Tourism summit to focus on Folkestone

Contributed by editor on Jun 25, 2009 - 08:00 AM

A suggestion by Eurotunnel that the 2012 Olympic torch could enter England through the Channel Tunnel will be one of the items discussed at a Tourism summit arranged by Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Damian Collins.

Mr Collins, the candidate for Folkestone and Hythe has organised today's (25 June) summit to focus on Folkestone, Shepway and Kent.

It will be attended by Tobias Ellwood MP, Shadow Minister for Tourism, as well as representatives from Visit Kent, Tourism South East, Discover Folkestone and Eurotunnel.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Damian Collins said: “I have invited Tobias Ellwood to Folkestone so that he can see for himself some of the issues being faced by the local tourism industry, and also hear about recent innovations and successes like the Triennial Arts Festival.

“Tourism has long been a vital part of our local economy. It supports hundreds of businesses, large and small, creating jobs and bringing money into the community.

“In this deep economic recession its vital that we do all we can to support local businesses and promote tourism. This is particularly important in the period leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games. We should also make sure that we make the most of the new opportunities that could come from the High Speed Rail service to London.

“We need creative thinking to ensure we can attract visitors to the area and that they stay and come back. For example, thorough the work of campaign groups like ‘Step Short’, could we offer more to attract to Folkestone the 500,000 Britons a year who visit the First World War Battlefields, when this was the place where millions of men crossed the channel to go to the trenches. I am also interested in the suggestion of Eurotunnel that the 2012 Olympic torch could enter England through the Channel Tunnel.”