UKinbound welcomes DCMS Select Committee’s inquiry into the promotion of Britain abroad

UKinbound has welcomed the launch of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee’s inquiry into Promoting Britain Abroad.

The committee’s inquiry will ‘examine how Britain’s cultural heritage can be used to promote the country as an international holiday destination and boost a damaged tourist industry.’

It was announced following extensive lobbying work by UKinbound to bring attention to the crippling challenges inbound tourism businesses have faced throughout the pandemic, and the urgent need for sector specific support to boost recovery and the image of the UK internationally.

The inquiry is inviting written submissions addressing a number of areas, including –

  • What should Government and the tourism boards be doing to support the inbound tourism industry in its recovery?
  • What will the impact on the UK’s hospitality, cultural and heritage sectors be if inbound tourism is slow to recover to pre-pandemic levels?
  • Does the Tourism Recovery Plan go far enough to support the industry’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic?

UKinbound will be submitting a written response on behalf of members.

Commenting on the announcement, Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said “We welcome the DCMS Select Committee’s inquiry into Promoting Britain Abroad and the comments by the DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP that the commission will examine if, considering the challenges ahead, the Government is doing enough to support the recovery of the sector.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic we have consistently presented Government with clear evidence of the crippling effects of Covid-19 on the UK’s fifth largest export industry, inbound tourism. We have outlined the desperate need for tailored support and presented grant proposals, all which clearly outlined how inbound tourism can accelerate the UK’s economic recovery.

“The inbound tourism industry is looking to 2022 with a sense of optimism, but Brand Britain and portraying internationally that the UK is open for business, welcoming and a safe place to visit has never been more important.”

The announcement comes after earlier this week the association wrote to the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, secretary of state for the Department for Transport, and the Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, secretary of state for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, asking them to ensure that any changes the the UK’s ‘fully vaccinated’ criteria do not derail the recovery of the tourism industry.

The letter was issued amid speculation that the Government will change, what qualifies as fully vaccinated in the UK to incorporate the booster vaccine.

UKinbound and presented three asks –

  • Clarity for international arrivals – when changes to the UK’s fully vaccinated criteria is published domestically, ensure that the guidance for international travel is published at the same time, alongside guidance for under 18s.
  • A four nations approach – as a differing fully vaccinated status between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland could mean a trip to the UK is abandoned due to variances.
  • Remove day 2 testing for vaccinated arrivals – as it directly places the UK at a disadvantage compared to much of Europe, where testing is not required if fully vaccinated.

Croft added “We can’t lose sight of the impact that day two testing for vaccinated arrivals is having on our industry, as many potential international arrivals continue to visit alternative destinations across Europe where testing for those fully vaccinated isn’t required.”