British tourist destinations should be exempt from EU red tape, argues former Tourism Minister

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tourism, European union

John Penrose, the former Tourism Minister, is calling on the Government to ensure British tourist destinations are given exemptions from new EU rules governing marketing red tape
John Penrose, the former Tourism Minister, is calling on the Government to ensure British tourist destinations are given exemptions from new EU rules governing marketing red tape
John Penrose MP, the former Tourism Minister, is calling on the Government to put pressure on the EU and ensure British tourist destinations are exempt from marketing red tape when changes are made to European rules early next year. 

Currently, in line with the Package Travel Directive, travel agents are discouraged from offering all-inclusive domestic tourism trips because they have to pay an expensive bond - the rules also prevent local attractions from marketing themselves together unless they pay the same charge.

The European Commission is currently considering changes to the directive and will publish its proposals in spring 2013. Ahead of the publication, Penrose has written to Jo Swinson MP, the Minister responsible for Britain's approach to the directive, and asked her to ensure the definition of a 'package' deal is simplified in favour of British tourism.

"These EU rules are a massive handbrake on British tourism destinations marketing themselves properly. And they add costs to a British weekend away which, with money so tight at the moment, isn’t great either. Getting an exemption would be a huge help, and would liberate British resorts from Whitby to Weston-super-Mare, which is why I’ve asked the Minister to look at the idea closely," he said.

Penrose's campaign has received the backing of The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Tourism Alliance and the former Minister has offered to lead a delegation to meet Swinson and discuss his plans.

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