The government has signalled its intention to agree a landmark Tourism Sector Deal for the UK tourism industry in a bid to attract more domestic and overseas visitors and help drive major economic growth.
The UK events sector, which is worth more than £42.3bn a year to the economy, is set to play a major role in the delivery of the plan, that will focus on boosting productivity by better utilisation of existing capacities, extending the season and attracting more business visitors and event attendees to all parts of the UK.
Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has called for the wider tourism industry, which includes business visits and events, to show its commitment in promoting UK tourism throughout the year and not just in peak summer months.
Wright commented that the sector must look to increase skills and improve clear career paths; make the UK the most accessible tourism industry in the world; share industry data to identify growth opportunities in new and emerging markets; increase accommodation supply and enhance connectivity within venues.
The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) has been an integral part of the events industry’s response to the formation of the Sector Deal, led by VisitBritain on behalf of the entire tourism industry.
Simon Hughes, Vice Chair of the BVEP, said: “This is very welcome news following two years of formulating the proposals across the entire industry for the Tourism Sector Deal. The role of both business and cultural events will be crucial in delivering on the government asks of boosting productivity, extending the season and dispersing visitors to all parts of the UK.”
“We are also making great strides in providing good career opportunities within the events sector and keen to play our part in providing greater accessibility to venues, share industry data and ensure event venues have the very best connectivity to meet delegate demands.”
As the negotiations with government are advanced, industry organisations and business will be asked to participate in the development of the plans. It is expected that the negotiations will lead to a final deal, to be announced in Q1 2019.