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UK’s Tourism Sector Gets Government Backing as Brexit Looms

The UK government’s announcement is a big win for the travel industry — especially at a time when the ever-present uncertainty of Brexit is top of the industry’s mind.— Rosie Spinks

              

Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May declared the country’s first-ever tourism sector deal Thursday, providing a broad backing to the business in the form of education, infrastructure, and data collection schemes.
The deal has been in the works for some time, as industry players have been keen to shore up support for the enterprise in the wake of Britain’s choice to leave the European Union. In 2018, the United Kingdom welcomed 38 million visitors.
No funding details for the action were released. The effort is significant in that it is the first time the tourism traffic has directly adjusted with the government for the sector-wide deal.

Not the government’s nor end marketing organization VisitBritain’sannouncement mentioned the B term (Brexit). Nevertheless, it’s just to say that it’s an issue that’s top of mind for the industry, as question over how the country will leave the bloc means travel companies don’t know anything preparations they need to put in place.
Though tourism is in the enviable position of not needing a trade deal post-Brexit — and an aviation transaction has already been secured in the event of no-deal — there is no doubt that inbound and outbound traveller flows are highly dependent on the strength of the pen. The decision’s timing, one could surmise, might have something to do with an outgoing prime minister keen to leave something of a real legacy in the waning days of her tenure.
The plan has clear priorities, which the industry collectively lobbied for and negotiated with the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in the creation of the deal. The first is a new Tourism Data Hub, which will manage and update data on visitor preferences to assist in targeting global visitors. To support job growth, the plan will create 30,000 apprenticeships per year by 2025 and provide mentorship to 10,000 industry employees. To account for the nine million more yearly companies the United Kingdom expects to welcome by 2025, 130,000 hotel rooms will be made, with 75 per cent of those outside of London.
Five new “tourism zones” will offer a cross-sector guide to countries who want to boost their visitor numbers, particularly offseason. Similarly, the plan also adds support for business events and conferences — including advanced broadband connectivity — which will encourage off-season visits. Lastly, it describes the government’s ambitions to improve internal base to help tourists get around and become the world’s most accessible destination for against-abled visitors, something the private sector persistently overlooks, as outlined by Mobility Mojo’s CEO at Skift Forum Europe in April.
The industry is unsurprisingly pleased. Simon Vincent, European president at Hilton, called it “an relevant vote of confidence in the UK tourism industry” and Jeremy Sanders, Oyo’s head of UK, said the deal would be a boon to smaller, independent players who are coming up in the country’s “sophisticated and challenging” market.
The British Tourism Authority — which envelops both VisitBritain and VisitEngland — celebrates its 50th ceremony this year, and will project manage the deal’s implementation.
UK’s Tourism Sector Gets Government Backing as Brexit Looms UK’s Tourism Sector Gets Government Backing as Brexit Looms Reviewed by Naomi on June 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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