Government plans for an industrial strategy and calls for sectors to pitch for a deal is a one-off opportunity for tourism to be recognised as an industry of the future, competing globally and backed by Government.
In January 2017, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published an Industrial Strategy green paper. At the February Tourism Industry Council, an agreement was reached that the tourism sector would push for a Tourism Sector Deal. The bid is being led by Steve Ridgway CBE, former CEO of Virgin Atlantic and current hotel owner, an industry leader and expert, in line with other sector deals. The bid is being facilitated by VisitBritain/VisitEngland who are helping the industry pull together its proposals.
As part of this industry-led process, the government has stipulated that those sectors with the broadest reach, and ability to speak with “one voice” are the likeliest to achieve a sector deal.
This consultation aims to help shape the final outcomes of the submission by reaching out in particular to the 200,000+ small businesses in all the sectors that make up our vibrant tourism industry.
A tourism sector deal
Tourism in Britain – both inbound, outbound and domestic – is built around a unique and world-beating experience. From ancient heritage to diverse and spectacular landscapes to world renowned product and service, Britain consistently finds itself amongst the most desirable destinations anywhere in the world.
Tourism is a core and vital sector within the British economy already. Accounting for 9.6% of all employment and 9% of GDP. Tourism is two and a half times bigger than the automotive industry, a bigger exporter than the insurance sector and is growing faster than the digital sector.
Key statistics underlining the importance of the industry:
- 3.1m jobs.
- £126.9bn and 9% of UK GDP annually.
Tourism is a big job creator – creating more jobs during the 2008/09 recession than other industries – and helping to lift the economy out of recession through sustained growth.
Tourism creates growth and jobs right across the whole country. Every single local authority has people employed in tourism, and in recent years, growth of tourism has played a significant role in the rebalancing of the UK economy.
Tourism sector deal process
There are three strands of work being undertaken at different levels. Four working groups have been created which are all industry-led and have organised themselves in different ways.
These groups are 1) Regulation, 2) Industry of Choice, 3) Connectivity and 4) Industry of the Future.
Steve Ridgway, the tourism bid leader, is meeting with a number of high-level business figures over the coming weeks.
VisitBritain (the British Tourist Authority) has agreed to support the bid process and will collate the current consultation document responses.
Next step: Find out more about the industrial strategy.