A new inter-ministerial group, headed by culture secretary John Whittingdale, will focus on driving tourism outside of London in order to create jobs and help re balance the economy.
The group will focus on five key areas:
- A better co-ordinated sector - encouraging local attractions and tourism organisations to work collaboratively.
- Skills and jobs - driving and retaining talent in the sector to encourage growth
- Common sense regulation - reforming regulation 'sensibly' in order to drive competition and improve the tourism offer for visitors
- Transport - forming links between the transport and tourism sectors to help visitors travel outside of London
- An improved welcome - delivering a world class welcome for tourists at the UK Border
The Prime Minister will also announce a £1m ‘Rail for Tourism innovation’ competition, which will call for ideas to make exploring the UK by rail more attractive to tourists.
The competition will be run by the RSSB’s Future Railways Programme, and winners will receive funding to develop their ideas and carry out trials.
David Cameron said: "Millions of overseas tourists visit the UK every year and most take in the sights of London. But Britain has so much more to offer, from the Cornish Riviera to the Scottish Highlands and everything in between.
"For many areas tourism is a key industry bringing jobs, growth and security for working people. Tourism supports almost one in 10 jobs in the UK and we want to rebalance the economy to make sure this boost is felt right across the country.”
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of The British Hospitality Association (BHA), hailed the plans as allowing the UK to become a hospitality and tourism 'powerhouse'.
"This is truly a watershed moment for the hospitality and tourism industry and is a result of concerted campaigning by the BHA and its members to Parliament and Whitehall to make their voices heard loud and clear on how we can make the UK a better place to live, work and visit," she said.
"Joined up government leadership will enable our vision for the UK to become the world's hospitality and tourism powerhouse attracting more visitors, creating more jobs and strengthening local economies to the benefit of all society.
"We are mobilising the entire private sector to coordinate with national, regional and local government to maximise the industry’s potential and look forward to working with the new inter-ministerial group to begin constructive dialogue with HM Treasury and other bodies to bolster the UK’s international competitiveness and advance growth.”