Tourism council seeks ways to boost UK image

MINISTER for sport, tourism and equalities Helen Grant yesterday announced the creation of a new Tourism Council, which will involve government and industry figures.

The council has been established to co-ordinate the promotion of the image of the UK as a tourist hotspot to the world, and will focus on boosting enterprise, increasing apprenticeships, and improving skills and jobs development in the sector.

The announcement was made at 2014 Hospitality and Tourism Summit held by the British Hospitality Association, where more than 600 delegates from a range of businesses involved in the tourism sector participated.

The council will hold its inaugural meeting next month, with the Tourism Society stating that the new council was a “real step forward for the industry”. One of its first campaigns will be to fight for a cut in VAT, since the UK’s 20 per cent rate compares unfavourably with those in Europe.

It was set up as recent research by Barclays suggested that spending by domestic UK tourists will rise by 25 per cent to £108bn by 2017, with London accounting for up to 16.2 per cent of that.