Those who attended this week’s joint British Destinations, Tourism Alliance and Tourism Society Tourism Society Tourism Week Conference will have heard the headline detail of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tourism’s inquiry into the sharing economy presented by our President Gordon Marsden MP, the APPG Chair and Shadow Minister for Education. The text of the interim report which will be followed in due course by a full report is now available. (see below)
As indicated by the content of Gordon’s presentation, the interim report appears to have firmly nailed the main issues and problems created by the rapid development of the sharing economy and sharing platforms in the tourism accommodation sector. It identifies the commercial business usage of sharing platform to potentially circumvent necessary regulation, rather than genuine small-scale, occasional sharing of surplus assets to create modest additional revenue, as the critical issue. It also highlights the challenge of measuring and thus proving the scale of the issues, the current lack of transparency and, thus, the problem of the responsible authorities identifying who is trading, when and where within the sharing economy. The committee were also concerned that those authorities might not have adequate resource to properly check and regulate, if they were able to easily identify who was trading. The report also suggests that a light touch statutory registration for all (commercial?) accommodating providers may be at the heart of a possible solution. This is to be investigated further before the publication of the final report in early summer. We could now choose to sit back and see what happens or look to see where we might jointly assist in finding workable solutions to the challenges identified.
We have also received the first copy of the presentations given. John Foster of the CBI gave an enlightening and easily understood briefing on potential BREXIT impacts and the current position regarding high level negotiations. I certainly found that it cut through the complexity and seemingly ever-changing situation to give a clearer view of where we are now, where BREXIT might take us and some of the key consequences of the different routes and end states that lie before us.
Both the interim APPG report and CBI presentation are worth reading in full. They can be found in the draft conference report 2018 page here.