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Tourism Alliance – Update

In this update…3rd August 2023

Government confirms end to LEP core funding

The Chancellor’s response to our letter on visa fees

You will recall that we wrote to the Chancellor recently outlining our significant concern about the effect of the visa fee hike on tourism and the economy. You can read that joint letter via the Publications page of our new website.

We have received a response from the Chancellor.

Sadly, Mr Hunt reiterated the Government’s position that the visa hike is justified and necessary in order to fund public sector pay commitments.

Interestingly, he does confirm up-to-date figures regarding the cost of administering the system which anount to £135 for a visa. We believe that this is a good reason for a new low-cost, five-year visa, which would stop the Treasury losing money on each transaction, and would boost visitor numbers. This is something being taken forward as part of the work of the Tourism Industry Council.



Another Conference speaker confirmed

Last week we confirmed that Philippa Rouse, Director of Migration and Citizenship at the Home Office will be joining us to give an FBIS delivery update.

This week we are also very pleased to announce that Councillor Adam Hug (Lab), Leader of Westminster City Council will be welcoming us to his City and speaking on the subject:

The UK’s Tourism Nerve Centre – the visitor economy’s importance and challenges for Westminster City Council

Adam and his Council have been very supportive on tax-free shopping given how vital it is for retail in the City. He will also be touching on the broader importance of the visitor economy, and give his reflections as a newly installed council leader, including the challenges of financing tourism services at a local level.


Book your ticket now

Conference sponsorship opportunities available


Package Travel Policy White Paper published ready for Govt consultation

The TA Package Travel Regulations Policy Working Group, Chaired by David Weston of the Bed and Breakfast Association, has published its Policy White Paper in advance of an expected Government consultation.

The policy paper outlines in broad terms how we would like to see the PTRs reformed – so that transport has to be an element in a domestic booking for it to be considered a package under the regulations. We think this would free up businesses to offer value-added products that they currently feel unable to do given the burdensome requirements under these regs. But we do not believe this change would appreciably alter consumer protection.

Read the PTRs Policy White Paper


In conjunction, we have launched a survey for Destination Management Organisations to gather their views on PTRs and how they may be able to better marketed products in their destinations if these regulations were changed.

DMOs can access the survey here. Please feel free to share amongst your DMO networks.


Government confirms end to LEP core funding

At the Spring Budget the Chancellor announced that the Government was ‘minded to’ withdraw government sponsorship and core funding from the Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) and transfer those functions to local and combined authorities.

The Government has confirmed that it is indeed going ahead with this change via a letter send to the LEPs.  The letter contains the Government’s justification for this change.

You can read the reaction to the news from the LEP Network Chair, Mark Bretton, here. He makes the very important point that “effective devolution can only be achieved whilst business retains a respected and impactful voice.” The future structures must make sure that the voice of local businesses are retained, and that expertise in the tourism sector is embraced.
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