The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) is to spend £100 000 on a marketing/advertising campaign to encourage people to get back on the footpaths and bridleways. Intelligently, it is asking the government to match their outlay

Outdoor org wants Gov to cough up £100k

The cost to the outdoor clothing and equipment sector of closing the countryside in the battle to control the spread of foot and mouth disease has risen to £50 million, according to the Outdoor Industries Association.

The OIA has written to the government asking it to match a £100000 commitment to promote members’ businesses this season.

"Although sales in specialist outdoor retail stores improved somewhat in June, following dismal April and May figures, our latest business survey still shows a majority of members reporting significantly reduced turnover," said OIA marketing director Andrew Maxted.

"More worryingly, and despite the much improved access situation, members believe it will still be many months before we see normality returning to trading patterns."

"We urgently need to convey the message that not only is much of the countryside now open for business, but so are outdoor clothing and equipment stores across the country. The OIA is planning to invest £100 000 in a media campaign to reinforce this message, but we

recognise that this will go only part way to addressing the task. We are aware that government is providing additional funds to assist other sectors impacted severely by the action to contain foot and mouth, such as tourism, and have written to Margaret Beckett at the new Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs seeking similar support."

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