A sector deal for tourism

Business leaders discuss strategy around a meeting table.
Business leaders discuss strategy around a meeting table.

Update: 27 November 2018

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright, has confirmed that the Government will be entering into negotiations with the sector on an ambitious industrial strategy sector deal. The Secretary of State is looking for further detail from the industry on our commitments on delivering productivity, a skills campaign, data sharing, and accessibility for visitors. It is expected that the negotiations will lead to a final deal, to be announced in Q1 2019, making the Tourism Sector Deal the 7th deal since the launch of the Industrial Strategy in 2017.

Please click here to read the official press release.

Published: 22 November 2017

In October 2017, a group of tourism industry leaders (including UKinbound’s then-Chief Executive Deirdre Wells) and headed by Steve Ridgway CBE, Chair of the British Tourism Authority, submitted a Tourism Sector Deal for the UK’s tourism industry to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in response to the Industrial Strategy published in January.

In the coming weeks, Government will publish its white paper on the Industrial Strategy, which will lay out plans for the next stages in the development of the strategy and provide a roadmap for future legislation. It is expected that a period of Sector Deal negotiations will also be announced.

What exactly is the Tourism Sector Deal?

A Sector Deal is a partnership between the UK Government and an industry on its plans for the future, and how it can work together to secure long-term strategic outcomes. The Tourism Sector Deal, the most ambitious industry plan to date, proposes to do this in the following ways:

Connectivity: a commitment to extending visas to key markets, a more intelligent Electronic Travel Authorisation system, better surface access to airports, fixing the ‘rail final mile’ issue, better and improved rail ticketing processes, and a clear drive towards digital connectivity across the whole country for the tourism industry.

Productivity: a clear plan to extend the seasons, making British tourism product more efficient, for longer. A new plan for Business Visits and Events (a sector already worth £42.3 billion), will help to boost areas across the country through long-term planning improvements, and skills development to aid retention and help keep staff within the industry.

Tourism Zones: a new idea which would help bring together locations of real success, and areas that need more intervention. They concentrate on strong local leadership with LEPs, building product, extending the shoulder season, and fixing local transport issues with planning laws reflecting strong tourism economies.

Skills Campaign: a big, industry-led 10 year campaign to shift perceptions about tourism and hospitality jobs and to encourage more people to join the industry. It will also look to include tourism and hospitality in the Government’s new T-Levels, apprenticeship schemes, and to get many more industry figures out into schools and colleges to promote the industry.

The full Sector Deal proposal can be read here, or to view a summary including Q&A by VisitBritain please click here.