It may have passed most people by but there was a letter to the editor written in support of the Tourism Sector Deal and signed by Steve Ridgway and by over 40, mainly private sector captains of industry in the Times on Monday 18 December 2017. It’s an interesting lobbying tack to take at this time and well worth the short read, if only to note the increasingly central role that the tourism zone proposals now appear to be taking within the case for the bid. We hope of course that Government will take heed and approve the bid later in the New Year:
PLAN TO BOOST TOURISM IN BRITAIN
Sir, Tourism is one of our most valuable industries: it is worth £130 billion annually; it supports more than three million jobs across the UK and is one of our most successful exports.
In a plan presented to the government we have shown that tourism could be worth £268 billion by 2025. We want to create “tourism zones” in areas where local leadership will improve transport, extend the tourism season, drive productivity and create jobs. We want to continue to compete globally as a world-class destination for visitors, boosting economic growth across the whole of Britain. We want tourism to be a key part of the industrial strategy and call on the government to back our plan.
Stephen Ridgway, tourism sector deal leader; John Holland-Kaye, chief executive, Heathrow airport; Andrew Cowan, group chief executive, Manchester Airport Group (Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports);Brian Ambrose, chief executive, Belfast City airport; Tim Clarke, chairman, Birmingham airport; Peter Kerkar, global chief executive, Cox & Kings; Dr David Fleming, director, Liverpool Museums; Sir Michael Dixon, director, Natural History Museum, James McClure, general manager, Airbnb UK; Shaun Hinds, chief executive, Manchester Central Convention; Adrian Ellis, chairman, Manchester Hoteliers’ Association and general manager, Lowry Hotel; Sir Gary Verity, chief executive, Welcome to Yorkshire; Jonathan Neame, chief executive, Shepherd Neame; Patrick Dardis, chief executive, Young & Co; Simon Emeny, chief executive, Fuller, Smith & Turner Plc; Gordon Clark, MD, Global Blue, UK & I; Simon Townsend, chief executive, Ei Group Plc; Kathryn James, MD, NEC and ICC; Justin Baird-Murray, MD, Metropole Hotel; John Barnes, chief executive, Historic Royal Palaces; Helen Brocklebank, chief executive, Walpole; Craig Kreeger, chief executive, Virgin Atlantic; Michele Fitzpatrick, chief executive, Eviivo; Nick de Bois, chairman, Events Industry Board; Gary Topp, director, Culture Central; Helen Peters, chief executive, Shakespeare’s England; Neil Rami, chief executive, The West Midlands Growth Company; Andrew Lovett, chief executive, The Black Country Living Museum; Professor Sir David Eastwood, vice-chancellor, University of Birmingham; Richard Parry, chief executive, Canal & River Trust; Ralph Findlay, chief executive, Marstons plc; John Wales, chief executive, Encore Tickets; David Morgan-Hewitt, MD, the Goring, Dr Tristram Hunt, director, Victoria and Albert Museum; Michael Ward, MD, Harrods; Sorcha Carey, chairwoman, Edinburgh’s Festivals; Brian Bickell, chief executive, UKCVA and Shaftesbury; Richard Calvert, chief executive, Shearings Leisure Group; Tom Stables, MD, National Express UK; Ian Edwards, chief executive, Celtic Manor Resort; Rita Beckwith, chief executive, CityCruises; Terence Brannigan, chairman,Tourism Northern Ireland; Neil Snowball, chief executive, Warwickshire County Cricket Club & Edgbaston Stadium; Nick Blofeld, divisional director, Warwick Castle