The House of Lords debate the state of the UK’s music-based tourismPosted on July 17th, 2013 by Lee Jarvis in Music Industry News
This week an interesting debate was brought to the House of Lords on the role that music plays in the UK’s tourism industry. The result was a cross-party group calling for the Government to put forward a new strategy to make the most of our rich cultural heritage and help boost the UK economy.
The debate was initiated by Liberal Democrat Lord Mike Storey, who has seen his home of Liverpool develop their rock ‘n’ roll history into a draw for music-loving tourists from the UK and beyond. Lord Storey also mentioned how popular UK music festivals have been attracting huge numbers of overseas visitors and have helped contribute to local economies; a 2011 report estimated that music tourists spent around £1.4 billion and sustain over 20,000 jobs over the course of the year.
Having added that the British Government should work with existing tourist boards to help market the music aspects available, Storey concluded, “I have seen first-hand the positive impact music can make on local tourist economies. But, we must also consider the impact music can have on the country as a whole. Great Britain simply has too much potential for musical tourism for the Government to stand idly by. I strongly urge the Government to consider how best to implement a well defined music strategy.”
The debate was also positively supported by Labour peer Baroness Helen Liddell of Coatdyke, who is also a non-executive director of tourism agency VisitBritain. She stated that Glasgow has a solid start with festivals and music venues that are well known in the music scene, but should be supported in helping draw more visitors, particularly those from overseas who spend more per visit than domestic attendees. She added, “We are not doing as well as we could for music tourism. We need to have more resource behind promoting our music tourism. We have the talent, the determination and the worldwide focus. Let us make this a key pillar of our tourism strategy into the future.”
Other supporters of such a strategy also included LibDem peer Lord Clement-Jones, who instigated the Live Music Act, and Conservative Lord Black of Brentwood.