EnglandNet Tourism White Elephant
EnglandNet to loose its backing!
I can not find the exact details just now but about in 2005 I wrote to the person in charge of tourism in the West Midlands asking how much money they were donating to the EnglandNet scheme and would they please tell me how many hotel booking had been generated in the previous year for the region.
I did eventually receive an answer which unfortunately avoided addressing my questions, as by this time the West Midlands RDA had declared itself a private company I could not take the matter further. The point being the RDA had at its disposal several million pounds which was earmarked for tourism and they were wasting it on supporting EnglandNet a very expensive hotel booking system which was not producing results.
EnglandNet was never going to be a success
Later on my fears about the viability of EnglandNet were confirmed when the figures were announced – by 2009 after 5 years in operation EngalndNet had swallowed up 50 million pounds of public money and only 2,030 bookings, worth £354,718, were made between November 2008 and May 2009.
EngalndNet challenged over competion rules
On top of that EngalndNet was being challenged under EU competition laws, as the EnglandNet directory is a Government-subsidised system, this allows it to undercut its private competitors.
In addition, because it is compulsory for properties to hold an AA or VisitBritain Quality in Tourism rating to be included in the EnglandNet directory – thereby preventing non-subscribers from advertising their accommodation in any Tourist Information Centres – the system was in breach of EU competition laws.
And the good news “in April this year, the Board of VisitEngland decided that the organisation would withdraw its financial and operational support for the EnglandNet platform by 30th September 2011.”
Shame the Board of VisitEngland decided to waste so much of our money on EnglandNet in the first place as even I could see at its inception that it was nothing more than a very expensive white elephant. Instead of looking down to see how they could help the people working at the coal face they look up to big business and big expenditure. I suppose it makes them feel important to be involved with such an expensive project and they don’t have to pay for it anyway.