Useful guidance for business on the UK Repeal Bill

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If you or your local business partners wish to understand the basic implications of the Repeal Bill for businesses, (workers, consumer the environment etc.) without wading through the full Bill itself, or relying on media interpretations, I would recommend the following UK Government business brief:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-businesses-on-the-repeal-bill

As I read it the Bill ensure that we have a set of binding law in place immediately after we leave the EU, that in most cases will be exactly the same as those in place immediately before we leave the EU.  Any changes to existing, or indeed any new UK/EU laws made in the period up to the point of Brexit, can then be made by the UK and devolved Government’s with due Parliamentary scrutiny over a period of time, rather than by accident or by default as part of the process of disengagement. It certainly won’t be a case of we’re out the EU, so now I can now ignore X or Y bits of, “EU legislation”, as some might erroneously assume.

ONS report – Living abroad: migration between Britain and the EU8

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I have added a report from ONS to our extensive research library that provide more information on British citizens living in the European Union (EU), and EU citizens living in the UK which includes a section indicative of  current level of  reliance on EU workers within the tourism industry and indeed other sectors.  I have also added links to some ad-hoc research from ONS’s Tourism Intelligence Unit produced in late 2016 specifically on EU employment in the tourism industry:



Coastal Communities Fund update

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The manifesto promise to maintain and extend the Coastal Communities Fund to the end of the presumed 5 year life of new Parliament  has effectively been confirmed by answers to oral questions to Jake Berry MP the new Minister responsible in the UK Parliament earlier in the week.  The absence of any mention in the Queen’s Speech had caused mild concern, however, given that the extension to an existing programme does not require any legislative change and this Queen’s Speech was unusually brief this was perhaps a slight overreaction on our part.

Official announcements could follow before tomorrow’s start of  Summer Recces or, more likely, during it.  Of course, the devil will, as ever, remain in the detail. For example: we are yet to find out whether the once 50% of  the (increasing) Crown Estates Marine revenues, quietly dropped to 33.3% for the last round will remain at 33.3% or go up or down for the next round or rounds?  The percentage available makes a significant difference to the size of the total sum available and the number of projects supported in an always heavily oversubscribed fund.

In England at least DCLG are almost certain to pursue their recently introduced approach of two-year tranches.  For pragmatic reasons it is very unlikely that bids will be sought by DCLG this side of New Year 2017, for what in any case will, I believe, be funding available in and for the 2019/20 – 2020/21 financial years.

In the other Home Nations that may now differ as the central administration of the assessment process, allocations etc. is being dropped and therefore Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will be free to choose a slight or very different approach to the running the programme to that in England going forward.  Currently this is largely informed speculation on my part, and whether they chose to take a radically different approach remains to be seen.


Summer Marketing Campaign update from Visit Wales

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The latest phase of the Visit Wales Year of Legends activity is now underway with an EPIC summer campaign targeting London and the South East of England.

As ever some excellent, principally domestic, marketing activity from Visit Wales.  See more on this and the North Wales London promotion in the industry news update at: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKWALES/bulletins/1a47d7b

Sector Deal – draft Connectivity paper

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Further to my recent updates on the Tourism Industry UK Sector Deal bid, I have now received the draft Connectivity paper which can be accessed below.  I am gratified to find that a good number of the initial concerns around lack of reference to domestic tourism, destination management’s roles, tourism as a redistributor of wealth etc. that I raised at the group meeting have now been reflected in the new draft, albeit necessarily briefly.

We do need to be mindful that the work of the four separate groups will now be combined to produce a single bid document based, in all likelihood, around a small number of selected major asks.  Some of these useful references made in the connectivity paper on matters close to our hearts are likely to become slightly obscured in the bid’s background papers, or even lost entirely.  However, nothing ventured, nothing gained and there will be opportunities to highlight issues again during the ongoing drafting process.

If you have any comments or suggested amendments or additions please let me know before the end of this week (this and other groups are working to very tight deadlines).

Tourism Sector Deal – Connectivity Draft v1 26.06

Further update on the development of a UK tourism Sector Deal

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If you have had time to scan the  minutes of our 16 May Board meeting or picked up on the detail elsewhere, you will know that efforts are continuing to produce a UK tourism industry Sector Deal application, with the aim of submitting an agreed industry bid document to the UK Government in late summer.  Initial work under the auspices of VB as secretariat began prior to the general election using a  4 main strands approach as the working methodology:  Industry of the Future, Industry of Choice, Regulation and Connectivity.

A week ago today I attended the first connectivity working group meeting. I am hopeful that my participation will have helped ensure that the connectivity strand will now be more balanced between the needs of inbound, out bound international and domestic tourism than might otherwise have been the case had I not got involved with my destination and domestic agenda in mind.  However, I can’t be certain until I see the next draft of the working paper on connectivity (expected this week) which, if possible, I will share with British Destinations members for your comment, advise and opinion.

Meanwhile the regulation working group has also met and produced its first draft proposal.  Rather than presenting a long list of deregulation requests, many of which will have been put forward before and failed to gain traction, the group has now gone down the route of producing a single, “big idea” which if accepted will have the greatest beneficial effect on the greatest number of sectors and therefore on the largest number of individual tourism businesses.  From a destination management prospective at it also has the distinct advantage of setting out to improve the formulation and application of necessary regulation and not simply to push for deregulate for deregulation’s sake.

The big idea is to adapt the scope of the existing principals of, Primary Authority and adopt it so that in future a, “central tourism body” can act to ensure simplicity and consistency of regulation and its application across large parts of the tourism industry.  My reading is that it could also help to ensure sensible application of any new regulation and help drive required changes in existing or create new beneficial regulation directed towards tourism businesses.

It sounds like a jolly good idea but I am not familiar enough with the existing application of the Primary Authority approach in tourism, limited I understand largely to brewing, pubs and caravan parks (?) or with the experience in a multitude of other sectors from cheese making to petrochemicals, to be certain or to venture a really well informed opinion as yet as to whether British Destinations should or should not support the approach.

I also note that the deal is supposed to have UK application and that Primary Authority has limited application between Home Nations.  I am also very mindful that the regulation group has set the paper against the backdrop of the sensible challenge that if anyone has got a better suggestion than this then do please offer it;  or in other words: “put up, of shut up”.  The group’s first draft proposal can be accessed at:  Tourism Industry Deal – Regulation Initiative (outline)

I would welcome any comment and advice members can offer on the regulator group’s proposal.

Industry Strategy – Sector Deal Update

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Despite some continuing uncertainty about the likely direction of the UK Government’s Industry Strategy which was started prior to the General Election, work is continuing towards producing a UK tourism Sector Deal bid on the off chance the Sector Deal approach and the original timetable for bid submissions (September) remains extant.  For background information on Sector Deals and the perceived importance of being engaged with it as a sector, see item 4.11. of our Board minutes:  https://britishdestinations.net/members-area/content/board-and-executive-meetings/

To this end I am attending a meeting tomorrow, 16th June, on the “connectivity” strand of the 4 strand approach to developing a tourism sector deal bid.  The first draft working proposals in this strand are understandably heavily weighted towards international tourism, for example, issues like: VISA’s, airport capacity and Air Passenger duty are heavily featured and are all things that most destinations would be supportive of.  There is rather less emphasis on connectivity and distribution for international tourists once inside the UK and, as yet, very little reference, if any, to connectivity and domestic tourism.  You will not be surprised to hear therefore that it’s the in-country and domestic dimensions that I will be attempting to champion on your behalf tomorrow and in subsequent meetings and consultations for this and the other three strands.  Once there is something more substantive for you to comment on directly I will of course circulate it.

In the meantime if there are any issues want raised that you are not sure if I will have picked up on already, then please let know ASAP.