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Council leader criticises Lichfield’s inclusion in tourism hall of shame

A survey which claimed Lichfield was one of the least popular cities in the UK has been called “misleading”.

The response came from the Leader of Lichfield District Council Councillor David Smith after a study by Travelodge had placed the city tenth on the list of places British travellers didn’t want to visit.

But while the area’s MP Michael Fabricant admitted he could understand the results, his Conservative colleague has criticised the results of the survey.

Councillor David Smith

Councillor David Smith

Cllr Smith said:

“This survey is totally misleading and I believe the findings are not a true reflection of visitors’ feelings once they have been to Lichfield. We welcome millions of visitors every year who enjoy our compact city which is crammed with history and attractions.

“And it is not just the city which pulls in visitors. Lichfield District attracts a diverse range of visitors – from thrill seekers to Drayton Manor Theme Park, to people who have come for some quiet reflection at the National Memorial Arboretum.

“We have a committed award-winning tourism team who work in partnership with our visitor attractions to promote the city and district. Tourism now represents 10 per cent of the district’s economy, and visitor numbers are continuing to rise. This is borne out by our research, last year alone we attracted more than 3.5 million visitors to Lichfield and the district. We hear from countless people who tell us they have been charmed and delighted by their stay, and often come back for more.”

But despite hitting out at the results of the survey – which saw Lichfield join the likes of Dundee and Bradford on the list of shame – Cllr Smith admits the city is always looking for new ways to promote itself.

He explained:

“We are always keen to do more, and send out thousands of visitor guides to tourist information centres and tourist destinations all over the country and further afield. We also invite tourism providers to have taster tours of the city to see how wonderful Lichfield is, so they can promote it to their customers.

“We also work closely with coach operators, and have recently received a Coach Friendly City award from the Confederation of Passenger Transport. As one of only two cities to receive such an award, this shows just how hard we work to make the visitor experience as good as it can be.

“I would challenge these findings, as I strongly believe that visitors leave with a fantastic impression of our beautiful heritage city, and often lament that their stay has not been longer to fit in all the wonderful activities and attractions Lichfield District has to offer.”

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  1. Freddy

    20th March, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I’m confused, has he read the survey that he’s responding to? “This survey is totally misleading and I believe the findings are not a true reflection of visitors’ feelings once they have been to Lichfield.” Duh, the survey said that people didn’t know where Lichfield is. Obviously people who’ve been here aren’t going to say that. Fail.

  2. Foxy

    20th March, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    One thing no one has noticed is that Travelodge doesn’t have a hotel in Lichfield – did they survey their customers?