audience, and we must make the most of the opportunities this gives us."

"We estimate there are more than 30,000 tourism-based jobs in the city and county and 25 million visitors per year. Our target is to create another 10,000 jobs and boost visits to 35 million per year. We believe that these proposals could help us to achieve that," added County council leader, Councillor Nick Rushton.

It is proposed that:

  • The proposed combined authority for Leicester and Leicestershire should govern tourism strategy, supported by a tourism advisory board, which would include private sector members
  • The delivery of tourism services should be led by the councils who would continue to commission elements of the services
  • Officers should explore the option of setting up a trading organisation, which could undertake commercial or bidding activity in the future.

The councils will now begin a six-week consultation with key stakeholders on the options.

A report will be discussed at the county council’s cabinet meeting next week (March 1) - see http://politics.leics.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=135&MId=4600

The results of the consultation will be considered before a final decision is made by the City Mayor and the county council’s cabinet, in June.