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Tourism Alliance Newsletter March 2019

     
 

Tourism Alliance - the voice of tourism

 
     

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Newsletter

March 2019

Meeting with Minister on Sharing Economy  |  Sign up to ETW Conference  |  Package Travel Regulations Review  |  Call for Evidence: Visa Casework ‘Onshoring’  |  Caravanning and Camping Economic Impact Report

ETW19 - This Time Its Serious

English Tourism Week is coming up in five weeks and, as usual, this is a great occasion to promote and celebrate the success of the industry and its importance to the UK economy. While the figures for domestic overnight tourism are currently being revised, the Day Visitor Survey results for 2018 shows that expenditure on day tourism increased by over £2bn - which is sufficient to generate and additional 30,000 new jobs.

And while inbound tourism revenue for 2018 looks like it will be down by 8%, the good news is that despite all the uncertainty associated with Brexit, the Anholt Nation Brands Index shows that the UK is still the fourth highest ranked in terms of Tourism. This means that regardless of Brexit, people remain attracted to the UK as a holiday destination and when the current uncertainty over future arrangements is resolved, the UK tourism industry will be well-place to continue growing, and providing revenue and employment for the UK economy.

However, this is where it becomes serious.

Just how the UK tourism industry responds to the post-Brexit environment will depend heavily on the outcome of  three key Government strategies that are currently being developed - the Tourism Deal under the Industrial Strategy, the Aviation Strategy and the Immigration White Paper.

The first will play a significant role in determining the products and services that we are able to provide both domestic and international visitors, the second will determine our ability to get visitors from overseas into the country and spread them to the regions, while the third will determine whether businesses will be able to employ people with the necessary skills and motivation required to deliver the world-class service needed to for the UK tourism industry to be internationally competitive.

It is therefore not too much of an exageration to say that 2019 represents something of a crossroads for the UK tourism industry. If these three strategies contain the right policies for delivering tourism growth, then we will be well placed to take advantage of increased global travel and the UK's position as one of the world's top destinations.

Ensuring that this happens requires us to continue to be consistant and conherent in our advocasy on these three strategies, putting forward positive and forward-thinking proposals and demonstrating the ability of tourism to deliver on Government objectives.

English Tourism Week is prime opportunity to do this so I would encourage everyone to get involved - come to the ETW Conference, invite local MPs to take part in Constituency Day on the 5th April and attend the Parliamentary Reception with the Culture Secretary at Parliament. 

Kurt Janson
Policy Director, Tourism Alliance

Meeting with Minister on Sharing Economy

The Tourism Alliance members recently supported Baroness Doocey at a meeting with the Tourism Minister, Michael Ellis MP, to discuss concerns that the industry has regarding  people providing tourism accommodation through sharing economy platforms.

The main concern is that many of the tens of thousands of people that have been encouraged to list their property on these platforms are new to the tourism accommodation industry and have little knowledge of the legislation that they have to comply with in order to ensure consumer safety. This includes important legislation such as the Fire Safety Order, Health and Safety at Workplace Act and Gas Safety Regulations.

Non-compliance with this legislation has two main consequences - it reduces the safety of consumers and increases the reputational risk of the UK as a destination, while, at the same time, making compliant businesses uncompetitive.

The main outcome of the meeting was the Minister agreeing to convene a roundtable with the industry to consider the best way to address this issue. This is very welcome step and we look forward to working withy the Minister in finding a solution benefits both consumers and the industry as a whole.

The Tourism Alliance has produced a position paper on the sharing economy which aims to ensure the all tourism accommodation operates in a safe and legal manner. The paper calls on the Government to undertake a consultation on the best mechanism for achieving this aim.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the Position Paper

Sign up for the ETW19 Conference 1st April

As part of ETW, the Tourism Alliance working with the Tourism Society and British Destinations to hold the second ETW conference at the RAF Club in Piccadilly.

This conference follows on the success of last year's sold-out conference which was used to launch the Tourism APPG's interim report on the Sharing Economy, discuss Bed Taxes and hear the Shadow Tourism Minister talk about Labour's policies for the sector.

This year's event, which is being sponsored by ABTA, Quality in Tourism and GTS, and supported by TMI, promises to be even better.

The Tourism Minister, Michael Ellis MP will be providing the keynote speech on the Government plans for tourism growth in a post-Brexit environment, while the Lib Dems tourism spokesperson, Baroness Doocey, will be discussing their policies and the work she is doing on sharing economy and FBS Director, Craig Beaumont wil be highlighting the key issues facing SMEs post-Brexit.

Those attending the conference will also be invited to a Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons immediately after the conference where the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright QC MP, will be the guest speaker.

CLICK HERE to Book Your Ticket.

Package Travel Regulations Review

As you will be aware, the Tourism Alliance undertook considerable lobbying on the new Package Travel Regulations to reduce the impact on small domestic businesses trying to work together to sell Value-Added products.

As a result of this work, BEIS agreed to undertake two reviews of the PTR - after six and twelve months.

The six month review is now live and focuses on the immediate issues faced by business when adjusting to the new requirements of the PTR. This include the additional legal requirements associated with selling packages and knowing when Linked Travel Arrangements are formed.

The review is open until 8th March 2019 and tourism businesses are encouraged to complete and return the quetionnaire developed by BEIS. The Tourism Alliance will them organise a meeting with BEIS officials to go through the findings.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the questionnaire and associated cover letter.

Call for Evidence: Visa Casework ‘Onshoring’

In November, the Tourism Aliiance members met with officials from the Office of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to help them scope the terms of reference for a new inquiry into the impact of the Home Office's policy of transferring the processing of visa applications from overseas visitors back to UK rather than doing this function on-territory.

The discussion at the time focused on the problems that outbound operators in source markets faced in having not having someone in their country that they could talk to regarding applications and concerns by operators that people processing applications in the UK would be unaware of cultural nuances in applications from different countries and that this could impact on decisions as to whether to grant a visa.

The Chief Inspector has now launched the call for evidence and is inviting anyone with relevant knowledge or ‘before and after’ experience of the onshoring of this function to contact them.

The call for evidence is very short with the dealine being 1st March 2019

CLICK HERE for further information on the call for evidence and how to submit your views.

Caravanning and Camping Economic Impact Report

The Camping and Caravanning Club, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association have recently come together to form the UK Caravan and Camping Alliance in order to better promote this sector of the tourism industry.

In doing so, one of the first things that they have done is to launch a large economic impact study on the value of the sector to the UK economy.

The report, ‘Pitching the Value’ is the first time holiday parks and campsites across the UK have been analysed to show the value of the sector to the national economy. Overall, it was found that these businesses generate £9.3bn in visitor expenditure and support over 170,000 jobs.

Other key findings are:

  • The sector’s GVA accounts for 8% of the tourism sector’s overall GVA of £64.7bn
  • The holiday park and campsite sector supports 171,448 FTE jobs in the UK
  • Visitors who stayed in rented or touring accommodation, such as caravans, spent on average £557 per visit (£101 per day)
  • Visitors to holiday parks and campsites stay longer and spend more than the average tourist  

CLICK HERE for a copy of the report

The Tourism Alliance is the Voice of the Tourism Industry. It comprises around 50 Tourism Industry Organisations that together represent some 200,000 businesses of all sizes throughout the UK and liaises with Government on issues relevant to the development of tourism and its contribution to the UK economy.

Tourism Alliance, 3 Gainsford St, London SE1 2NE. 020 3117 0664, www.tourismalliance.com. Name and Registered Office: The Tourism Alliance Limited, 29 Andrews House, Barbican, London EC2Y 8AX. Company No 05106422.

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