TESSA JOWELL STRESSES BENEFITS OF TOURISM REFORM FOR INDUSTRY
Wednesday 26 February 2003, 2:57 PM
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell today outlined the benefits the industry can
expect from radical reform to the Government's support for tourism
They include having a greater say in how public funds are spent to promote
England and Britain as tourist destinations and improved productivity and
But in order to maximise these benefits, she warned industry leaders they
will need to work in partnership with each other, the public sector and
Speaking at the Hartwell Three Tourism Seminar in London, Tessa Jowell
stressed that the Government was looking to industry to take the initiative
to help define how England's new national tourism body - formed from the
merger of the British Tourist Authority and English Tourism Council - will
She said industry needed to engage now through its trade bodies to avoid
missing the boat on having a say in shaping the new marketing agenda for
England that will stem from the reforms.
The establishment of the England Marketing division, with an England
Marketing Director, within the new body is well underway, with a potential
budget of at least £5m. A draft marketing strategy for England is currently
Tessa Jowell said:
"A key strand of reform is greater involvement for the industry. We want the
industry to play its full part in helping to direct the use of public funds.
"I know that existing resources in both the public and private sectors can
be put to better use - if just a few percent of the industry's current
marketing spend was redirected to support joint programmes, we could see a
vast improvement in productivity and profitability.
"But I am not referring to funding issues alone. Amongst the many ways in
which we can work in partnership to support the industry at large are the
sharing of best practice; visions and ideas and of fundamental resources,
such as databases."
During the seminar, Tessa Jowell invited three key speakers to outline three
concrete examples of how partnership has worked in practice, both nationally
* Bob Cotton, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality and
Restaurants Association, outlined the success of the Product through
Productivity initiative - an extensive joint Government and industry
programme of business support, delivering practical help for small
businesses by assisting them every step of the way to produce results that
will benefit the industry and economy through boosting quality, productivity
* Tom Wright, Chief Executive of the BTA, reported that the
Million Visitor Campaign (also known as Only in Britain, Only in 2002) was
being followed up with the new European Short Breaks Campaign in 2003/04.
This will focus on the growing short breaks market from 11 key European
countries. This is an even broader partnership than the Million Visitor
Campaign, including many individual cities and building on city of culture
bids, as well as normal industry partners.
* Declan Swan of the Hospitality Training Foundation outlined
plans for a Sector Skills Council for the tourism, hospitality and leisure
sectors - a proposed industry and Government initiative to increase training
opportunities and thereby drive up standards, ensuring visitors have a
pleasurable experience once they arrive in Britain.
The reforms, which were announced in October 2002, will go live in April.
They include setting up the new national lead body, which will combine the
resources and strengths of the existing English Tourism Council and the BTA
to better market Britain to both the overseas and domestic market.
There will be a more coherent marketing agenda across Britain by ensuring
that England, Scotland and Wales retain and develop strong separate brand
identities to attract domestic holidaymakers as well as those from overseas.
Mr Cotton said:
"The industry supports the new England marketing agenda: it is something we
have pressed for strongly. Combined with the work on skills and
productivity improvement, we now have a strong basis for a partnership
between Government and industry."
Richard Tobias, Deputy Chairman of the Tourism Alliance, was also attending
the seminar. He said:
"I am delighted the money has been found for England marketing in the way
the Secretary of State intended, and the Tourism Alliance looks forward to
working with the new national tourism body to promote tourism more
The reform programme builds on priorities for tourism identified at the
initial Hartwell seminar in November 2001, which was originally called to
address issues raised for the industry by the effects of September 11 and
Foot and Mouth Disease. These priorities were boosting domestic marketing,
improving training and skills, developing e-tourism, creating a single voice
for industry and improving data and quality.
Notes to Editors
1 The Hartwell Three Tourism Seminar was held today at the
Department for Culture Media and Sport in London.
2 The event was attended by a wide range of industry bodies
including representatives from the English Tourism Council, The Local
Government Association, the Council for Travel and Tourism, The Business
Tourism Partnership and the Hospitality Training Foundation.
3 Press release 195/02, announcing the reform of Government
support for tourism, was issued on October 31 2002. The press release can be
found on the DCMS website at www.culture.gov.uk
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