Attractions industry news
12 Sep 2012
ETOA criticises UK government for 'neglecting' tourism
The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has expressed its disappointment that the UK government has chosen not to name a new minister solely responsible for tourism, following the resignation of John Penrose.
In a statement, the association said tourism was "far too important" to the UK economy to be left without a direct political representative.
The statement said: "Prime Minister David Cameron recognised the importance of the visitor economy in a keynote speech after he came to power in 2010; the growth he hoped for from emerging economies is achievable, but only with intelligent policies in place.
"We have learnt that there will no longer be a minister solely responsible for tourism as part of a downsizing exercise in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
"Therefore we are calling for the role to be moved to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) - which would be the natural home for a tourism minister.
"The tourism sector accounts for 8.9 per cent of UK GDP and 1 in 12 jobs directly and indirectly. It is also third in terms of UK exports after the chemical and financial services sectors, contributing £17bn to the UK economy and £3bn to the Exchequer.
"Tourism is heavily influenced by the Treasury and the Home Office so BIS would be better placed to make the case for reforming indirect taxation arrangements and the visa process, which between them deter valuable business and tax tourism exports, causing a large net loss to UK plc."