Month: April 2023

Further and Higher Education for Tourism Hospitality and Events policy direction.

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Colleagues within The Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE), working in partnership with The Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) and The Association for Event Management Education (AEME) have produced an Open Letter to government which responds to policy changes affecting Further and Higher Education (FE and HE) in the UK.

They are jointly seeking to extend the number of organisation and individuals co-signing the letter, via the mechanism of a online petition, before then presenting the letter, duly supported, to relevant departments within the Westminster Government for their consideration.

Regardless of whether as an individual or as an organisation you are able to add your signature, the matters raised in it are I think concerning. Particularly so, because what happens in FE and HE in respect of Tourism. Hospitality and Events (THE) sectors in the future, as a result of changed and changing policy now, will not be something that is necessarily centre and foremost on the minds of the majority of current practitioner. However, if nothing is done to consider revising the new policy direction and done soon, it could (will?) have potentially serious downstream consequences for us all professionally, for the “industry” as a whole and for the visitor economies that we jointly work so hard to foster.

If nothing else, the open letter represents a timely and useful briefing note on, or for some a reminder of, a looming issues in FE and HE, provision for THE, even if for whatever reason, you subsequently find you or our organisation are unable to sign it. Hopefully, having consider the content, at least some of you will be able to sign to add weight to the campaign for revision.

Meanwhile, I will take member’s advice on whether to sign on behalf of British Destinations, or failing that individual in my personal capacity as a long-serving tourism professional. If any member has any views for or against me signing on behalf of the association, then please let me know, preferably by return.

The text of the notification, including the link to the open letter, I receive reads:

The Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE), working in partnership with The Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) and The Association for Event Management Education (AEME) have produced an Open Letter to government which responds to policy changes affecting Further and Higher Education in the UK. The letter, which highlights the importance and value of tourism, hospitality and events to the economy, sets out six points which we are asking Government to consider. We would like to ask colleagues to sign and support this letter, and to share it more widely.

The Letter can be found here –

This Letter forms part of a suite of activity the three Subject Associations are working on, in partnership with colleagues from across our industries (too many to mention here) which also include a research commission into the value, volume, impact and trajectory for FE and HE for Tourism, Hospitality and Events, and will culminate with a conference in October 2023, to which you will all be invited. I will also just highlight the work that Claire Steiner at The Institute of Travel and Tourism is leading on around FE qualifications specifically which will form a part of the conference in October.

If you could share this letter with your networks, we will, once we have a reasonable number of signatures, circulate this to DCMS, BEIS, DfE and our media contacts and other stakeholders. This activity will be a precursor to the October conference.

Best regards,


Dr Peter Robinson PhD, PGCert, MA, BA (Hons), FTMI, F.Inst.TT, MTS, PFHEA Head of the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Management
School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management

Leeds Beckett University, G04 Macaulay Hall
Headingley Campus, Leeds LS6 3QW
Tel: 0113 81 24497

Consultation on a registration scheme for short-term lets in England

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The DCMS consultation on the next stages of an accommodation registration scheme in England was issued last night alongside a parallel DLUHC consultation on a potential change to the planning use class for short-term lets in England. Closing on 7 June, both have great significance for tourism and the visitor economy.  I would urge anyone with an interest in the outcome for local and national tourism to address them both and to do so mindful of the impact that each has on the other.

First thing to say is that no one should underestimate the likely level of difficulty faced by Minister and officials in getting proposals to introduce any new or additional “regulation” to this point given the current administrations natural leaning towards small government, minimal regulation and a free market approach.  DCMS have done well and should be congratulated on their tenacity to date and now given every reasonable assistance to help get the best possible scheme available in the circumstances over the line.  That should not preclude us being constructively critical where it is justified, or stop us from proposing necessary changes to the scope of what is on the table, particularly where it might avoid entirely predictable failings or adds major gains, for marginal penalties.  

When you read the proposals and the associated questions, I know from several years of debating this subject that there will be considerable disappointment and associated concerns for many destination managers. For example, the consultation is explicitly about a registration scheme for short-terms lets only. Thus, arguably it misses the opportunity to genuinely level the playing field (not all those operating in the traditional accommodation sectors are saints) and potentially opens up loopholes at the occasional letting end of short-term let market and especially, some major loopholes in the grey, ill-defined areas between short-term lets, B&Bs, guesthouses and smaller hotels.  An area that we are only to aware that is already becoming increasingly muddied by the advent of new technology, new practices new routes to market and the blurring of lines between serviced and non-serviced provision.

The options given within and between the 24 questions posed are wide ranging and ask for views on a scheme that could be entirely self-assed with very few checks and balances or far more ordered and methodical.  We are also asked view on things like what might constitute a breach of the rules and what the penalties for such breaches might look like. Other radical options include a scheme that might only be adopted by individual local authorities, if they so wished, to one that is mandated nationally. In their totality the overall scope of the options given are somewhat more limited than perhaps many of us might have wished?  However, in combination within the parameters given, they still allow room for a number of potentially very different outcomes. You will only get a proper sense  of this once you have read and digested the full document (s) (sorry no shortcuts on this one).

At this early stage I already think it is vital that as many destination management organisations and their stakeholder as possible respond to both consultations. However, other than starting to considering how that might be done by whom and by when, I also think we all need to pause take stock, find time to read both consultations and probably do that more than once. Then perhaps we can consider sharing initial thoughts over the next few days and weeks with a view to developing some shared thoughts for inclusion in any individual and joint responses we feel the need to submit.

The DCMS consultation which includes within it a link to the DLUHC consultation is at:

The DHLUC consultation itself is at: