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Country News - 2005

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Confidence soars for Dales tourism

Thursday 10 February 2005

BUSINESS people in the Yorkshire Dales and other parts of the county are confident that this year will bring a boom in tourism, according to a poll carried out by the Country Land and Business Association.

Confidence about prospects for the 2005 season is higher than at any time since the devastating impact of the foot and mouth disease outbreak four years ago, says the report.

The latest Rural Tourism Confidence Index, a survey run by the CLA, shows that more than 84 per cent of the industry - ranging from B&Bs to historic houses - feel "quite to very confident" about the short to medium term future.

But 59 per cent of respondents felt thwarted by such things as mounting red tape (24 per cent) and planning regulations (19 per cent). More than a third felt that they needed better advice and information about the grants available for expansion, and that better signage for visitors would boost their businesses.

CLA Yorkshire director, Dorothy Fairburn, said: "It is very encouraging that the rural tourism industry is feeling so optimistic about its prospects. But there are concerns in this region that many projects are being held back due to lack of funding or information about how to get it.

"What we need now is for everybody involved - the operators, Yorkshire Forward, the tourist organisations and local authorities - to pull together and make the most of this new, buoyant mood."


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