The UK Government today announced its long anticipated UK Tourism Sector Deal.
“The Tourism Sector Deal sets out how the government and industry will work in partnership to boost productivity, develop the skills of the UK workforce and support destinations to enhance their visitor offer” . “The government’s modern Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK. The tourism sector has the scale and geographical reach to deliver on this ambition”.
The Government’s press release can be accessed at: here
Although the Sector Deal as a whole with be of great interest, I anticipate most destination management bodies will be immediately most interested in getting a bit more clarity around the plans to create Tourism Zones, of which there will be up to 5 in the UK. Involvement of the other home nations (within that number) is still to being discussed and to be agreed. The plans to create these Zones will be developed further over the summer with a bidding process to be managed by the British Tourism Authority (VB/VE [and any other participating national boards]) taking place in/from late summer, with an anticipated start date in 2020. The availability of any specific additional funding to support Tourism Zones development will be subject to the outcome of the Government’s spending review which itself will be announced later in the year.
There is clearly considerable interests from all manner of Cities, City Regions, towns, sub regions, urban destination, rural destination areas etc. in the possibilities of obtaining Tourism Zone status and all most certainly far more potentially interest than there are opportunities, in what may, depending on its success, be a first pilot round. If you are interested but have not yet engaged in initial discussions with DCMS or your own Government’s tourism sponsoring department or national tourist board, I would urge you to look at the detail given and ensure that any outline plans you may already have, conforms to the broad concepts given in the policy paper.
There should be plenty of formal opportunities to engage in discussions and obtain more clarity over the coming months. Meanwhile I am very happy to seek clarification on any points of detail from BTA or DCMS on your behalf, especially on issues that are likely to be common to most member destinations and, thus, it is actually saving everyone the effort of asking and answer multiple questions around the same issues.
Just for information, please note I am on annual leave during the first two weeks of July.