Updates from the Tourism Alliance Board Meeting

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Yesterday among a series of meetings I attended the Tourism Alliance Board meeting and later their Annual Parliamentary reception.

Of interest from these two events are the Kurt Janson’s notes reproduced below which are taken from the Tier Group Meeting held last Thursday, immediately after last week’s criminal attack on Westminster Bridge and on the entrance to Parliament.  These are:

For those of you who haven’t heard of the TIER Group, it is the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group co-ordinated by VisitBritain and is convened when events occur that have significant implications for the UK tourism industry. The group links into COBRA via DCMS. As such, a meeting was held to today to discuss the impact of yesterday’s attack.

The main points from the meeting are:

  • All indications are that this was a one-off event, although the situation is still fluid.
  • While there were some precautionary closures of tourism attractions in London yesterday, these attractions have now reopened
  • There has been considerable media activity in overseas markets but so far this coverage is sympathetic in nature with little negativity and little of this activity is related to tourism.
  • The FCO reports that there have been no change in the travel advice issued Government of any overseas market related to travel to the UK
  • VB has suspended its marketing and social media activities in overseas markets until events, and their impact on overseas markets becomes clearer. The aspiration is to  reactivate activity as soon as possible  and this will be done on a market by market basis after an assessment of the impact becomes clearer
  • VB is has developed both pro-active and reactive media responses and these will be used when signed -off by Govt.
  • The main Government line is that London and the UK is still open and welcoming visitors
  • Reports from the industry are that the impact so far has been minimal with inbound operators and airlines reporting few cancellations. Sentiment from the US and the Middle East remains positive, while there is some sensitivity being noted in certain segments of European markets such as school trips.
  • It is considered that, if it is just a one-off event, then there will be little lasting impact in overseas markets

Asks from Government

There are two asks from Government

  1. The Government is developing a list on largescale public events where people are convening over the next week so if your industry is staging such an event, could you please let me know
  2. The Government would like any information you may have on particular impacts to your sector in order to develop a more detailed understanding of the situation. Again, if your members have experienced any impacts, could you let me know.

       Advice  

  • The main messages are that tourism industry is operating as normal and that London and the UK continues are open and welcome visitors
  • In your contact with the media, don’t be tempted into quantify the impact of the attack on the tourism industry as this is counter-productive.

VisitBritain plan to send out market-by-market reports of media and consumer reaction as well as their media response These will be available from the VB website.

At the reception the Alliance launched its new paper on the industry’s post Brexit asks from Government.  This paper will also form the the basis for the Tourism Alliances submission to Government on the UK’s future post Brexit Industrial Strategy:

2017 Tourism Alliance Post Brexit Policy Agenda

The Alliance also launched their latest statistical video using a new style of content.  This will be available for download for a number of days at: https://we.tl/DG2GfFXOVs.

The minutes of the January Board meeting can now also be accessed via our corporate website at: Tourism Alliance Minutes – 30th Jan 17 Board Meeting .

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