Concerns have been raised over the possible impact the proposed closure of Falmouth Tourist Centre is going to have on the local economy.
The Falmouth and District Hotels Association (FDHA), together with the Port of Falmouth Chamber of Commerce (PFCC), have written to Visit Cornwall chief Malcolm Bell to express their fears.
“We believe that withdrawing funding which supports tourism will do great harm to the prospect of recovery and regeneration of the economy for many years to come”
The letter states: “It is our view that Visit Cornwall cannot withdraw the funding for the TIC in Falmouth without a full realisation of the consequences. It is unreasonable to expect the Town Council and/or local organisations and businesses to bear the burden of the costs. There are considerable accrued staff costs in relation to redundancy and pensions. A sum of £100k plus for staffing has been mentioned.
“Regardless of the strengths of your new Tourism Strategy for Cornwall, withdrawal of the current funding is a massive budget cut and will inevitably result in not only the closure of the TIC (Tourist Information Centre) but effectively, a complete loss of a visitor Information Service in Falmouth. This will have a detrimental impact on our local economy and employment.”
The letter adds: “…Tourism offers the largest employment opportunities and generates revenue for the whole Region. We believe that withdrawing funding which supports tourism will do great harm to the prospect of recovery and regeneration of the economy for many years to come and put further pressure on public sector budgets and well as the viability of individual small businesses.
“If you truly believe that the TIC is unsustainable in this financial climate and that there are more cost effective ways of providing good quality visitor information and a tourism service to Falmouth then the FDHA and PFCC are very willing to engage in the debate with you about this.”