Saturday, 20 March 2010

"No-one wants to visit Ely" - I do not believe it!

This is the unbelievable story as carried in the Cambridge News:

"Mayor’s anger as survey says no-one wants to visit Ely

The mayor of Ely has demanded an apology from Travelodge after its survey found the city to be among the least attractive cities for visitors.

A furious Cllr Richard Hobbs has put out a challenge to bosses of the budget hotel chain to visit the city.

Ely came eighth behind cities like Bradford, Wakefield, Dundee and Sunderland in the list of top 10 least desirable places to visit.

Cllr Hobbs told the News: “I am very annoyed with this poll. You can’t compare Ely to places like Bradford.

“Ely is a beautiful place. We have the cathedral and a stunning river and every year we win awards for our loos.

“I challenge the bosses of Travelodge to come here and I will show them what Ely is really like.”

He added: “This sort of sensationalist survey is damaging to our city and I demand an apology.

“The bizarre thing is that the Travelodge in Ely never has offers because it is one of the most over-subscribed in the country. I will certainly be boycotting it, though.”

Bradford was voted the city travellers least wanted to visit, being deemed “dangerous, ugly and boring”.

Another Yorkshire town – Wakefield – was considered the next least-attractive place for visitors as it was “dull and depressing”.

The survey was compiled from a poll of 5,000 people, conducted by Travelodge.

Other locations high on the do-not-visit list were Dundee (bad weather) and Sunderland and Newport in South Wales (high crime rates).

Other towns and cities in the least-attractive list were St David’s in Wales and Wells in Somerset, Ripon in Yorkshire and Lichfield in Staffordshire.

London led the list of the most-visited cities as well as being the city most Britons wanted to visit this year.

The next most visited cities were Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and York.

Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed said: “We live in a world of misconceptions, and often don’t realise it.

“A significant proportion of the images of cities we have in our minds may be biased, out of date and not in tune with reality.”

Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications from the VisitBritain organisation, said: “This report has highlighted that Britons need to re-acquaint themselves with some of the UK’s great cities.

“It’s a shame that misconceptions and lack of the UK’s knowledge of what cities have to offer could stop British travellers from having a great weekend break.”"

Shakila Ahmed (who she?) needs to get back to her drawing board. The Mayor of Ely, Councillor Richard Hobbs, is a friend of mine and he knows what he is talking about. Ely is a great place to visit. I know what I am talking about, too. I visit Ely often. I love visiting Ely. Moreover, on my recent canvassing visits, I have personally met hundreds of visitors to Ely who have told me that they love visiting Ely, too. I say to Shakila Ahmed: 'I do not believe it!'

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