Government Plans & Strategies
The Tourism Landscape - May 2016
The DCMS have produced a document which explains the recent changes to the Government's delivery of its tourism remit. This includes the merger of VisitBritain and VisitEngland. Click here to view the Tourism Landscape document, Click here to view the new organogram for the DCMS Tourism Unit.
Smarter Regulation - Cutting Red Tape
The DCMS have been given a target for deregulation by the Cabinet Office, this will feed into the Governments overall £10bn red tape reduction target.
For further information about the Red Tape programme please click here.
Kurt Janson, Director, Tourism Alliance said; After the last round of requests I sent out for legislation that should be repealed or amended to support the tourism industry, DCMS has settled on four areas to take forward:
- Licensing Act – including Ancillary Sales Notices and amendments to the licensing process including the need to advertise in newspapers
- Money Laundering – this is in relation to the rules on providing foreign exchange for tourists.
- Travel Insurance – this relates to the ability of Travel Agents to sell Travel Insurance
- Private Water Supplies – this relates to the frequency and cost of testing private water supplies.
However, there is a recognition within DCMS that they need to be doing more.
Further ideas are needed, if you have any examples of regulations that need to be repealed, amended or administered differently please send them to Kurt directly.
Prime Minister launches Tourism 5 Point Plan - Backing the Tourism Sector
The Prime Minister launched a new 5 Point Plan in Cornwall on the 17th July 2015 which you can see if you click on this link here.
There is an overall commitment by the Government to encourage more visitors to travel beyond the capital and boost regional benefits from tourism. In addition, the Government has recently released additional funding for the north and south west regions for overseas marketing and we are now lobbying hard to ensure that the south east too, is worthy of support.
However, it is good to see that so soon in its tenure, that the Government is recognising the importance of the tourism industry. The 5 Points are:-
• Tourism Landscape – ways of improving the fragmented nature and co-ordination of such a diverse industry.
• Skills and Jobs – ways that SMEs can be better supported,how the industry can get more benefits from apprenticeships and how the awareness and perception of the industry as a fulfilling and long term career can be improved.
• Common Sense Regulation – keeping the regulatory framework under review so as to lessen the burden of red-tape and protect and grow the tourism sector
• Transport – linking together the transport and tourism sectors to particularly boost regional connectivity
• A GREAT Welcome – to streamline the UK visa regime and application processes to make it the most competitive in the world.
If you wish to make any comments on this document please do not hesitate to come back to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or use social media via #UKtourism.
Government Response to the Tourism Select Committee Recommendations
Soon after becoming the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale has been required to defend the Government’s record on tourism in the light of the Tourism Select Committee’s recommendations – a Committee he chaired. Click here for full copy
Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance, has stated - ‘Overall, it’s fair to say that it’s a bit underwhelming with a large number of standard Government responses to issues – the classic one being under the section on Taxes where they say “The Treasury keeps all taxes under review and considers them in the round”.
However, the main concern with the response is that there is a real lack of understanding about the domestic market. There is an almost deliberate mis-representation of the recommendations of the Triennial Review in that VisitEngland’s role is only discussed in terms of product development, fund administration and industry guidance rather than anything to do with marketing. There is also a lack of recognition that there is anything wrong in tourism development and promotion at the sub-national level. Rather, the impression is given that LEPs are the solution to any problem that may exist.
So there is significant work to be done.
The rather dismissive response to the DCMS Committee’s recommendations is particularly disappointing given the considerable effort that many industry representatives made to submit evidence and the impression of solid support that John Whittingdale gave during his time as chairman.
The report also rebuffs the extensive long term lobbying and evidence provided about cutting VAT for the hospitality industry – this has been seen as the one real alternative to re-establishing public sector funding to support the sector. Unfortunately, neither of these will now take place.
Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Association, was more positive about the response . “I welcome this response, which very much builds on the Government’s five-point Tourism Plan announced last week. It is good to see the continued support for the GREAT campaign, given we have worked so hard to make British beer and pubs an integral part of attracting people to the UK. Support for more Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) is also a positive step, to draw on best practice demonstrated in areas such as Cumbria to support the tourism industry. Sharing application centres for visas should help to encourage more Chinese visitors to the UK, and the Government also reiterates a manifesto commitment to simplify and speed up visas for tourists.” However, she also noted “There is certainly scope for further action, such as more deregulation and a closer look at how the VAT system and business rates hold back expansion of the industry, but overall it is a very positive response."
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