BVEP Update – Message from Chris Skeith, BVEP Chair

Dear Partner,

I hope you are keeping well in these turbulent times since we met just over a month ago. Gaelle will be setting up a zoom partner catch up later this month, and we very much look forward to meeting face to face on the 24th May – it’s been too long!

As promised the BVEP Exec met on the 9th February following the partner meeting and had a very productive catch up, starting to set the scene for 2022 – the notes from which are attached for your information. In short, we are conducting a short partner survey to help inform future BVEP activity/comms/business plan and will try to align the agendas of the now numerous working groups to sync in with government priorities to enable the free flow of information between partners and officials and vice versa. We will continue to provide ad hoc updates via the Tourism Alliance and will put into place a more formal communications plan to keep you all informed and allow partners to share news, views and information. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by M&IT Magazine Podcast, if you have a few minutes to kill over a coffee, click here.

Our thanks go to John Gallery and members of the Exec who have helped shape the Partners Survey which is now set up on Surveymonkey: We’d be grateful if you could complete and return this to us by the Friday 18th March (we appreciate many of you will be busy at ExCeL next week)!

I’ve been spending a lot of time speaking to various connections all over the world, and been monitoring approaches from other associations, on the terrible situation in Ukraine. We understand the need for international based associations who have business, members, partners, and sponsors in the Region to make a statement and change their operating practices. However, as BVEP is a non-political organisation and does not have any members or other interests in Russia, or indeed outside of the UK, we currently do not feel it is necessary to issue a statement (but will keep this under constant review). We have discussed this as the BVEP Executive and spoken to a number of Partners who have come to the same conclusion within their organisations, and all agree this approach. However, this should not of course detract from you taking any individual action.

As previously communicated in Tuesday’s Tourism Alliance update, Kurt says he has been asked by DCMS to forward on any information regarding impacts that the war in Ukraine is having on UK tourism businesses – be that inbound or outbound – so that they can monitor the situation. So, if any of your members are being impacted in any way. Please share any information with Kurt, and we can reassess the BVEP position going forward.

Furthermore, there have been some conversations regarding how people can help, which is now widely published on social media. From an EIA perspective we are directing people to organisations who have established programmes in the region so support is directly and immediately available, namely the International Red Cross, and UNICEF. I did hear on the news today that the Disaster Emergency Committee have set up a grouped response – so we will add this to our advice.

I hope this makes sense, but please do let me know if you have any observations, comments or concerns, and we look forward to reviewing your survey responses.