The Government has today announced its intention to deliver a landmark sector deal for the UK tourism industry to attract more domestic and overseas visitors and help drive major economic growth.
Speaking to the Tourism Industry Council, made up of leading members of the tourism industry and government, Jeremy Wright the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed the Government will begin negotiations with the sector on an ambitious Industrial Strategy sector deal that will benefit the whole country.
As part of this process, he has called upon the industry to respond with a renewed commitment to promote its offer throughout the year, not just in the peak summer months, and increase clear career paths.
The sector has been asked to look at the key themes of:
- Making tourism and hospitality a career for life
- Making the UK the most accessible tourism industry in the world
- Sharing industry data to identify growth opportunities in new and emerging markets
- Increasing accommodation capacity
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls has welcomed the agreement in principle saying:
“We are delighted that a sector deal has been agreed in principle. Securing a sector deal for hospitality has been a priority for UKHospitality and we have worked very hard to achieve it.
“The tourism and hospitality sectors are closely linked, with over 80% of tourism jobs within hospitality, so this will have a positive impact on our ability to recruit and retain the workforce we need.
“A supportive sector deal will provide us with incredibly useful support to enhance the skills and training that hospitality already provides. As a sector, we are a fantastic employer and proud of the work we do to develop young employees, but a sector deal will enable us to achieve even more.
“UKHospitality is committed to enhancing the development and training on offer across hospitality, the roll-out of high-quality apprenticeship schemes and on-the-job training. Additional support from Westminster will allow the sector to capitalise on such schemes and augment the training we provide.
“The positive work that we do, and the future initiatives we wish to undertake with the help of the sector deal does, however, rely on the sector being able to access sufficient labour, at a time when we have virtual full employment, and any future immigration policy will need to reflect that. The Government has shown great intent by agreeing a sector deal for tourism, so we look forward to working in partnership, with positive action to secure the future workforce for our sector.”
Negotiations will now take place between Government and the Sector, following the meeting of the Tourism Industry Council today.