Quest Quips

blog devoted to CNN International Business anchor, Richard Quest, who looks like a cross between Roger Daltry and a Muppet. You have to see him to believe him...

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Monday, May 06, 2002
Here's a funny exchange between Richard and his co-anchor Becky Anderson on April 15, 2001 during the British foot-and-mouth-disease crisis affecting cattle and sheep stock in the United Kingdom.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI ANCHOR, BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL: This Easter weekend is crucial for Britain's struggling tourist industry. Many business are relying on the income to save them from bankruptcy. The outbreak is still dissuading tourists from traveling to the U.K.
Our correspondent Richard Quest visited the picturesque Cotswolds in the south of England, an area usually popular with tourists at this time of the year.

ANDERSON: And Richard is back from the Cotswolds, and joins us now. Any sense of optimism?

QUEST: Yes, there's no doubt that they believe that the British tourist will certainly start to come back. The message has clearly got out there that there's large part of the countryside that really is open. After all, the fact is most of us don't really trudge along the hills. When we go to the countryside, we go to the tea shops, we go to the souvenir stores, the restaurants, the pubs, we have a seat on the green, have I just described your day?

ANDERSON: Absolutely, thank you very much, go on.

QUEST: This is a woman in perfect harmony with the country. And with that in mind, going to the countryside is not necessarily out of all bounds. Because, yes, if you want to walk across the hills in your fell boots, then you're going to have some problems, but by and large the message is getting out.

ANDERSON: Do you think this was, on hindsight, a problem with the marketing of tourism in Britain, or was there really fears about people's health and situation when they came to the country? it seems more of a marketing problem, doesn't it?

QUEST: There are two sides. First of all, when the tourists first - when foot-in-mouth broke out, there was this perception, could humans catch it? Americans still believe that foot-and-mouth can be caught by humans in many cases. And they happen to be told when they're at these places that no, you can't catch it. But the second thing is, you were just mentioning a moment ago the dreadful pictures of the funeral pyres, the carcasses being railroaded into the pits. That has been the overriding impression. Top it off with a severe fine if you're caught walking where you shouldn't and naturally people are going to say I'm not going to go. But the reality is, that I would say, you're like me, you don't really like too much walking around in the countryside, getting your boots muddied up. By and large, 95 percent of the countryside is open for business for what you'd want to do.