Right of Reply: Elaine Noble

The acting chief executive of the English Tourism Council criticises our leader on holidaying in Britain
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The Independent Culture
AS A way to describe some of the sights and traditions experienced by visitors to these isles, "stubbornly unmodernised" might be apt . But it's certainly not a fair way to describe the tourism industry. The new English Tourism Council (ETC) will continue the steps made by the old English Tourist Board to ensure that there is a thoroughly "modern" approach to tourism in this country.

Suggesting that the "passably chic" Heathrow Express is the sole vestige of modernity in English Tourism disregards much of our work. Without a competitive product we cannot expect to compete successfully with overseas destinations, and to be competitive this product must be modern. We have spent considerable time successfully promoting the latest computer destination management systems to the industry. We continue to conduct detailed qualitative and quantitative research into consumer demand and trends on behalf of the industry.

Further research on your part would have revealed a large number of resort regeneration projects currently taking place around the country, and this looks likely to continue thanks to a cash boost from the Government.

I find your view that taking a holiday in Britain is "outrageous" rather sad. I meet dozens of people who have travelled the world yet have never seen Hadrian's Wall or Tintagel. Indeed, many people seem to be so busy looking for the exotic that they miss out on the many special mystical, historical and exciting experiences on their own doorstep.

I believe that everyone should explore the world as much as possible - and that should include your own country, too. If you don't, you'll never know what you've been missing.