05:36 GMT +317 October 2019
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    In this Tuesday, March 13, 2018 file photo the combined tower and spire of Salisbury Cathedral stand surrounded by the medieval city where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill following exposure to the Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury, England

    Salisbury to Be Rebranded After Skripal Case Caused Tourism Slump - Official

    © AP Photo / Matt Dunham
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A team of consultants has been tasked to "rebrand" the UK city of Salisbury in order to make up for the decline in tourist flow related to the poisoning of former Russian double agent Skripal and his daughter that took place in the city in March, the Guardian reported.

    "Salisbury is world-renowned, but not for the reasons we would want it to be. I think what we need to do is almost rebrand. We are going through exactly that. We have employed consultants who are doing some work to get under the skin of Salisbury," Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for economic development and Salisbury recovery, said at a public meeting at city hall, as quoted by the Guardian newspaper.

    According to the reports, the number of tourists arriving to Salisbury has declined by almost 14 percent compared to the last year's figures, with the Salisbury Cathedral, the Salisbury Museum and the Salisbury Playhouse theater all reporting drops in numbers of visitors.

    Church went on to say that Salisbury was "the most beautiful city," and that the consultants would try to change the public's new perception of it that followed the attack.

    READ MORE: Zakharova Says New Salisbury Claims Aim to Distract Public From the Incident

    According to her, all the locations that had been closed following the incident and the July Amesbury poisoning have been decontaminated and were now open for the public.

    Since the Wiltshire Council hopes to see visitors returning to Salisbury, it will organize food markets and a literary festival in the city, and also open an ice rink.

    The Skripals were hospitalized in March, having been poisoned with what the UK prosecutors claimed was the A234 nerve agent. The UK government holds Russia responsible for the attack, while the latter has refuted the allegations as groundless and called on London to investigate the case together.

    In July, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowle were poisoned with supposedly the same substance in the neighboring city of Amesbury. While Dawn died in hospital, Rowle and the Skripals have recovered.


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