Spending cuts force DTI to curtail C&I link

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has withdrawn direct support for the UK’s business tourism industry. The department lost significant funding in last month’s spending review, forcing it to cut some sectors of sponsorship. It elected to close its Business Services Unit (BSU), which co-ordinated support for business sectors, including C&I. The cuts could be disastrous to the industry, said the Association of Exhibition Organisers project director John Sanders. "We no longer have someone in the DTI who understands our industry," he said. "It will also be more difficult to access funding." Business Tourism Partnership chairman Michael Hirst agreed. "We don’t have a single contact to talk to other industries," he said. "We will have to call each industry sector individually when we want to communicate our initiatives. We can provide evidence that conferences and exhibitions generate and drive trade, so it’s an odd decision for a department concerned with trade to abandon the sector." A DTI spokesperson said the department will look at ways of retaining lines of communication.

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