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Friday 04 July 2003, 11:45 AM

Richard Tobais OBE, Deputy Chairman of the Alliance gives an update on Alliance activities during June.

NEW TOURISM MINISTER Tony Blair's recent cabinet/government reshuffle resulted in the Rt. Hon Richard Caborn MP being appointed Minister for Sport & Tourism in place of Dr Kim Howells. Dr Howells was appointed Minister of State for transport. Mr Caborn's appointment was announced at the recent Tourism Alliance Plenary Meeting. Mr Caborn's additional responsibilities include gaming and licensing, with the post being upgraded to Minister of State status. Richard Tobias met with Mr Caborn immediately following his appointment where they discussed a range of tourism related issues. Regular meetings will take place between the Minister and officials and Richard to discuss issues of common interest. WORKING WITH OTHER ALLIANCES In June Richard Tobias met with the chief executives of the Scottish Tourism Forum, the Wales Tourism Alliance and the Northern Ireland Tourism Industry Confederation. The objective was to ensure that government and media messaging was co-ordinated. Regular meetings will take place in the future to ensure that matters of common interest are shared. ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY TOURISM GROUP RECEPTION The All-party Parliamentary Tourism Group held a reception at Kensington Palace in June to promote its work. The Tourism Alliance will be presenting to the Parliamentary Tourism Group during the next parliamentary session. ROYAL TOURISM DAY Eight members of the Royal Household took part in a day of activities designed to boost British tourism interests and activity. The events received wide media coverage and were judged to be an outstanding success. The Tourism Alliance has written to the Her Majesty's Private Secretary commending the work in organising the events and proposing that the initiative be repeated in the future. TOURISM ALLIANCE PLENARY The Culture Secretary of State, Tessa Jowell MP, addressed a plenary meeting of the Tourism Alliance at Centre Point on June 16th. At the meeting the Culture Secretary confirmed her support of the Tourism Alliance and confirmed that the DCMS would work with the TA when considering or formulating tourism and allied industry issues. At the meeting Tourism Alliance chairman, Digby Jones, handed the Secretary of State the Tourism Alliance publication 'Priorities for tourism – 1st year review', the follow up publication to 'Tourism Spending Priorities' published in April 2002. Members who wish to receive hard copies of the report for circulation to their members should contact Karishma Chandaria. The report may also be downloaded at TOURISM PROSPECTUS DCMS will be publishing a Tourism Prospectus in the autumn setting out the department's strategy for tourism. The prospectus will be co-produced with the Tourism Alliance. TOURISM ALLIANCE MEMBERSHIP At the Tourism Alliance plenary meeting on June 16th a question was raised in respect of criteria for Tourism Alliance membership. Membership of the Tourism Alliance is open to all private, public and voluntary sector organisations that are concerned with, or have an interest in, tourism and allied industries. Tourism Alliance membership is not open to commercial companies and/or individual commercial members of trade associations. TRADE PARTNERS UK Richard Tobias will be meeting with representatives of Trade Partners UK in July to explore avenues of co-operation for the promotion of the tourism industry both in the UK and overseas. Trade Partners UK is a division within the Department for Trade and Industry. TOURISM SESSION AT CBI CONFERENCE The next Tourism Alliance Plenary Meeting will take place at the CBI Conference in Birmingham on November 17th. This is the first time there has been a tourism session at a CBI conference and it is hoped that all members will attend. In this instance members may nominate an additional delegate to attend the meeting (for example, chairman or similar). Tourism Minister, Richard Caborn, will be one of the guest speakers. Further details and a Booking Form will be sent to you shortly. TOURISM ALLIANCE FUNDING – 2004 Members will shortly be asked to complete a short questionnaire to help the Tourism Alliance assess the appropriate level of subscription for 2004. Please respond as soon as you receive the questionnaire to enable us to effectively plan our objectives for 2004. WORKING WITH DCMS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS The principal rationale for the formation of the Tourism Alliance was to act as an overarching, cohesive voice for the tourism industry when dealing with local and central government, and other bodies. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is, naturally, the conduit for most of the communication between the industry and government. However, there are many issues that are the responsibility of other Departments and it would greatly assist the Tourism Alliance Secretariat if members would appraise the TA on issues that are pertinent or relevant to their individual organisations. MEETINGS During June Richard Tobias has held a number of meetings with various bodies and organisations in the furtherance of the Tourism Alliance's objectives. These include meetings with officials and ministers at DCMS, VisitBritain, Business Tourism Partnership, the Scottish Tourism Forum, Wales Tourism Alliance, Northern Ireland Tourism Industry Federation, Tourism Alliance members and others. MEDIA The Tourism Alliance continues to attract (predominantly, but not exclusively) trade media interest and comment. During the past month both Digby Jones and Richard Tobias have briefed journalists on the objectives of the Tourism Alliance and will seek to increase national media interest in the coming months. TOURISM STATISTICS IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE In the May Tourism Alliance Report mention was made of the Tourism Statistics Improvement Initiative. This is an initiative of the Secretary of State to gather better and more meaningful statistics in relation to the tourism industry. The TSII is vitally important if we are to strengthen our case for better understanding and support, and it would be greatly appreciated if you would make every effort to encourage your members to complete the questionnaire when they receive it. CONSTITUTION Given that the funding structure of the Tourism Alliance will change in 2004 it is appropriate that the TA Constitution be examined to ensure fair and democratic representation for all members. During the coming months this task will be undertaken by Ian Reynolds (ABTA) and Martin Couchman (BHA). Members will be advised later in the year of any changes and given opportunity to input through a consultation process. In the meantime the Tourism Alliance Secretariat would welcome any initial views on the structure and representation of the TA. AGENDA ISSUES FOR TAEG The Tourism Alliance Executive Group meets monthly (except August) and would welcome any issue that Tourism Alliance members wish to bring to their attention. Issues for agenda discussion should be forwarded to Karishma Chandaria no later than one week before it meets, together with any supporting documentation that will assist discussion. The next TAEG meeting is on 2nd September. ends

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