British prime minister David Cameron has announced the government’s new five point plan to boost tourism right across the UK - spreading the benefits of one of our fastest growing sectors beyond the capital, helping to create jobs and rebalance the economy.
A new inter-ministerial group will be formed to co-ordinate and align action across government to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place to make it easy for visitors to discover the best of what this country has to offer.
The group, headed by the culture secretary John Whittingdale, and including ministers from across government, including the department for communities and local government, BIS, DEFRA, home office, and the foreign and commonwealth office, will focus on five key areas:
A better co-ordinated sector: the sector is too fragmented - we want to see local attractions and tourism organisations collaborating to grow the sector for everyone not competing.
The prime minister announced a £1 million ‘Rail for Tourism innovation competition’, which will call for ideas to transform the travel experience for visitors to the UK and make exploring the UK by rail more attractive to tourists.
The competition will be run by the RSSB’s Future Railways Programme, and winners will receive funding to develop their ideas and carry out trials.
The plan will build upon the enormous success of the 2011 tourism strategy, which culminated in a record year for overseas visitors in 2014 and now sees the industry contribute £60 billion to the UK economy a year.
Continuing his visit to the south-west today Cameron, said: “Millions of overseas tourists visit the UK every year and most take in the sights of London.
“But Britain has so much more to offer, from the Cornish Riviera to the Scottish Highlands and everything in between.
“For many areas tourism is a key industry bringing jobs, growth and security for working people. Tourism supports almost one in ten jobs in the UK and we want to rebalance the economy to make sure this boost is felt right across the country.”
The plan and funding announced today is in addition to new funds announced in March to boost tourism in both the south-west and the north.