Now open, new Echoes of the Blitz: Underground shelters in Ukraine and London photography exhibition at London Transport Museum
Images above: Echoes of the Blitz: Underground shelters in Ukraine and London exhibition. Visitors included…
In this update:
Package Travel Regulation call for evidence closes next week
The call for evidence opened by the Department for Business and Trade into possible reform of Package Travel legislation closes next Wednesday, 13 December 2023 at 11:59pm.
APPG Hospitality and Tourism issues report into Short Term Lets
Earlier this week the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism, chaired by Simon Jupp MP (Cons, East Devon), published a report into short-term lets and the Government’s plans to introduce a statutory registration scheme.
The APPG agrees with the TA and the wider industry on the merits of launching such a registration scheme following an oral and written evidence gathering phase over the past few months to which the TA contributed.
The report makes a series of recommendations to Government:
The next step towards establishing this scheme should be a DCMS response to the consultation which closed earlier this year. We have been pressing the Department to do this so that a system can be up-and-running ASAP, and ideally before a general election. We will keep on this.
VisitEngland Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses
Earlier this week VisitEngland launched a new toolkit for tourism businesses to help them become more inclusive for all visitors, including those who may have additional accessibility requirements.
The resources, guidance and case studies provided in the toolkit are really fantastic and will be of benefit to almost all businesses in our sector. Do take the time to look through the webpages and downloads. We are also exploring the opportunity of hosting a webinar for colleagues who were involved in producing the guidance to present it and answer questions from industry.
Government’s migration policy
A huge amount of governmental energy has been taken up with migration issues this week. Not only around asylum and Rwanda and the resignation of Robert Jenrick MP as the Immigration Minister, but also, earlier in the week, changes to visa requirements which will be very impactful for this sector.
The Government introduced changes in order to reduce the number of migrants to the UK which it considers to be far too high, despite the fact that many of these entrants are needed to work in our health and social care sector, and, crucially, in hospitality and tourism.
The two relevant changes for us are:
So far from assisting the chronic labour shortage and cost pressures we have been facing, this policy will make things worse.
As Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said:
“Around three-quarters of hospitality’s workforce is filled from within the UK but international talent has always been attracted to work in the UK, due to our pedigree for hospitality and developing careers. These critical workers also bring with them a wealth of experience and skills to help further enhance our world-leading hospitality sector.
“There were 8,500 hospitality visas issued last year, which helped bring in talented chefs and managers of the future.
“Around 95% of those would no longer be eligible under these plans, despite being offered competitive salaries.
“We urgently need to see an immigration system that is fit-for-purpose and reflects both the needs of business and the labour market. The system at the moment does none of that.”
Lib Dem Tourism & Heritage Policy Paper
We have been working closely with Baroness Doocey on the Liberal Democrats’ Tourism and Heritage policy paper. This week Lady Doocey’s paper was adopted by the party’s DCMS Committee and will now go forward to their spring conference next year.
The paper covers a huge range of policies including backing a permanent reduction in VAT for hospitality, tourism accommodation and attractions to 12.5%; reforming ETAs and visas; bring back school groups; a commitment to tax-free shopping; supporting rural and coastal tourism and much more.
We are very grateful to Dee Doocey for working with us, and our colleagues at the Heritage Alliance, closely on this and we look forward to this paper being adopted at the Lib Dems’ conference next year.
British Film Commission and VisitBritain MoU
The increasing importance of screen tourism shows that collaboration between the visitor and creative economy sectors is extremely important. Expedia say that more than half of international travellers say that TV shows and films inspire their travel plans.
This week Patricia Yates, CEO of VisitBritain, and Adrian Wooton OBE, CEO of the British Film Commission, signed a new Memorandum of Association on behalf of their organisations.
Hopefully this will augur great collaboration on marketing our fantastic TV and film locations around the world and further boosting the contribution of screen tourism to our economy.
Tourism Insights Conference – venue and save the date – 19th March 2024
If you have not already done so please make a note in your diary of our Tourism Insights Conference which will be taking place on 19th March 2024.
We are pleased to announce that this year the conference will take place at No. 4 Hamilton Place, the home of the Royal Aeronautical Society. This half-day conference will provide a great opportunity to hear from a range of speakers with a particular focus on data and insight, but with some other topics thrown in too. Speakers and panels will be announced in due course, and tickets will be on sale soon, but for now block out the day in your calendars and be sure to come along.
Remember that after the conference we will be holding our annual English Tourism Week Parliamentary Reception alongside our charity partners, The Family Holiday Charity. All conference attendees will be welcome to join us on the Commons Terrace for this annual celebration too.