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Press releases 2014

06 Jun 2014

Government and Tourism Industry Partnership

Government and tourism industry partnership announced to boost the sector

‘Tourism Council’ set up to help industry continue to enjoy strong growth

A partnership between the Government and the tourism and hospitality sector that will focus on improving skills, increasing the quality and quantity of jobs available and boosting enterprise in the industry was announced by the Minister for Tourism Helen Grant today.

Speaking at the British Hospitality Association annual summit Grant said that the new Tourism Council - an industry-led board of employers and leading players in the sector – will share and develop best practice so that tourism in Britain continues to thrive. 

The Tourism Council, which will hold its inaugural meeting next month, will be co-Chaired by the Tourism Minister, the Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Matthew Hancock and Simon Vincent, a senior industry representative from Hilton Worldwide.

Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant said:

“The tourism and hospitality industry helps us sell Britain, helps contribute to economic growth and helps drive investment. The Government is committed to working in partnership with industry to build on the success achieved in continuing to deliver further economic benefits for the UK economy and businesses across the country."

Skills and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock said:

"Small businesses in towns and villages across the country are the bedrock of our tourism industry and an important part of the wider economy. We must do everything we can to ensure they have the right environment to thrive and grow.

"This includes making sure that young people are equipped with the skills to work productively in this sector. Last year, there were over 27,000 apprentices in Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality roles and I am keen for this number to increase. This council will support the development of skills, the sharing of best practices and provide means for tourist businesses to innovate and grow."

The Council will be made up of 22 members representing industries engaged in transportation, hospitality, entertainment, travel, accommodation and services actively marketed to inbound and domestic travellers. Signed up members include VisitBritain, VisitEngland and the British Hospitality Association along with companies such as Whitbread, Easyjet and Expedia.

It will look at increasing the availability and take up of apprenticeships and improve training and development within the sector.

Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said:

“This is the first time we have had a cross-Government council looking specifically at tourism.  The active involvement of both the Tourism Minister and the Minister for Skills and Enterprise means the council can focus on the key areas of skills and training and quality of service, in the first instance.  Taken together, these things are central to helping deliver growth, competitiveness and innovation in our industry.”

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said:

"By establishing the Tourism Council, the government is affording the hospitality and tourism industry an equivalent voice to other sectors helping to drive forward the economy. We congratulate Helen Grant MP and Matt Hancock MP for making such a major and important reform, and we commit to working with the Council toward increased job creation and improved skills development.

The Tourism Council will meet every 3-4 months and builds on the work already announced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills who earlier this year announced tourism and hospitality would be part of the trailblazers programme – an initiative designed to develop a clear and concise apprenticeship standards throughout many industries in the UK.

Notes to editors

Representatives from the following organisations make up the membership of the Tourism Council: DCMS, BIS, VisitBritain, VisitEngland, Hilton, The Tourism Alliance, Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Dudley Zoo, Expedia, Parkdean Holidays, EasyJet, English Lakes Hotels, Google, First Group, Eurostar, JAC Travel, Continuum, John Lewis, Shepherd Neame, West Dorset Leisure Holidays Ltd and TUI Travel PLC.


Additional quotes from Tourism Council members:

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland said:

“Tourism makes a valuable contribution to the economy in England and is a major driver of jobs. We look forward to working in partnership with Government and industry as part of the Tourism Council to ensure it continues to be an engine for growth in this country.”  

Patrick Dempsey, Managing Director of Premier Inn said:

 “Premier Inn is a huge supporter of the Tourism industry through its 670 sites around the UK and the significant job, career, training and apprenticeship opportunities that are available within it.

“We welcome the Government and Tourism partnership and believe that this will help the Hospitality Industry, the fourth largest employer in the UK, deliver a key objective of the ‘Big Hospitality Conversation’ to create 300,000 jobs within the sector by 2020.

“Premier Inn is delivering 2,000 apprenticeships, 4,500 work placements and 8,000 new jobs by 2018 and like many other companies in the sector it’s dedicated to providing exciting opportunities for the long term unemployed and 16-24 year olds to work within a vibrant and expanding sector.”  

Catherine Lynn, Commercial Director for easyJet, said:

"Very few people realise quite how important tourism is to the UK economy and so as we return to growth, it is vital we work together to increase jobs and the economic benefits derived from the sector. As the UK's largest airline, easyJet looks forward to playing our part in the newly created Tourism Council."

Robin Frewer, Google Vertical Sales Director said:

“This is fantastic news that we’re forming the Tourism Council and drawing on the depth of knowledge and expertise from across the Travel and Hospitality industry.

“The UK is a fantastic destination for Global Tourism; We have a great infrastructure, unique culture and attractions, and some of the most advanced thinking in our businesses.  

“The world is ever changing, and the many ways in which consumers research and choose their destination of choice is evolving rapidly - it’s essential that our businesses are at the forefront of digital technology. I’m very much looking forward to supporting the Tourism Council in ensuring the that the sector is fostering the right skill sets and ensuring that Britain and the various tourism businesses based here are world leaders in digital marketing and delivering fantastic memorable experiences for visitors to the UK.”

Tim O'Toole FirstGroup's Chief Executive said:

“As the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, we recognise the vital contribution that tourism makes to the UK economy. FirstGroup has a wealth of experience ranging from operating airport shuttles to supporting international events like London 2012 and the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. The Tourism Industry Council is a welcome initiative to promote effective partnerships between businesses and Government and I am confident it will ensure that the UK's tourism sector continues to flourish.” 

Juliana Delaney, Continuum Group, CEO said:

“I have worked in tourism for thirty years, which was unplanned, but has provided me with a career that has been both thoroughly enjoyable and very rewarding. I am keen to be part of growing the sectors reputation and therefore welcome the opportunity to be part of the new Tourism Council and to champion a lifelong career in tourism particularly to young people.”

Other named members on the council include:

Stephen McCall, Intercontinental Hotel Group- MD for UK&I, Peter Suddock, Dudley Zoo- CEO, Gary Morrison, Expedia- Senior Vice President and Head of Retail, Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar- CEO, John Waterworth, Parkdean Holidays, CEO, Mario Bodini, JAC Travel- President and Chief Commercial Officer, Martin Cox, West Dorset Leisure Holidays Ltd- CEO, Jonathan Neame, Shepherd Neame- CEO, Andrew Murphy, John Lewis- Director Retail Operations, Juliana Delaney, Continuum Group, CEO and Peter Long TUI.


About the BHA

The BHA is the leading agenda-setter and members organisation for the hospitality and tourism industry, promoting the interests of operators, brands and owners across hotels, restaurants and food service, serviced apartments, clubs and visitor attractions.  The BHA’s vision is to shape the future of hospitality and tourism as a driver for international competitiveness, economic growth and valuable careers – to ensure British Hospitality and Tourism is the best in the world.


About the Hospitality & Tourism Summit

The annual Hospitality & Tourism Summit is the Davos for this industry. It's the BHA’s opportunity to bring together 500+ members, partners, journalists, academics, colleagues and Government.  This year, the main focus of the event is to secure and launch the Tourism Council with Government and Industry.  It is being held at Novotel West on 5th June 2014.


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