Postbag - We will lose money if tourism cash is cut

PUBLISHED: 11:57 10 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

I FULLY agree with Councillor Roger Green in his concern over Fenland District Council's intention to cut £60,000 from its tourism budget. Such action is putting the cart before the horse. Practically all tourism boards in every shire of the land work har

I FULLY agree with Councillor Roger Green in his concern over Fenland District Council's intention to cut £60,000 from its tourism budget. Such action is putting the cart before the horse.Practically all tourism boards in every shire of the land work hard to encourage tourists to their respective areas and their efforts are seen to pay off.The Fens are now a major attraction to the cult of the transport age, cars, coaches, trains and more notably river craft descending upon the area, and at the same time bringing much valued trade and free advertising.It is ludicrous that Fenland Council wishes to save, compared with other services, such a paltry amount. Does the council recognise a gift horse when it sees it?I have never envisaged the council as being gifted with long sight. Now I know the members would greatly benefit through much needed binocular vision.For many decades I have been voluntarily involved with tourists mainly through a literary capacity.The numbers of tourists to the Fens can be numbered in millions each year and continues to grow.They come to see places such as Wisbech, March, Ely, Chatteris and Whittlesey, each with its own unique and pleasant environment. And, of course, with the addition of two cathedrals and a few abbeys strongly focused on the Fens, all are excellent introductions to the Fens in between.Wisbech, its river, March and its Thames-like waterside, and other towns with ancient buildings and especially the unusual wealth of ancient churches, many internationally famous by any comparison, are natural magnets to the increasing annual influx of tourists.The unique drainage and its genealogical association, the folklore and the Fens' huge contribution to national and international history - the Commonwealth started here - deserves better credit that is apparently appreciated by Fenland Council.Our waterways and marinas attract numerous craft from all over the country's canal system. I know what tourists think of the Fens. They write to me and tell me they love the open spaces and obvious unhurriedness so lacking in other parts of the country. Many uproot old associations to come and live in the Fens. They love the wealth of places, the wildlife and the matchless three quarter skies and incomparable sunsets still giving a valued sense of freedom and independence in an age of organised chaos.This is something surely not to be ignored. If an administrative area is blessed with attractions such as we have in the Fens, go for it and don't spare the expense. The rewards are manifold.Rather than trim £60,000 from the tourism budget, Fenland Council should add an extra sum to it. Take advantage of what we have. That's good business, and good sense.TREVOR BEVISSt Peter's RoadMarch

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