THE English Riviera's top attractions are united in their opposition to Mayor Gordon Oliver's proposed zero budget for the resort's tourism company for 2015/16 .
English Riviera Attractions chairman Richard Cuming said they want to place on record their opposition in the strongest possible terms to the proposed budget cut currently out to public consultation.
The group, which represents Bygones St Marychurch, Paignton Zoo, Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company, Living Coasts and the Babbacombe Model Village.
Mr Cuming said: "We are shocked not only by the zero budget, but also by the cancellation of the service contract which had been agreed until March 31, 2017.
"Our members welcome well in excess of one million visitors per year and have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in improvements.
"These numbers and investment have been possible due to the performance and success of the English Riviera Tourism Company and the understanding resources would be available to the company at a set level up until March 2017.
All of our members are promotional partners and therefore contribute additional resources available for promotion.
"We have worked closely with them supporting campaigns and initiatives in many areas.
"Destination marketing is crucial for the continued growth of the English Riviera.
"Frankly, the award-winning ERTC has been the fresh air and shot in the arm our resort required after decades of decline and lack of direction.
"They have unified the industry cut out duplication, delivered focused and targeted campaigns, increased shoulder months trading and are highly regarded at a national level.
"We appear, thanks to this proposal, to be at an unwanted turning point at a critical time in the run up to the T-BID.
"The ERTC requires proper funding to enable it to deliver the destination marketing and promotional partners packages for 2015.
"It should also be noted destinations who already have BIDS up and running such as Bournemouth and Greater Yarmouth continue to get financial support from their respective local authorities.
"Even after a, hopefully, successful T-BID we would expect some continued support from Torbay Council."
Mr Cuming has asked the mayor: "Are you going to properly support the ERTC and safeguard jobs, further investment and prosperity?
"Are you going to allow the English Riviera to remain one of the major UK tourism destinations? Are you committed to the T-BID and future support for our sector? If the answer is no then that would be economic suicide."