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Tourism Alliance update

In this update:

ICYMI – Government announcement on short-term lets registration and planning.

You should have received a TA Newsflash on Monday this week regarding some Government announcements on short-term lets registration and associated planning changes.

Below is a recap and a bit of extra info:  

The key points:

  • There will be a new national, mandatory registration scheme for short-term lets. We await more details. It will not include “hotels, hostels and B&Bs”. The definitional problems we identified in our consultation response will remain.
  • “The Government is considering how to apply the register so it does not apply disproportionate regulation for example on property owners that let out their home infrequently.”
  • There will be a new use class in planning for short-term lets. All existing let properties will be automatically reclassified.
  • There will be a new permitted development right so properties can move from ordinary residential use to short-term lets without planning permission. But councils can remove this right and require full planning permission.
  • Homeowners who let their main home for max 90 days will not need planning permission. It is not yet clear if they will need to apply to be on the register (see above), but it is possible that the Government will align these two elements.

The move towards a new national and mandatory scheme is undoubtedly good news – these were key options consulted on, and the industry was largely unified on supporting national and mandatory.

As ever, the devil will be in the detail, and we await that. In the meantime we continue to urge the Government to adopt as wide a scheme as possible, while ensuring it is not burdensome for any part of the sector. We foresee considerable loopholes emerging around definitions of ‘hotels, hostels and B&Bs’.

The planning aspects are more concerning. We continue to believe that the registration scheme must be implemented before any changes to planning should be considered, and that the data from the registration scheme must be used to justify the removal of the permitted development right by any local authority.

“Further details of these measures will be set out in the Government’s response to the consultations, including the timeline for implementation of the register, the use class and the individual permitted development rights – with the changes being introduced from this summer.”

The Government’s press release is here

DCMS’s statement on “Delivering a registration scheme for short-term lets” is here


New TA Policy Working Group – Tour Operators Margin Scheme (TOMS)

It is likely that HMRC will be reviewing the Tour Operators Margin Scheme (TOMS) in the near future. TOMS is part of EU retained law, and as such is ripe for a review to ensure, as far as the Government is concerned, it is fit for the future.

TOMS is a key piece of tax law for many businesses in the sector and as such we are keen to get ahead of any consultation on its future. To that end, we are establishing a new Policy Working Group to look into this, and coordinate a future TA view on it. This will be led by Tom Jenkins, TA Chair and CEO of ETOA.

If you would like to nominate someone from your member association to be part of that working group, please let us know via


Social Tourism – a new TA Member Forum

As well as our Policy Working Groups which are set up to look at and develop policy on specific areas, we are also keen to give member associations a forum to get together and discuss shared interests.

Several members are keen on exploring ‘Social Tourism’ – in particular the social value of tourism, and highlighting the importance of our sector in those terms as well as economically.

The Camping and Caravan Club’s Out joyment Report and the Family Holiday Charity’s social value report are good examples of this.

The Forum will be developing its own views on workstreams and outputs rather than it being focussed on delivering a specific paper for a specific consultation or policy proposal.

If you would like to be involved in this new Social Tourism Member Forum please let me know via


Webinar: AI in Tourism – What is the potential? How might it be used?



The Tourism Society and the Tourism Consultants Network will be hosting a webinar next week on AI in tourism. Alliance members are invited to join.

How might AI be used in tourism, both to advance the understanding of what AI can do and how to encourage its beneficial application?

The full scope of Artificial Intelligence and its potential applications has yet to be understood but already it has contributed to some stunning advances in knowledge acquisition – the most recent example being its use by three students in deciphering the charred remains of a 2000 year old Roman scroll unearthed at Pompeii. The 2021 Reith Lectures by Professor Stuart Russell ‘Living with Artificial Intelligence’, available on BBC Sounds, give an excellent

📅 Thursday 29 Feb 2024
⏰ 12:00 – 13:30 GMT
🏢 Online

💷 Free for Tourism Alliance members

Use the link HERE to register for the event



Ian Miller is CEO of Crafted, an agency that has successfully integrated AI in its work for clients that include the Natural History Museum, Hotelplan and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Ian will provide a wide-ranging introduction to the many potential applications of AI for the tourism industry, highlighting the ways AI can make businesses more efficient and how it could revolutionise the tourist experience.


Satpal Chana, Deputy Director for Data, Analytics and Insights at VisitBritain/VisitEngland will present an overview of how VB/VE is exploring the use of Generative AI to enhance its ability to release value from data, sharing key findings to date and suggesting potential applications across the sector.
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