Figures for local authority tourism spending in England are derived from returns made by individual authorities to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Each year, local authorities in England report a breakdown of their revenue budgets for the forthcoming year in April and their revenue outturn for the previous year in July. All authorities are required to complete the forms and DCLG achieves a 100 per cent. response rate.
According to DCLG’s guidance to local authorities (Guidance Note RO6 on completing the General Fund Revenue Account Outturn for Cultural, Environmental and Planning Services), the following activities should be reported as tourism spending:
Marketing and policy—the marketing, development and promotion of tourism in the area concerned; the promotion and advertisement of the area to potential visitors; contributions to Regional Tourist Boards; grants and loans given to support organisations offering attractions or other tourist-related facilities; the provision of tourist conference facilities; and tourist research:
Visitor information—tourist maps and guides, “what’s on” leaflets, etc.;
Visitor centres—Tourist information Offices, Centres and Bureaux, and/or dedicated tourism staff for the provision of information to visitors.
An analysis of local authority tourism spending, along with other elements of public sector tourism funding, forms part of the present Tourism Framework Review, which is being led by VisitBritain. The review is expected to report in July.
DCMS spending on tourism is via grant in aid to VisitBritain which is broken down as follows:
£ million 2003-04 47.9 2004-05 48.4 2005-06 48.9 2006-07 49.9 2007-08 49.9
In addition to this £3.6 million, in each of these years was provided to the eight Regional Development Agencies and £1.9 million for each of these years to the London Development Agency, for the support of tourism.