Hospitality and tourism associations launch Campaign for Tourism to gain Government support

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: British hospitality association, Tourism

The Campaign for Tourism is aiming to bring hospitality and tourism to the notice of Government. Photo: VisitBritain.
The Campaign for Tourism is aiming to bring hospitality and tourism to the notice of Government. Photo: VisitBritain.
Thirty-three of the UK's hospitality and tourism associations, including the British Hospitality Association and the Tourism Alliance, have joined together to put pressure on political parties to include the industry within in their manifestos ahead of the next general election. 

The Campaign for Tourism, which launched yesterday, saw letters distributed to all major political parties stating how tourism wasn't mentioned in any of of their political manifestos at the last general election.

The letters also highlight how existing Government policies are hampering the industry's efforts to create jobs for young people with investment dropping 25 per cent in the last 10 years and a lack of parity between VAT rates on visitor accommodation and attractions in the UK and those elsewhere in many parts of Europe. 

High Air Passenger Duty and difficulties with tourist visas are also said to be affecting the industry. 

Economic driver

Lord Lee of Trafford, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tourism and chairman of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions said the Government still 'hasn't got the message' that tourism and hospitality are major drivers of the UK economy and contribute 10 per cent of the UK's workforce. 

"Tourism and hospitality is the number one industry in more constituencies than any other industry in the country.  By coming together to support this campaign, we are able to deliver a clear message to the government: Take tourism seriously.” 

British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim added: “For some inexplicable reason there is a perception that the tourism and hospitality industry is somehow less valuable than other industries.  In fact, the tourism industry in the UK comprises over 200,000 businesses and ours is a major contributor to both the economy and to the creation and generation of new jobs. 

"The Campaign for Tourism is a fine example of our industry working together, and our collective voice is stronger and our impact is greater when we work together.”

Visitor spend

The campaign's launch comes as an Annual Review by marketing agency VisitBritain reveals that visitor spend has increased by 13 per cent to £11.2bn so far this year. 

Last year Britain welcomed 31 million visitors from overseas, who contributed more than £18.6bn to the economy and VisitBritain believes its GREAT Britain marketing campaign is continuing to help bring in visitors with every £1 spent by VisitBritain overseas resulting in a £19 spend by visitors when they come to the UK. 

Mary Rance, Chairman, Tourism Alliance said: “The UK is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, bringing in billions of pounds of revenue, but Government needs to move faster to stay with the pack. Visa reform, conference destinations, air passenger duty - these all prevent tourists from spending their money on our shores and Government can make direct improvements. Let’s work together to support success and help us drive the UK’s economy forward.”

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