Campaigning charity Tourism Concern may close before Christmas unless it receives £40,000 in emergency funding.

Tourism Concern Director Tricia Barnett said three of the responsible tourism charity’s five staff were placed on a 30-day consultation on October 10.

She said the money, which is needed to pay day-to-day running costs, used to be supplied by government agencies and trusts, but this funding has dried up because of the recession.

The organisation has been trying to plug the shortfall for the last six months, and the situation is now so desperate it has decided to go public.

Without the money, Barnett warned that the 20-year-old organisation, which has nearly 900 members and partnerships in 20 destinations globally, could soon close.

She said: “We still feel as passionate as we ever did about our work and if we were to collapse it would be a huge loss.

“Because of our work, I think this country has become the world leader in responsible tourism.”

Association of Independent Tour Operators director Noel Josephides said his own companies Sunvil Holidays and Expert Africa had donated £2,000 to the charity last week and urged the industry to support Tourism Concern.

He said: “The industry needs a campaigning organisation; it keeps us on the straight and narrow.”

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Tourism Concern is a pioneer in raising issues in destinations, many of which have been picked up by the industry. We are extremely grateful for Tricia’s significant contribution.”


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