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VisitEngland is revisiting its 10-year strategic framework for the development of the industry and has launched an industry-wide consultation on future growth strategy.
The consultation, which was announced at the opening event of English Tourism Week, will set the stage for a mid-term refresh of the Strategic Framework for Tourism 2010-2020 launched by VisitEngland five years ago.
The original 10-year strategy aimed to grow tourism by 5% in value, year on year, and was developed in close partnership with the industry. VisitEngland aims to repeat that process for the mid-term refresh.
The strategy will set out revised priorities for tourism in England and ensure the industry as a whole is equipped to respond to the latest market trends and challenges.
The national tourism board claims its aim is to maximise tourism’s contribution to the economy, providing employment and improving quality of life.
VisitEngland CEO James Berresford commented: “Since we launched this strategy five years ago, the sector has performed strongly, delivering against target on jobs and economic growth. However, the tourism landscape has changed radically over the past five years with political, economic, structural, technological and social shifts all having an impact, which is why we need to revisit the original strategy to make sure it is still right for a new operating environment.
“By working together with industry partners, we can ensure our growth continues at the target levels set in the original strategy and achieve our goal of creating a thriving, robust and globally competitive industry by 2020.”
VisitEngland believes it is also an opportunity for the wider tourism industry to take ownership and action to ensure it becomes a catalyst for greater collaboration and partnership working nationally and locally.
Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at Marketing Manchester, said at the launch event: “This is an opportune time for the industry to consider what is needed to continue growing tourism and ensuring benefits on a local level are being showcased nationally. We need to work together to maximise the potential of business tourism and encourage inward investment across the regions, including making the most of the role of regional airports as gateways to the region. This strategy will provide the backbone for the industry to rally behind these key issues.”
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association and chair of the Tourism Alliance, added: “We need to speak with a single-minded, strong voice on tourism growth, combining our efforts is the only way to deliver true success and we’ve seen the benefits of this approach with the BHA’s drive to increase employment opportunities and skills across the hospitality and tourism sector.”
The consultation is now live until 15 May. To take part visit www.visitengland.com/tourismgrowthstrategy.
The final strategy will be launched this summer.