All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy launches new coastal community inquiry

Everyone involved in hospitality and tourism on the British coast has been asked to help MPs who are hoping to sort out the problems facing coastal communities. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Visitor Economy has launched an inquiry seeking to address the challenges faced by neglected coastal towns. According to government statistics seaside towns are marked by social and economic deprivation, suffering from levels of unemployment significantly higher than the national average and an inadequate supply of quality housing.

The APPG has issued a call for written evidence concerning the significance of tourism and hospitality to coastal communities, with reference to the need for investment in vital infrastructure and technology, and their economic and social potential. Evidence is invited from all stakeholders across the UK including hospitality and tourism businesses, local and other trade associations, representatives of UK, Devolved and Local Governments, Local Enterprise Partnerships, non-government organisations, educational institutions, charities and community groups.

Margaret Ritchie MP, Co-Chair of the APPG for the Visitor Economy said:
“This inquiry is an invaluable opportunity to put the UK’s seaside economy at the forefront of the government agenda for regional growth. The hospitality and tourism industry is crucial to job creation in Northern Ireland, which is home to over 200 kilometres of diverse coastline and beachfront, and should receive full recognition for the contribution it makes to local economies across the UK.”

Nigel Huddleston MP, Co-Chair of the APPG for the Visitor Economy said:
“No one in Britain lives more than 70 miles from the coast. The British Coastline is a national asset with great potential and with the right investment, can drive regeneration, economic growth and job creation. We look forward to hearing the views of businesses, organisations and individuals who have a stake in its future”.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said:
“In July the British Hospitality Association launched our Creating Coastal Powerhouses report which called on the Government to create Coastal Enterprise Zones to encourage businesses to move to and invest in the coast.

“Our members, who invest in and operate hospitality and tourism businesses recognise the problems facing many coastal communities but also know there are fantastic opportunities to boost these places and help revive the Great British Seaside holiday. I am delighted that the APPG has chosen to focus on this issue for their next inquiry.”

The APPG is co-chaired by Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, and Margaret Ritchie MP for South Down, and the British Hospitality Association serves as the Secretariat to the APPG. The Group was established with the aim of enhancing the local economy by promoting measures and incentives, including reducing of VAT on tourism, which would increase visitor numbers and investment in all parts of Britain and Northern Ireland.

Over the past year the APPG has been holding an inquiry into apprenticeships and skills in the hospitality and tourism industry. More than 30 written submissions were received from a variety of organisations including SMEs and big businesses, training providers, further education bodies, trade organisations and campaigns and the group heard oral evidence from People 1st, Springboard UK, the Big Hospitality Conversation, UKinbound, Whitbread PLC, Jury’s Inn and the Minister of State for Skills.

The closing date for submissions is at 5.00pm on 30 September 2016. If you or your organisation wishes to submit written evidence please email

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