Page last updated at 18:47 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Tourism benefits from recession

Arundel Castle (pic from
Delegates met at Arundel Castle to look at how to sell the region

Tourism officers have gathered at Arundel Castle to work out how to make the most of it during the recession.

More British holidaymakers are set to stay in the UK during 2009, because of the economic crisis, and Tourism South East wants to bring them to the region.

Staff from councils and information centres also looked at how to benefit from the London 2012 Olympics, at the Sussex conference on Tuesday.

Spokesman Robert Collier said the games were a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

During the conference, industry professionals were focusing on the domestic tourism market during the current recession, the managing director of Tourism South East said.

We are well into the countdown to 2012... we need to ensure we are ready
Robert Collier

They were also discussing the effects of the credit crunch, the trend for British people holidaying in this country, and how they could better sell the region.

Mr Collier said: "An additional 20% of British holidaymakers are set to stay in the country in 2009, as they look to save money.

"We need to ensure they return and recommend the South East."

He added: "At the same time, we are well into the countdown to 2012 and with host venues in Weymouth [Dorset] and the Dorney corridor [in Berkshire] - as well as our obvious proximity to London - we need to ensure we are ready to maximise this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

He said tourist information centres would be encouraged to "raise their game" when it came to selling local destinations to short-break and day-trip visitors during the Olympics.

Tourism South East is the regional tourist board for South East England, covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

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