June 2015

Trade paper for the domestic tourism and inbound tourism industry in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

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NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES By Samantha Mayling Tourism bosses greeted the new culture secretary and tourism minister appointments as "a pleasant surprise". Following the Conservative election victory, prime minister David Cameron announced John Whittingdale as secretary of state for culture, media and sport, and Tracey Crouch (right) as sport and tourism minister. Kurt Janson, Tourism Alliance policy director, said: "Whittingdale is an excellent choice – he's been chair of the culture, media and sport select committee for 10 years. "He's a great advocate for tourism, as the report from the last tourism inquiry shows, and has a very good relationship with the Tourism Alliance. "Crouch was also a member of the select committee and is knowledgeable about the department and tourism. "If the tourism inquiry recommendations are a reflection of their views, this bodes very well for the tourism industry." Bernard Donoghue, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) director, said Whittingdale's appointment was a "welcome surprise". "Chairing the committee for 10 years means he has a greater understanding of the breadth Exclusive travel trade press sponsor and depth of the DCMS portfolio than almost anyone else. It will be fascinating to see how he formally responds to the committee's recommendations, which he himself supported," he said. "Crouch's appointment is also welcomed and deserved. She was actively engaged in the tourism inquiry, based on the importance of tourism to her constituency in Chatham and Aylesford, and has very good experience of working with, and in support of VisitKent. "I hope she takes an early opportunity to look again at VAT rates for accommodation and attractions; broadens the scope of the Tourism Industry Council so it's comprehensive and genuinely cross-Whitehall; and inserts 'Tourism' into the front of her job title." SOPRANO Laura Wright opened the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in style at the spectacular Sage Gateshead last month. Winners were honoured in 17 categories covering the best of English tourism, with The Chefs of England receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award. VisitEngland chairman Lady Cobham said: "The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence is the highest accolade and recognises the true champions of our industry, as well as the top quality visitor experiences we are fortunate to have on offer in England." n For a full list of Gold winners, turn to page 8. Yes minister: trade bosses salute new tourism appointments NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES June 2015 No. 438 cutting APD and acting on airport capacity," he said. "Abta engaged with all candidates during this election campaign through our #ValueTourism work, and 30 MPs entered Parliament as 'Tourism Advocates' – a great result for our industry. "[Former culture secretary] Sajid Javid is now secretary of state for business; Patrick McLoughlin returned as transport secretary and Robert Goodwill returned as aviation minister. "There will not be too much change at the senior level of government as far as travel and tourism is concerned." Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Tourism Society chairman, said: "The new government's five-year term will be extremely interesting for tourism with major projects such as airport expansion and HS1, both of which are being debated at the Tourism Symposium." Mike Bugsgang, Group Travel Organisers Association (GTOA) chief executive, added: "Several Conservative policies will benefit group organisers including maintaining free entry to major museums and galleries; assisting seaside and countryside areas with development funding; supporting essential repairs to cathedrals and churches; and spending £15 billion on the roads network." Deirdre Wells, UKinbound chief executive, said: "I'm really pleased we have two informed and supportive ministers. They are well-known entities, and a pleasant surprise. "I saw them when I was in front of the select committee and they asked sensible and insightful questions. "They submitted the report on tourism and now have to act on it." Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain chief executive, said she was "delighted", adding: "We look forward to working with them both to deliver economic growth and jobs." Commending the appointments, Ufi Ibrahim, British Hospitality Association (BHA) chief executive, added: "The hospitality and tourism industry expects the new Conservative government to start delivering from day one. "Our top agenda item is to cut tourism VAT to 5%." Stephen D'Alfonso, Abta head of public affairs, said Whittingdale and Crouch were "brilliant appointments, having cut their teeth on the DCMS committee, where backbenchers can be analytical and critical". 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