NEW YORK -- Great Britain's top tourism officials arrived in the
Big Apple March 21 to launch a media blitz aimed at convincing
Americans the U.K. is "open for visitors" despite the
hoof-and-mouth outbreak that is costing the tourism industry $200
million a week.
Britain's minister of tourism, Janet Anderson, arrived here last
night and will be interviewed by at least 12 major news outlets,
including CNN, over the next two days, and "will try to help clear
up the misconceptions out there about hoof-and-mouth, explaining
that humans cannot get it, that our food is safe to eat and that
the only places you cannot visit in the countryside are farms."
She announced that Prime Minister Tony Blair had allotted $4
million for a marketing campaign in the U.S. to stem the harm that
the hoof-and-mouth crisis already has done to the country's tourism
Anderson confirmed an earlier report by Travel
Weekly/TWcrossroads.com that the travel trade in Britain was losing
up to $200 million a week because of the closing of tourist
attractions in farm areas, but also because tourists were staying
away from all of rural Britain.
Tomorrow, 120 of the country's 180 National Trust historic sites
will re-open to visitors, and Anderson said she expected many
private mansions and castles to follow suit.