The country’s national tourist board – VisitEngland – has laid out its first Strategic Tourism Framework, detailing action needed to maximize the tourism industry’s contribution to England’s economy, employment and quality of life.
Developed in collaboration with organisations and individuals across both private and public sectors, the documents seeks to ensure England retains and grows market share in an increasingly competitive industry.
According a Deloitte report - Economic Contribution of the Visitor Economy UK & The Nations - the visitor economy is now worth £97 billion a year and employs in excess of two million people.
It supports 150,000 businesses both directly and indirectly, and has an interdependent relationship with a range of sectors; including farming, transport, retailing, sport, museums, galleries and the arts.
VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford, commented: “England is a fantastic country whether visitors have a couple of hours to spare, a long weekend, or a two-week holiday.
“Tourism needs and indeed deserves much greater recognition for the positive impacts it brings to the economy in terms of income, skills and jobs.
“It is an excellent route into employment at all levels which is why the prospect of increasing the number of jobs the industry supports is so exciting.”
The Conservative Party recently laid out its plans to assist the tourism industry, should they win the next election.
Speaking during British Tourism Week, VisitEngland confirmed the plans would seek to raise an additional £50bn in visitor spending over the next decade, while also creating over 225,000 jobs.
By achieving such growth, tourism would significantly outstrip the performance of most other major sectors of the national economy such as manufacturing.
However, a no growth scenario for the tourism industry could result in significant job losses and the demise of a wide range of tourism businesses, warned the tourist organisation.
More detailed plans will be presented at the Best of Britain & Ireland event, taking place at London’s Olympia this weekend.
These will include announcements of new events in England for the Cultural Olympiad, the launch of an online sustainability programme, an exciting new transport partnership, research around existing quality schemes and new welcome initiatives.
Lady Cobham, chairman VisitEngland said: “The Strategic Framework urges all areas of the Tourism industry as well as everyone in Westminster and Whitehall to play their part in helping England realise the potential £50 billion.
“The industry has jobs to offer and it is time to stand up and all play a part in shaping the future that this industry deserves.
“VisitEngland has been incredibly encouraged by the renewed enthusiasm for English Tourism and looks forward to this continuing.”