Key consultation update and new research added

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1. You are probably aware that on 1 March DCMS announced a review of DMOs in England. I have been waiting until the consultation document published yesterday became available before alerting you to the opportunity and I would suggest the pressing need to respond to the consultation which closes on 28 April 21. Although about DMOs in England there may be good reasons for colleagues from other Home Nations to consider contributing?

Access to the consultation, together with a number of early observation gleaned from discussions with member destination managers has been posted under the “Consultations tab of Britishdestinations.net or go to the page at: https://britishdestinations.net/consultation-responses/open-consultations/independent-review-of-destination-management-organisations-dmos-consultation-closes-28-april-21/

2. I have added three covid-19 related research documents received this week to the “C19 Research” tab including the latest from ALVA on attractions and Hotels Solutions on the accommodation sector: https://britishdestinations.net/c19-research/

3. The Governments subsidy consultation closes on 31 March 21. Although the detail is likely to be addressed by most local authorities and other due to importance of “state aid rules” as were and what will now replace them there are three practical areas we feel should be aired:

  • The consultation ask whether more favourable threshold should be applied for particularly deprived areas. We would encourage support for this, not least because historically many tourist areas are particularly deprived and could benefit from this concession.
  • Although there is no indication that the Westminster Government are planning to change the levels down to which they measure key economic data, now we have left the EU, it would be legally and practically possible for them to do so. Measurement down to “super output areas” is vital, again not least because that level of granularity allows the identification of economic and social deprivation within destinations and tourism areas in otherwise apparently affluent regions and to pinpoint pockets within destinations and tourism areas down to ward or smaller areas. Any temptation to change the statistical base should be resisted.
  • Combining the two points having identified pockets of deprivation down to super output area level and argued the case that the most deprived areas should be given more favourable conditions for future “subsidy” it may also be worth pointing out that such subsides should not necessarily be tied for deployment specifically in those super output areas themselves. From a tourism prospective, in coastal resorts for example, the pockets of deprivation may lie close to but not in the core resort area and it may be necessary to deploy the subsidy in to less deprived areas in order to improve the economic lot of neighboring deprived area. There is no indication that future subsidy is going to be geographically tied, but again entirely new circumstances could permit it, hence the perceived need to head it off during the early consultation stage, rather than try to correct it after the event.

The consultation can be found in the dropdown list from the consultation tab of Briishdestinations.net or go direct to the page at: https://britishdestinations.net/consultation-responses/open-consultations/beis-subsidy-control-consultation-closing-31-mar-31/

4. And final there been a flurry of reports around the recent UBER High Court finds. Subsequently it appears that UBER may still be resisting the full implications of the ruling to treat drivers as employed staff. Nonetheless, this is a significant change that impacts on the rest of the gig economy and adds to the view that both the gig and sharing economies may well be in the process of being drawn towards and into the traditional more regulated economy, rather than the regulated and higher taxed models falling away in their entirety: https://britishdestinations.net/tourism-the-sharing-economy-and-its-wider-implications/gig-economy/ and some older but relevant sharing economy articles at: https://britishdestinations.net/tourism-the-sharing-economy-and-its-wider-implications/

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