Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced a public/private tourism sector deal that includes a major push to grow international events, laid out in the International Business Events Action Plan 2019-2025. Last year around 38 million people visited the UK, contributing £23 billion to the local economy. By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional 9 million visitors to the UK.
“The UK is a world leader in international tourism, and it is crucial that we remain globally competitive to meet growing demands. That’s why today I am pleased to announce the UK’s first-ever tourism sector deal, ensuring that we continue to innovate, boost connectivity and economic productivity, expand career pathways and break down barriers for visitors with disabilities,” said May.
Commitments in the plan include:
- A new government strategy to grow the number of business events and conferences, helping to drive off-season visitors, developed in partnership with the British Tourist Authority and Industry.
- Ensure that the UK becomes the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025, increasing the number of international disabled visitors by a third.
- Develop an additional 130,000 bedrooms by 2025, with 75 percent outside London.
- Make travel to and around the UK easier for tourists.
- Invest £250,000 to improve broadband connectivity in conferences centers across the UK.
- Create up to five new Tourism Zones across the country which will receive government support to grow their local visitor economy.
“This sector deal is a game-changer for tourism…fixing issues from skills and productivity to extending the season year-round, building stronger tourism destinations up and down the country and developing world-class experiences for domestic and international visitors. Tourism is one of the most fiercely competitive global industries, and this deal ensures we can continue to compete internationally as a top destination for visitors, driving major economic growth across the whole of the UK,” said British Tourist Authority Chair Steve Ridgway CBE.