Kent sends craftsmen abroad to lure US tourists

Kent County Council is to send scores of local artisans, craftsmen and cooks to the US in an attempt to lure tourists to the South-Eastern county.

Kent will become the first English county to take part in the biennial Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Virginia.

'We're looking for volunteers to go over and show their skills,' said council spokesman Philip Scrivener. 'With thatchers, artists and musicians, the aim is to show Americans what Kent is like and draw them over here.'

Scrivener said Kent has already established a 'memorandum of understanding' with Virginia, which aims to generate tourism and business on both sides of the Atlantic. As well as craftsmen, Kent ambassadors, such as Lord Mayhew, will travel to the festival to promote the county.

Earlier this year a delegation of officials from Kent visited six Virginian Indian tribes to cement the relationship.

Publicity for the festival is estimated to reach 40 million people, a spokesman added.

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