Charles Spencer yesterday urged the Government to invest in Britain's heritage to boost the country's tourism industry.
Speaking as guest of honour at the British Travel Trade Fair 2006 at the National Exhibition Centre, Lord Spencer said Britain's heritage was the life-blood of the burgeoning UK tourism industry.
"People are drawn to explore Britain because we have such a rich and varied heritage," he said.
"We have a responsibility to preserve and maintain it, to keep it alive, and to publicise and promote it."
L ord Spencer's own stately home, Althorp - which hosts an exhibition devoted to the life of Diana, Princess of Wales - is among the 300-plus exhibitors taking part in BTTF 2006.
Althorp was recently given three awards at the England in Excellence Awards in the small visitor attraction, outstanding quality, outstanding customer service categories.
The awards were organised by VisitBritain, and backed by the national tourism boards of England, S cotland, Wales and Ireland.
Tom Wright, chief executive for VisitBritain, said: "The days when people were content to spend their entire holiday on the beach are long gone.
"At BTTF this year, there is a special emphasis on all aspects of our national heritage.
"Exhibiting companies and organisations will have a unique opportunity to showcase their products and services to an audience of tourism buyers from all over the world - with huge potential benefits for regional economies."
The Royal Yacht Britannia is also exhibiting at the trade fair under the theme of 'The Future for Britain's Past'.