ABTA unveils tourism mix manifesto

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ABTA revealed its latest manifesto to the UK government yesterday outlining how the three tourism industries can create economic growth and jobs.

Its ‘Valuing the UK’s Tourism Mix’ manifesto outlines how the domestic, outbound and inbound tourism industries generate GBP125 billion in spend and comes as the association aims to bring a united tourism front to the government when lobbying for notice and change.

Speaking at its launch yesterday (27 February), Hugh Robertson, minister for sport at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport welcomed the document as a “positive contribution to debate” and said the positivity around the UK last year had given opportunity to all tourism markets.

Hugh Robertson at the launch

“This is an exciting period from this country and particularly for an industry like tourism. I can’t think of a stage in my adult life when this country has been presented on the world stage as positively as it was last year,” he explained. “Clearly there are some challenges but this document is really welcome and I can reassure you that following this afternoon we will not only take a very careful read but do all we can to do just the same way that [ex-tourism minister] John Penrose did [prior and around 2012] to help you deliver that.”

In its manifesto ABTA outlined four priorities to the Government in helping the industries along. These included the support for infrastructure such as airports and ports; making the UK more competitive by reviewing taxes and visas; a reduction and regulation and more recognition and promotion for the jobs tourism generates.

Penrose said the manifesto marked a “good day” in the industry and encouraged the entire industry to work together more often. “As tourism minister I wanted the industry to speak up,” he said. “Industries that focus on customers as much as yours deserve to be listened to.”

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