Opinion | Don’t try to drive tourists away from this city

I had assumed the referendum result would result in the abandonment of the pound and the inevitable rise in tourism. As prices of food and clothes crept up, but incomes were staying the same,…

Opinion | Don’t try to drive tourists away from this city

I had assumed the referendum result would result in the abandonment of the pound and the inevitable rise in tourism. As prices of food and clothes crept up, but incomes were staying the same, I followed the local newspapers, carefully watching the trends of local economy and paying attention to everything down to how we were picking an app.

Very quickly I got to the part of the day when the news breaks of terrorist attacks, asylum seekers or Brexit; these events often seem to have an effect on hotels. When the Manchester bomber struck, our guests put away the hats and sports bras, and welcomed a whole new group of visitors. During the times of queues at airports the Prime Minister and Brexiteers seem happy to attack our luxury hotels, pampering tourists, welcoming the masses to our nation.

There are only two reasons for this grotesque hypocrisy. One is that the cities, towns and villages of the United Kingdom have suffered for decades from a chronic underinvestment in their tourism industries. As tourists disappear they can ill afford to abandon their neighbors. These reasons are plastered over newspapers every day, yet we continue to live in a country that is used to boasting about our hospitality and warmth.

The second is economic sabotage from the Tory Party. With increasing unemployment, increasing problems with debt, food banks and affordable housing, the attempt to prop up the English economy by driving tourists away from London has been taken up to an even greater extent. The Tories are spending their last resources on keeping the image of the UK pristine so they can cast it in a positive light before they exit the EU. The tactics have become so obvious that when we make our own comparison with Paris and Nice, one of the capitals most devastated by terrorism, we now just say we like that part of the UK better.

Hotels are running very scared and are very aggressive with their accusations of excessive visa fees. They are loath to let a few British people stay due to the political cost, but to remind tourists of the place was worth the risk. So we have very few visitors today, but lots of vacant rooms. The present government has shown no fear of Brexit, and has pushed the industries that could sustain jobs out of London, but has taken it upon itself to punish these facilities.

The Conservatives need to remember that this is an inheritance from the Labour Government. They are not responsible for our declining industries, they only need to remember that the post-war governments created all of this by spending money on infrastructure projects. They need to make way for growth. The Tories and their collapse in foreign markets must to stop pulling the shutters on these industries.

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