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 PRIME minister David Cameron unveiled a plan to boost UK tourism, in a move hailed by VisitBritain as an "unequivocal statement of support" for the sector. An inter-ministerial group is being created to co-ordinate activity and ensure that tourism is factored into decision-making across departments in Whitehall. The group, to be headed by John Whittingdale, culture secretary, will include ministers from the Department for Communities and Local Government; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Home Office, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The PM also revealed a £1 million 'Rail for Tourism' innovation competition, calling for ideas to make exploring by rail more attractive to tourists. 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. 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." Whittingdale added: "I am delighted to chair this new group which will put tourism at the heart of government and help to ensure that every part of the UK benefits by co-ordinating action across government." Exclusive travel trade press sponsor INDUSTRY REACTION Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain chief executive: "We are one of the most diverse destinations in the world, so it's excellent news that there will be a renewed emphasis on delivering jobs and growth to our nations and regions, with VisitBritain at the heart of this activity." James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive: "Placing tourism at the heart of government will do much to support plans to rebalance the economy. We will work closely with the new inter-ministerial group and our partners across the country to deliver on these commitments and drive growth across the regions." Ufi Ibrahim, British Hospitality Association chief executive: "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. We congratulate the prime minister for making this bold move and John Whittingdale and [tourism minister] Tracey Crouch for listening to the evidence we presented during last year's [select committee] tourism inquiry. Joined-up government leadership will enable PM puts tourism 'at the heart of government' NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES August 2015 No. 440 Supported by BP Art Russe Blavatnik Family Foundation Additional support from BOOK NOW 18 September 2015 – 13 March 2016 Groups discounts of up to 25% off tickets available Call 020 7942 4000 to book your visit ScienceMuseum #Cosmonauts Media Partner THE British Hospitality Association has created a cross-party group of MPs to push for a cut in tourism VAT. Called the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Visitor Economy, it aims to "enhance local economies through promoting measures and incentives, including a reduction of VAT on tourism". The BHA was appointed as secretariat to the APPG and will work with the new group to host a Hospitality and Tourism Lobby Day on September 16. This will see BHA members and other business leaders visit Parliament to make their voices heard on key issues. Margaret Ritchie MP (SDLP), co-chair of the APPG, said: "We have a real opportunity to boost tourism, and with the APPG's cross-party support, I have renewed confidence that our voice can be heard across Parliament, in the Treasury and in wider government circles." Nigel Huddleston MP (Conservative), co-chair, added: "Whilst we recognise and celebrate the success of London's booming tourism industry, we aim to raise the profile of other tourist destinations across the UK." Until he became the MP for Mid Worcestershire, Huddleston worked at Google as the industry head of travel. Dermot King, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign and managing director of Butlins, said: "The formation of the [group] is a further signal that momentum is building for a common-sense cut to tourism VAT for the benefit of all society. Our European counterparts have had the competitive advantage for far too long." Ufi Ibrahim, BHA chief executive, said: "It is imperative that politicians mobilise to sustain pressure on Parliament and Whitehall to deliver further economic success for the UK through the powerful potential of hospitality and tourism. "There is a terrific opportunity to hold the Prime Minister to account on his recently announced plan to support our industry with a vision that creates more growth, jobs and security for working people." The UK's current VAT rate of 20% on tourism products is almost twice the European average. l New campaign chairman, p3 l BHA special report, p6-7 MPs support BHA bid for a cut in VAT our vision for the UK to become the world's hospitality and tourism powerhouse." Deirdre Wells, UKinbound chief executive: "It is great to hear the strong support from the Prime Minister for tourism. We welcome the commitment to improve the visa service for visitors and to deliver a world-class transport network, both air and rail." Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Tourism Society chairman: "Rail and infrastructure were highlighted as the hot topic at this year's Tourism Symposium and I am very pleased to see that the prime minister has picked these up as one of the key focus areas for the new group." Kurt Janson, Tourism Alliance director: "Tourism is a major UK success story. Having an inter- ministerial group on tourism will help co-ordinate policies across all these departments so that we can maximise growth and employment opportunities. To be effective, this group must tackle the key areas where the UK tourism industry is internationally uncompetitive such as Air Passenger Duty, VAT and visas." l Viewpoint, p4 and 8 THE NEW INTER-MINISTERIAL GROUP WILL FOCUS ON... l A better co-ordinated sector Tourism is too fragmented. The government wants to see local attractions and tourism organisations collaborating to expand the sector l Skills and jobs Driving and retaining talent in the sector to encourage growth l 'Common sense' regulation Reforming regulation sensibly to drive competition and improve the tourism offer for visitors l Transport Forging innovative links between the transport and tourism sectors to help visitors travel outside the capital l An improved welcome Delivering a world-class welcome at the border

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