Trade bosses have hailed news that tourism has been recognised and included in the latest stage of the government’s Industrial Strategy.
Business secretary Greg Clark launched the government’s Industrial Strategy in a White Paper on Monday, setting out “a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths”.
Steve Ridgway, chairman of the British Tourist Authority (VisitBritain/VisitEngland), co-ordinated the tourism industry’s plans for a Sector Deal, which were submitted to the government in October.
He will meet the business secretary and officials at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the coming weeks to start discussions about sealing the Sector Deal for tourism.
A statement from VisitBritain said the tourism agency anticipates “hearing some good news in the new year”.
The VisitBritain statement said: “The government has been clear from the outset that any industry which submitted its plans with ‘one voice’, clear leadership and a plan for the future would be granted a long-term deal for policy, planning and boosting overall competitiveness.
“The industry came together with a clear plan to boost connectivity, productivity, skills and to create a new idea, ‘tourism zones’.
“With the publication of the White Paper, we have a much clearer idea of the road map for landing the Tourism Sector Deal.”
On the Sector Deal, the White Paper has only eight industries listed, with tourism named as one.
Tourism is also mentioned under the ‘Productivity Challenge’ section and ‘Britain and the World’ section.
Tourism minister John Glen MP said on Twitter: “Tourism is a key economic driver and job creator, contributing to government #IndustrialStrategy. We’re taking forward discussions on a potential tourism sector deal to further grow this crucial industry.”
Andrew Stokes, England director at VisitBritain, told delegates at the Showcase South West event in Bristol about tourism’s inclusion in the White Paper.
“There’s a message here that we are important and drive the economy,” he said.
Tim Jenkins, policy and public affairs manager at VisitBritain, said he was “delighted” that tourism has been recognised as a “world-class” service export.
Click here to see the Industrial Strategy White Paper.