TA Weekly Update – 16th March 2023

  • The Tourism Alliance Update for this week.

Please note the Spring Budget headlines and the Government’s announcement in the Budget that it will make changes to Business Visitor rules “to make it easier and more attractive to do business in the UK”. This will include expanding the range of short-term business activities that can be carried out for periods of up to six months and reviewing permitted paid engagements. These changes will be implemented from autumn 2023. In addition, the government will consider further enhanced provisions linked to negotiations with trade partners, including a wider range of activities.

UKEVENTS is asking to be involved in the changes being considered.

Please also note the Home Office online meetings on the introduction of ETA and the specific programmes offered for Tourism and Business Visitors. Partners are encouraged to sign up for these programmes so their members can be alerted to the additional requirements for overseas visitors to the UK.

Weekly Update
In this update…16th March 2023
Last chance to book – Conference and Reception
Spring Budget
Positive moves on UK-France school group travel
Short-term lets statutory registration
Home Office rolls out ETA comms
BTA Board Member appointment
TCN Event on Sustainable Destination Management
Next week’s update

Last chance to book – Conference and Reception

One week from today we will be welcoming you to Tourism Insights Conference and English Tourism Week Parliamentary Reception. We need to give final numbers to the venues by the end of the week, so this is your last chance to secure a place

We are pleased to confirm that the new Minister for Tourism, Julia Lopez MP, will be attending the English Tourism Week Parliamentary Reception and saying a few words.

If you have not yet done so, book now to secure your place.

As a reminder the speakers we have lined up are:
* Nejc Jus, Head of Research at the World Travel & Tourism Council, will be speaking on the topic of “World in Motion: Global Travel Insights.”
* Linda Ristagno from IATA will be joining us to talk to “Nose-dive and recovery? Is global aviation back on the right flight path?
* Justin Reid from TripAdvisor will be speaking on the topic of “UK Tourism – is it ok to peek out from behind the Covid sofa yet?”
* David Edwards from ETOA and Scattered Clouds will talk on “OK-UK? A long-haul journey through time: past, present and future.”
* Richard Nicholls from VisitBritain will discuss “Domestic and Inbound Performance and Prospects” and will in particular talk about GBTS and GBDVS data
* Mike Saul from Barclays will be telling us what they are seeing with consumer behaviour – are they spending on holidays or saving their money?A panel of DMO reps will also talk about destination insights and data in their local areas.

All TA members, and all organisations within your membership, are welcome to join us at the member rate and all delegates are welcome to join us afterwards at our annual English Tourism Week Parliamentary Reception, 3pm-5pm in the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons. 

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for TA members and non-members, both for the conference and the Parliamentary Reception.

Book your ticket now

Download sponsorship pack

Spring Budget In case you missed it, we sent out a quick review of the top lines for tourism from the Spring Budget yesterday. You can read that again here.

A couple of additional items:

1. The Government declared that it is minded to remove all central government funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) from April 2024 with the intention that local government should take over their functions. 

2. The Government announceed that it will make changes to Business Visitor rules “to make it easier and more attractive to do business in the UK”. This will include expanding the range of short-term business activities that can be carried out for periods of up to six months and reviewing permitted paid engagements. These changes will be implemented from autumn 2023. In addition, the government will consider further enhanced provisions linked to negotiations with trade partners, including a wider range of activities.

There are also a couple of factsheets which colleagues might find useful:

Spring Budget 2023 factsheet – Labour Market Measures
Spring Budget 2023 Media Factsheet: Cutting & Simplifying Tax for Businesses to Invest and Grow

Positive moves on UK-France school group travel 
You will be aware that the Tourism Alliance and colleagues from around the sector have been highlighting the problems for youth and student group travel following passport requirements at the UK border. The change means that school groups can not come here using ID cards, and consequently we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in such trips.

We were very pleased that this issue found its way into the UK-France Joint Leaders’ Declaration following the summit between the Prime Minister and the French President.

The relevent paragraph reads:

On school travel, the United Kingdom committed to ease the travel of school groups to the UK by making changes to documentary requirements for schoolchildren on organised trips from France. France commits to ensuring appropriate mechanisms are in place for visa free travel for children travelling on organised school trips from the United Kingdom and to facilitating the passage of those groups through the border.

We are writing to the Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick MP, to warmly welcome this declaration and to ask for more information on how this aspiration might be implemented, timescales, a request for the sector to be involved in the design of a new system, and to ensure this is scalable to other countries beyond France.

Short-term lets statutory registration
The Tourism Alliance and colleagues from around the industry took part in a roundtable with the newly appointed Tourism Minister, Julia Lopez MP, and DCMS officials this week to discuss the next steps on the road to a statutory registration scheme for tourism accommodation.

You will be aware that the Alliance is strongly in favour of a registration scheme, but that the design of such a scheme will make or break whether it benefits the sector and communities, and meets its objectives. So we will be remaining close to the issue. Alistair Handyside (PASC) will be chairing a TA Policy Working Group on this area.

The outcome of the roundtable was broadly very positive. The Government is committed to a consultation to be kicked off shortly and will offer a number of possible options. There was a remarkable degree of agreement at the roundtable on the benefits of a registration scheme, the inadvisability of a licensing scheme and on the fact that it should be a national system, with modest costs and simple to understand and implement.

We expect formal consultation to begin soon.Home Office rolls out ETA comms

The Government has started to roll out comms to inform non-visa visitors of the need for an ETA. You will recall that this will start with Qatari visitors, followed by the GCC then more widely.ETA roll-out videoThe FBIS team at the Home Office are keen to engage with industry on the ETA roll out and have asked us to circulate details for engagement sessions as below. 

Week Commencing 20th March
Date – Time – Event – Eventbrite Link to register to attendSlido link to ask questions
20 March  10:00- 11:15Interactive CarriersEventbrite_Carriers – InteractiveSlido_Carriers – Interactive
13:00- 14:15Non Interactive CarriersEventbrite Carriers – Non-InteractiveSlido_Carriers – Non-interactive     
21 March 13:00 – 14:15 Tourism SectorEventbrite-Tourism SectorSlido_Tourist Sector     
22 March 13:00- 14:15EducationEventbrite-Education SectorSlido_Education Sector     
23 March 13:0014:15Business Visitors Eventbrite-Business VisitorsSlido_Business Visitors

Week Commencing 27 March
Date – Time – EventEventbrite Link to register to attendSlido Link to ask questions
27 March10:00 – 11:15Interactive CarriersEventbrite-Carriers – InteractiveSlido-Carriers – Interactive13:00 -14:15Non interactive carriersEventbrite – Carriers – Non-InteractiveSlido – Carriers – Non-Interactive     
28 March 13:00 -14:15TourismEventbrite-Tourism SectorSlido – Tourist Sector 
29 March 13:00 -14:15EducationEventbrite – Education SectorSlido – Education Sector
30 March 13:00 -14:15BusinessEventbrite – Business VisitorsSlido – Business Visitors

BTA Board Member appointment:
The Government is recruiting two members for the board of the British Tourism Authority (VisitBritain). Details available here and applications close on 11 April 2023.

TCN Event on Sustainable Destination Management
The Tourism Consultants Network are hosting an event on 

New Challenges, New Approaches 
Experiences from three leading international exemplars of adapting to change 

Online on Wednesday April 5th 2023: 1600–1730.

You can sign up here.

 Next week’s update
Apologies in advance as next week’s update service may be disrupted as we have our ETW Conference and Reception. There may not be an email update, or it may come on a different day.

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