Councillors are being asked to approve a £400,000 tourism strategy as an "investment in Bradford's economic future."

The recommendations are made in a report which reviews Bradford Council's delivery of tourism and urges it to develop it as part of Bradford's Capital of Culture bid.

The report includes a draft district-wide tourism strategy produced by the Yorkshire Tourist Board. The report, to be presented to the Council's Regeneration and Cul-ture Overview Scrutiny Committee on Monday, recommends a two-year tourism approach by the Council, working in partnership with different sectors.

A tourism strategy is part of the Capital of Culture bid criteria laid down by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The report, by scrutiny and performance management director Jan Ormondroyd, says a successful bid would bring a "very significant number of visitors to the district, with all the economic and social benefits that brings.

"The imperative of the Capital of Culture bid lends urgency to the need to dramatically improve the district performance on tourism."

In its review of Council performance, the report says good practice in tourism appears "in pockets" in the absence of a strategic approach.

It says the Council's minimum funding option will "fail significantly to meet the challenges of the Capital of Culture bid" and recommends a total of £393,000 to support a policy over the next two years.

In the report Mrs Ormandroyd says this would boost tourism by:

supporting partnerships and the development of tourism-related businesses and attractions;

producing visitor maps;

l developing a marketing plan;

setting up a cross department tourism group of key officers to improve the "visitor experience."

The cost is estimated at £139,000, which it is suggested can be met from funds already allocated to Capital of Culture. Costs of £254,000 are identified for the second year.

"This funding must be viewed as an investment in Bradford's economic future, with tourism being one of the fastest growing industries in the world in terms of employment and economic benefit," said Mrs Ormondroyd.

The review, carried out jointly with the Council's departments of regeneration and business partnerships and arts, heritage and leisure, recommends that funding is considered in the next budget cycle.