Webinar - Tourism in the UK: building for the Future and Supporting Further Growth

Public Policy Exchange Webinar - In 2019, tourism, according to Visit Britain, was the fastest growing industry in employment terms in the UK and was predicted to be worth over £257 billion by 2025. 12 months later, and the picture is very different. Even as the pandemic was just beginning, overseas travel to and from the UK slowed significantly from January to March, down by 16% from a year earlier. Since then the situation has worsened. VisitBritain forecasts significant falls in tourism in 2020 compared with 2019, with a 73% fall in visits from overseas and a 79% fall in spending from overseas tourists. While domestic tourism – and the supposed rise of the “staycation” – has fared better, this has also seen a 49% fall in domestic spending.

Over the last nine months the Government has responded to the effects of the outbreak on the industry with a number of measures to support businesses and workers. As well as the non-sector specific measures like the Job Retention Scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, there has also been a temporary reduction in VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%. A £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package to support communities that depend on tourism has also been introduced, whilst small businesses in tourist destinations can receive grants of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the pandemic. Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) at risk of closure have also been provided with £1.3million in funding.

Even with these packages of measures there still exists reasons to be concerned about the long-term future of the tourism industry. It has been argued that Brexit potentially threatens 25,000 jobs in the holiday industry, and that the end of freedom of movement will make it harder for the tourism industry to employ talented staff. A 2018 report by Tourism Alliance showed that 38% of hospitality and tourism businesses are struggling to fill vacancies. Furthermore, tourism spending after inflation has been largely stagnant in the UK for over two decades. Initiatives like the 2017 Tourism Action Plan and digital campaign #MyTourismJob have probably done more to identify the problem than actually solve it.

This symposium therefore offers tourism organisations, local authorities, regional economic groups and other key stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the tourism industry, and to additionally develop innovative ideas to strengthen the future of the industry.

• Examine the effectiveness of government initiatives to support the tourism industry in response to the pandemic
• Analyse how ‘Staycations’ could become an increasingly important aspect of the tourism industry and what steps can be taken to push it
• Uncover the best approaches to develop and sustain a highly talented workforce for the tourism industry
• Assess methods to improve collaboration between central and local government, alongside the private sector, in strengthening British tourism
• Learn the most successful strategies used by local authorities to promote tourism in their areas
• Discuss the best methods to ensure tourism does not harm rural or urban surroundings for locals
• Debate approaches to encourage tourists to stay longer and to spend more on their holidays

To register for the briefing click here to download the form or register online.

Event Properties

Event Date 21-01-2021
Location Webinar