The UK government has unveiled a new post-Brexit plan through which it is aiming to more evenly distribute the benefits of tourism across the country.
Under the new initiative, which was unveiled on Friday, towns and cities from across England will benefit from a £40 million (US$53m) fund to deliver more tourism wealth to destinations outside London. The first grants from the ‘Discover England’ fund have already been awarded.
The government said that the main focus will be on projects that “shine a spotlight on some of the country’s great cultural and sporting assets, from music festivals to championship golf courses and our world-class cuisine”.
Other measures outlined in the action plan include the development of a new tourism rail pass, developing a new apprenticeship scheme and relaxing red tape on B&B owners.
“The British people’s decision to leave the European Union creates real opportunities for growth and we will work in close partnership with the tourism industry, to ensure it continues to thrive as negotiations on the UK’s exit progress,” said Prime Minister Theresa May.
“We are making it easier for visitors to travel beyond London and experience all of the world-class attractions the UK has to offer, to make sure the benefits of this thriving industry are felt by the many and not the few.”
The plan has been broadly welcomed by the industry; UKinbound the new funding would be “vitally important to enhancing our tourism offer in a post-Brexit environment”. It added however, that it wants the government to provide assurances on the UK’s continued access to the European single market and open skies agreement.
VisitBritain said that the new action plan “demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving our competitive tourism offer, which includes making it easier for visitors to explore Britain using our extensive transport network”.
The UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Karen Bradley commented; “With world-class museums, fantastic heritage sites and stunning countryside the UK has a lot to offer tourists – from both home and abroad. Through the Discover England Fund and working with the industry, I look forward to helping further strengthen tourism outside London to ensure that growth from the sector is enjoyed right across the whole country.”