In summary, the recommendations of the review were as follows:
- The Government should bring coherence to England’s DMO landscape via a tiering approach, using an accreditation process to create a national portfolio of high performing DMOs that meet certain criteria.
- As it is England’s National Tourist Board, with the statutory responsibility for growing tourism at an England level, the Government should charge VisitEngland with responsibility for creating, maintaining and supporting this new tiered structure. It should receive sufficient funding and resources to do this.
- As responsibility for tourism policy cuts across multiple departments, creating a confusing picture, practical measures to address these issues could include elevating the Tourism Minister to a Minister of State position and either reallocating responsibilities from other departments to sit under that Minister or making the Minister responsible for the activities of teams within multiple departments
- To help DMOs and Local Authorities take decisions on how best to develop the visitor economy in their local area, the Government should improve access to quality data by introducing the proposed Tourism Data Hub as a matter of urgency.
VisitEngland welcomes this review of regional tourism structures in England and looks forward to playing its part in the delivery of the recommendations. Destination Management Organisations are a vital part of England’s tourism landscape and this independent review is a timely and important step to ensuring the right local and regional structures are in place to support the sector’s recovery and the UK Government’s wider agenda for rebuilding tourism.
We are currently working through the recommendations of the review with DCMS, the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review settlement will frame how these are taken forward and implemented. We will continue to keep you updated.
The review was led by the current Chair of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, Nick de Bois, acting in an independent capacity and reporting directly to the Secretary of State. An experienced advisory panel assisted him with his review.