The findings from the first ever All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Inquiry into the international competitiveness of the UK events industry have been released. The report calls on Government to play its part in growing the sector’s value from its present £36bn to a projected £48.4bn by 2020.
The APPG inquiry took place over the summer and was headed by Nick de Bois MP. Nick de Bois commented: "The [Olympic] Games provided a much needed boost to the economy, they spurred national pride, they stimulated business and created an almost two-month long advert to visit Britain. Following on the heels of this major sporting event we will see the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015.
"My fear is that whilst such unique global opportunities will not present again for some time, that the ingenuity and expertise demonstrated almost on a daily basis by the events industry at business and leisure tourism events will be seen as having peaked in this brief three-year period. Instead, 2012 must represent a new catalyst for exceptional new opportunities and times in which government may not only have now recognised the UK’s predominance, but joins with industry to help stimulate a new era of growth and partnership."
In the report, the industry does not call for financial support, but instead urges the government to cut visa and taxation restrictions and to create a special 'events visa'.
The report also suggests that local government and regional subvention is 'paramount' to the UK's success as an events destination.
The report notes barriers to growth were exacerbated by the poor positioning of the business events industry within many sectors of Government.
The report stated that the events industry is 'most inconsistent' in how it represents itself. The sector needs to represent itself more 'cohesively to ensure it presents a more united voice to all stakeholders, not just to government'. It therefore recommended that the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) and the Britain for Events campaign be fully recognised by the Government as the central representative voice for the UK events industry.
Sustainability and apprenticeships were identified as key areas which the industry should address. It was suggested by the inquiry that these areas would help the industry to win more government business and endear itself to government when asking for support.
The full findings of the inquiry will be presented today (16 Dec) by de Bois at De Vere Venues Altitude in London.