I am writing to try and enlist your support or that of your local destination partnership or leading local businesses for a short notice, lobbying campaign that’s being led on the industry’s behalf by colleagues in the Tourism Alliance. Action is required in the next few weeks and certainly well before the December Westminster Parliamentary recess.
Briefly BEIS are in the process of transferring the new EU Package Travel Regulation (PTR) into UK wide law by 1 January, so it can be enacted by July 2018 as required by EU law. When we leave the EU nine months later, whatever is in that regulation on 1 January 2018 will transfer over to become new UK law.
The issue is that as currently framed small UK business will, as now, be unable to undertake small scale, local, added-value packaging of “accommodation” and “tourism services” without falling foul, for them, of the onerous liabilities, financial bonding etc. applied to major travel operators. This is because the EU regulation says that a combination of any two elements of “transport”, “accommodation” or “tourism services” constitutes a travel package.
What we are proposing is that a clause is now added that will automatically change the UK version post Brexit. In the new UK version transport would become a mandatory component of a travel package for the purposes of the PTR, freeing up UK SMEs and micro businesses to undertake low level, local packaging of accommodation and other tourism services only. Oversea package travel would remain protected because of the travel element involved and the separate elements of any new local domestic packages would be protected by existing UK consumer, health and safe and other relevant regulations. Tourism Alliance research estimates a potential £2.2bn a year economic boost and up to 40k additional jobs being created as a consequence.
In order to encourage BEIS to make this relatively simple change we are asking you and/or local business colleagues to write to your local MPs explaining the case and encouraging them to lobby or write to the Minister responsible within BEIS now, whilst the issue is still open to be addressed within the Department.
To help you do this a draft template letter, infographic and more detailed briefing note are available below. You may of course wish in due course to write directly to the Minister with a much more tailored local case. This would also be extremely helpful in moving the arguments forward.
If you need any more information or wish to discuss the rational for behind the proposals or the reason for offering our support then please call or email me.