Prior to the VB/VE reorganisation announced in late 2015 VE, in consultation with the industry, had been developing a revised strategy for tourism within England. The draft documents of September 2015 (below), once completed, were to have been circulated for further industry comment and agreement in late 2015/ early 2016.
Events overtook that process and the decision was subsequently made to abandon the draft strategy. Nonetheless, the not inconsiderable work that underpins the draft and the draft itself, albeit in parts incomplete, still serves as a reference document and a useful reminder of industry’s aspirations for England prior to the radical reorganisation and change of focus for tourist board support in England that followed.
Circumstances mean that it is highly unlikely that several elements of the old proposed strategy can or will now ever be taken forward, as they no longer fit within the current direction given to VB/VE by DCMS and changed and changing priorities that this direction includes. That said, as we all know only too well, over time direction can and does change.
Regardless colleagues in England may still find the old strategy document useful background information. There has been so much change in the last 12 months that what VE used to do (from past experience), what they were proposing to do (from the consultation process) and what VB/VE now do (from recent experience) has become somewhat blurred in people’s minds and memories. This is less than helpful, especially when we are now on occasion asked to consider what VB/VE might, or in some cases, might no longer do (?) for English tourism in the future.
I hope as intended that the information below helps compartmentalise the old and proposed from the new, thus making it easier: to identify and debate any critical gaps and issues, to accept the necessary changes that have or are yet to be made and to move on rapidly and make the greatest possible success of what’s now on offer: