Tourism chiefs make case for policy support in Westminster
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Tourism chiefs make case for policy support in Westminster

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The UK tourism industry has grown by £7m per day for the last three years, employing an additional person every six minutes, according to statistics from the Tourism Alliance.

The figures were revealed as leaders from the tourism industry joined policymakers – including 30 MPs – at the House of Commons on Monday afternoon to mark English Tourism Week 2014.

The networking event, organised by the Tourism Alliance, featured speeches from the body’s president Sir David Michels, chair Ufi Ibrahim and culture secretary Maria Miller, with the focus on how to sustain the tourism industry’s contributions to the UK economy through supportive policy.

Tourism Alliance statistics released at the event showed tourism employs 3.1m people in the UK – 39 per cent of whom are under 30. The presentation also showed that tourism is now the UK’s fifth largest export industry, generating £24bn per annum.

During his speech, Michels called on the government to establish a Tourism Industry Council comprising government departments and industry leaders, tasked with reducing regulatory burden. He also urged for a review on sub-national tourism development to maximise the funding allocated regionally through agencies such as Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and VisitEngland.

“In a nutshell my message to Government today is that, as the video and the statistics publication demonstrate, the social and economic benefits of tourism are so large and so broad that if you take care of tourism - it will take care of you,” he said.

Ibrahim echoed these sentiments, citing the success the tourism industry has played in rebuilding the UK economy and its positive impacts on regular families.

She said tourism week was an opportunity to evaluate the industry with fresh eyes and what it needs to continue moving forward, adding: “It has been at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery - it should be at the forefront of government policy.

English Tourism Week is running from 29 March to 6 April and will see hundreds of attractions, hotels and other tourism businesses across England putting on special events, promotions and competitions to encourage more visitors through their doors.

In addition, VisitEngland will be co-chairing an event at the 8th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (RTD8) which is being hosted in the UK for the first time from 3–5 April. The event will focus on the challenges and opportunities of destination management, sustainability, and how to improve living and tourism environments.

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The UK tourism industry has grown by £7m per day for the last three years, employing an additional person every six minutes, according to statistics from the Tourism Alliance.
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