In January 2017, the Government launched proposals for a Modern Industrial Strategy to unlock the future potential of the UK economy. At the heart of the strategy green paper was an offer to industry to strike new sector deals, driven by the interests of business and the people they employ, to address sector-specific challenges and opportunities.
It is against this background that over the last few months VisitBritain has been leading a process of consultation to develop a proposal for a Tourism Sector Deal including a roundtable session in Manchester organised by Marketing Manchester.
The result is a proposal for a Tourism Sector Deal that will support the sector to grow and innovate and to become more productive, resilient and sustainable. In doing so, it will allow more visitors from home and abroad to enjoy more of Britain’s unique cultural offer, and unlock greater prosperity across the UK in the process. The proposed Tourism Sector Deal has four main “asks”:
A new skills campaign, creating the workforce for an ambitious sector
A productivity drive, boosting seasonality and business visits
Making Britain more connected digitally and in transport
The creation of new Tourism Zones
The Tourism Sector Deal sets out ambitious national targets through to 2025:
- Boosting productivity by 1% (an additional £12 billion to the UK economy)
- Delivering an additional 70,000 jobs (3.8 million employed – 10% of the UK workforce)
- Building the most competitive tourism market in Europe
- Increasing the value of Tourism to all corners of the UK
- Tourism will double and be worth £268 billion
The proposed Tourism Sector Deal was signed off by the Tourism Industry Council on 4 October and will now enter a negotiation stage with government ministers with the intention to be agreed by the end of November.
Marketing Manchester will now be working with partners across Greater Manchester to shape a response which meets the needs of the sector within Greater Manchester and aligns with the regional priorities. This will also be used to progress discussions with Greater Manchester’s Mayor.
Further details will follow in the months ahead.