For too long, the economic importance of hospitality has been unrecognized. We are seeking a real change from the new government to achieve a strong partnership that benefits members, the wider society and the UK economy in general.
The association welcomed a speech made on economic growth (6 January 2011) by Prime Minister David Cameron recognising that tourism is one of five ‘big-ticket’ industries of the future and one that the government ‘should get behind’ especially as for every 0.5% increase in the UK’s share of the global tourism can add £2.7b to the economy and create 50,000 jobs. The Prime Minister also stated that government support for businesses would be focussed on ‘high growth industries’ and ‘working strategically to strengthen them’.
Regionalism and Local Enterprise Partnerships
There has been a high level of frustration among members of the BHA at the ‘organisational spaghetti’ of the tourism promotion agencies with too much confusion caused by either a duplication of activity or, in some cases, by inconsistent levels of activity. We are now in the transition from the Regional Development Agencies to the formation of Local Enterprise Partnerships. For the first time in decades, there is no set, organised, regional dimension to the promotion of tourism in England. VisitEngland will remain responsible at the national level for providing direction, leadership and advice to local Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) which will have to fight their corner inside the new, emerging LEP’s.
Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth Fund Advisory Panel should have members who understand the powerful contribution hospitality and tourism can make to local re-generation.
It is expected that much of the Fund will be used to support activity outside London and the South East and the Oxford Economics report has shown the importance of hospitality in all parts of Britain to overall employment levels. The Regional Growth Fund will be an importance stimulus
The BHA will urge the Advisory Panel to have an effective presence from the tourism and hospitality sector.