As the political parties prepare for the run up to the next general election, the British tourism and hospitality industry has a clear message for leaders: “Tourism and hospitality are major contributors to the UK economy, 10% of the UK workforce work in the industry – so don’t leave it out of your manifestos.”
In a bid to ensure all major parties recognise the tourism industry for its contribution to the UK economy, leading UK tourism bodies have joined forces to launch the politically-focused Campaign for Tourism. The group includes organisations from all aspects of the tourism industry including attractions, historic houses, heritage sites, B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, palaces, language schools and destinations.
The campaign, which launches on 8th October 2013, will see letters distributed to all major political parties underlining the fact that tourism wasn’t mentioned in any of the UK parties’ political manifestos at the last General Election. It will highlight the fact that existing government policies are hampering the industry’s efforts to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for young people.
Signed by leading industry figureheads and tourism associations, including RDO, the letters aim to trigger debate as well as proactively setting out key opportunities for the Government.
Lord Lee of Trafford, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tourism and Chairman of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions said: “The UK government still hasn’t got the message. 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.”
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 the government needs to move faster to stay with the pack. Visa reform, air passenger duty – these are just two of the issues that prevent tourists from spending their money on our shores and the Government can make direct improvements. Let’s ask the Government to support success and help us drive the UK’s economy forward.”