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Spy museum could boost Cheltenham tourism (EN)


mardi 3 novembre 2009, sélectionné par Spyworld


A spy museum for GCHQ and a huge town centre TV have been proposed to attract thousands more visitors to Cheltenham.

Shadow Tourism Minister Tobias Ellwood made the suggestions during a brainstorming session for the town’s business and community leaders yesterday.

In addition, Mr Ellwood urged those responsible for promoting the area to agree on a single slogan, and logo, as well as more eye-catching welcome signs on the outskirts of the town.

The branding and tourism summit took place at Festival House, in Jessop Avenue. It was set up by Cheltenham’s prospective Tory parliamentary candidate, Mark Coote, with the help of the Cheltenham Conservative Business Forum.

Mr Ellwood, who promised to return when the proposals took shape, said : "There’ve been some great ideas and honest concerns.

"In Bournemouth and Blackpool, they’ve introduced large TV screens that have become a big focus of interest.

"People gather round to watch the Olympics, Wimbledon and Proms in the Park.

"Although everybody here has mentioned the festivals, the racecourse, the Cotswolds and the shops, no one has mentioned GCHQ.

"They have a spy museum in Washington DC, which is one of the country’s most popular museums. Why can’t Cheltenham do a similar thing here ?"

The forum’s keynote speech was delivered by councillor John Rawson, chairman of the borough council’s working party on tourism and marketing strategy.

He said : "From the start, Cheltenham was a town built for pleasure and over the generations it has kept reinventing itself to offer new and better things.

"We should do the same. We should be promoting Cheltenham as a unique town of attractions and enjoyment.

"We should be aiming to offer a year-round feast of diverse events. In doing that we should be carefully but deliberately broadening the range of visitors we attract."

Mr Coote said : "It is important Cheltenham plays its part in the national debate on tourism, developing strategies to ensure we demonstrate who we are and what we have to offer."

The Cheltenham borough tourism economic impact assessment for 2006 estimated that Cheltenham had 1.8 million visitors that year, who spent £121 million.

More than 2,800 jobs in the borough were directly or indirectly related to tourism.

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