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‘Tourists stay away’ – so warns the ruling party of failed-state Britain

Simon Calder’s Travel

Disdain for tourists has never been stronger among European nations. Amsterdam has launched a campaign to deter overindulgent visitors. Next month, opposition intensifies in Spain and Italy. Activists in the Canary Islands will stage a huge demonstration in Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife, saying they are “overwhelmed” by tourism. And from May, Venice starts testing a day charge for tourists of €5 on peak dates in spring and summer.

The UK is going one better. As English Tourism Week 2024 ended last week, the governing party embarked on a campaign to frighten away prospective visitors.

London is the main gateway for most incoming tourists and by far the biggest single draw to Britain. Westminster, where Conservative Campaign Headquarters is located, is usually busy with overseas visitors. Enough is enough, the party bosses appear to have concluded. Time to put some messaging out to scare them off.

The capital, according to the Conservatives’ new social media campaign, “has become a crime capital of the world”.

A video put out by the ruling party paints a chilling picture of the city: “Gripped by the tendrils of rising crime, London’s citizens stay inside. The streets are quiet. Quieter at night now than they used to be.”

Who is responsible for this alarming state of affairs? The Labour Party, apparently.

The video warns: “A 54 per cent increase in knife crime since the Labour mayor seized power has the metropolis teetering on the brink of chaos.

“For people living life under Labour, like the citizens of London, the scales of justice remain tipped in favour of the darkness.”

The nation’s other big cities should also be given a wide berth, according to the Conservatives. The ruling party warns of “rotting rubbish” and “boarded-up buildings” in Birmingham.

Further north, anyone contemplating a trip to Manchester should know it has been branded “the worst city in Europe for eco-friendly transport”. It has, the Conservatives say: “Almost no electric shared cars, negligible electric buses, poor charging infrastructure and hardly anyone even has a pushbike.”

The UK, then, looks well on the way to being a failed state, and well worth avoiding. Surely it can’t be that, with local and national elections approaching, the ruling party will say anything to try to win votes – regardless of the economic…

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