New government plan to drive tourists beyond London


The Prime Minister will today announce the Government’s new five-point plan to boost tourism right across the UK.

A new inter-ministerial group will be formed to coordinate and align action across Government to ensure that the UK has the right infrastructure in place to make it easy for visitors to discover everything the country has to offer.

The group, headed by the Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, will focus on five key areas:

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1. A better co-ordinated sector: the sector is too fragmented – we want to see local attractions and tourism organisations collaborating to grow the sector for everyone not competing.

2. Skills and jobs: Driving and retaining talent in the sector to encourage growth.
3. Common sense regulation: Reforming regulation sensibly to drive competition and improve the tourism offer for visitors.

4. Transport: Forging innovative links between the transport and tourism sectors to help visitors travel outside of the capital.

5. An improved welcome: Delivering a world class welcome at the Border.

Ministers from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments are also invited to join the group when relevant.

Today the Prime Minister will also announce a £1m ‘Rail for Tourism innovation’ competition, which will call for ideas to transform the travel experience for visitors to the UK and make exploring the UK by rail more attractive to tourists. The competition will be run by the RSSB’s Future Railways Programme, and winners will receive funding to develop their ideas and carry out trials.

Continuing his visit to the South West today, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “Millions of overseas tourists visit the UK every year and most take in the sights of London. But Britain has so much more to offer, from the Cornish Riviera to the Scottish Highlands and everything in between.

“For many areas tourism is a key industry bringing jobs, growth and security for working people. Tourism supports almost one in 10 jobs in the UK and we want to rebalance the economy to make sure this boost is felt right across the country.”

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of The British Hospitality Association, said: "This is truly a watershed moment for the hospitality and tourism industry and is a result of concerted campaigning by the BHA and its members to Parliament and Whitehall to make their voices heard loud and clear on how we can make the UK a better place to live, work and visit. We congratulate the Prime Minister for making this bold move and John Whittingdale and Tracey Crouch for listening to the evidence we presented during last year’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee tourism inquiry that made the economic, diplomatic and social case for prioritising the potential of our industry.

"Joined up government leadership will enable our vision for the UK to become the world’s hospitality and tourism powerhouse attracting more visitors, creating more jobs and strengthening local economies to the benefit of all society. We are mobilising the entire private sector to coordinate with national, regional and local government to maximise the industry’s potential and look forward to working with the new inter-ministerial group to begin constructive dialogue with HM Treasury and other bodies to bolster the UK’s international competitiveness and advance growth.”