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Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has today called on the government to reinstate the Minister for Tourism which was axed in the recent reshuffle. The recent government reshuffle saw the departure of tourism minister John Penrose. His portfolio is to be divided among the remaining DCMS ministers. The department now has Maria Miller as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics and Ed Vaizey Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. This leaves the tourism sector without a dedicated minister.
Tourism is vital to the Cumbrian economy. In 2011 Cumbria had 40.1 million visitors, made up of 35 million day trippers and 5.1 million overnight visitors. This brought in £2.2 billion to the region's economy and provided employment for 33,090 full time equivalent (FTE) posts. As many tourism jobs are actually part time, or seasonal, the total number of people in tourism jobs is estimated at 56,900.
He says; “I am calling for the government to re-create the Minister for Tourism, which is a vital role for the Cumbrian economy. I am also calling for a new deal - and the deal is this: if government will give us £10 million a year to boost Cumbria's tourism, then we will guarantee to increase the revenue to the exchequer by £50 million as a result of that investment."