It is now more than five weeks to the day since the launch of the Campaign for Tourism. The campaign was kick-started with a question on the value of tourism to the UK, in the House of Lords, on the first day of its return. Then, having sent our campaign letter to the Party Leaders and other senior party figures initially, it was sent on to other MPs who represent a constituency in England. (Tourism is a local issue for the countries with devolved government).
And now we wait…
With the first actions complete, we awaited the initial replies to the letter which outlined our key message to the political leaders: take tourism seriously. We were rewarded first of all with a letter from The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Conservative Party Chairman, who highlighted the Conservative Party’s commitment to Tourism, whilst simultaneously not committing to any further tourism-specific actions or policies. Next we received a reply from the Prime Minister’s Communications Department, who wrote to inform us that a response to our letter was being considered and we should await a further reply. We also recently received a reply from the President of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron MP, who asserted his support for a VAT reduction on hotels and cultural attractions. The office of Nigel Farage, MEP and UKIP leader also sent a response.
As I mentioned earlier, our campaign letter has now been sent to other MPs who hold a seat in England. So far, we’ve had some interest from a handful of Conservative MPs who have had prior involvement with either the Hospitality or Tourism sectors and we will continue to communicate with them and, of course, encourage them to support our campaign.
I look forward to updating you again, in due course.
A reply from the Prime Minister’s office! Whilst the reply itself was similar in style and tone to that of the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, it did come with the offer of a meeting with the No.10 Policy Unit. We are of course most willing to attend a meeting with the Government Policy Unit and look forward to a productive encounter.