Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has been elected as the new Chairman of the Tourism Alliance, the tourism industry’s umbrella body, representing over fifty organisations.
Hirst has been a long standing supporter of the UK events industry through his work with the BVEP and Britain for Events, launching the 2012 campaign last week and unveiling the GREAT campaign creative for the events industry and underlining the crucial role events play in the UK tourism industry.
Hirst commented, "I am delighted to be representing all of tourism’s important business interests in this iconic year for both Britain's tourism and events industry. The Business Visits and Events Partnership has been a long-standing supporter of the Tourism Alliance since its inception ten years ago. To take on its leadership shows how far the recognition of the events sector has come.”
He added, "The Alliance’s role must be to maintain the momentum for tourism created by the Olympics and the Jubilee celebrations and ensure that Government support continues so that the tourism legacy can be maximized."
“The Alliance’s new three year strategy identifies the core issues that affect the international competitiveness of the UK tourism industry that the Government must address if the tourism legacy of hosting the Olympics is to be realised. These issues are: reducing regulatory burden, facilitating visa applications, providing adequate aviation capacity, reducing VAT, reviewing Air Passenger Duty and providing more support for tourism marketing."
Resolving these key issues will put the tourism industry in its rightful place as a main-stream growth sector of the UK economy, generating jobs, skills, exports and investment, as well as being a leading contributor to the fortunes of local businesses, the Nation’s image and community well-being.
Hirst was also a former Chairman and Chief Executive of Hilton International, with a career spanning the broad range of tourism activities, including holiday and leisure centres, restaurants, pubs, event catering and attractions.