UKEVENTS Press Releases –
UK Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETAs) Scheme – Please click here to read details on the introduction of ETAs being rolled out starting this October and eventually applying to all overseas visitors who do not need a visa. Obviously business visitors and overseas attendees to events in the UK will be affected and partners are encouraged to play their part in ensuring that visitors from overseas are made aware well in advance of their travel dates of the changes that are being brought in.
Tourism Recovery Plan Progress Report – DCMS has announced the publication of the Tourism Recovery Plan Progress Report. This sets out how the government has addressed the commitments we made in 2021 to support the tourism industry. It explicitly recommends continued support for the visitor economy through the framework of the Tourism Recovery Plan; and it outlines the steps that will continue to be taken to support the future of the industry in the medium to long term.
The Report sets out the mixed picture of recovery in the sector but overall, there has been good progress against the objectives of the Plan. In total, over £37 billion in support through grants, tax relief and loans was provided to the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors to help them survive through the long periods of uncertainty and adversity. However, it says the sector is still facing economic challenges from global inflation, labour shortages and high levels of debt, which are eroding profit margins and threatening the viability of businesses.
The Report states that the government has made good progress against the Plan’s objective for business events, which is focussed on further improving the UK’s reputation to attract more high-profile events here and champion UK industries on the global stage.
In terms of next steps, the government will continue to enhance the Ministerial Advocacy Programme, including
- increasing Ministerial attendance at business events and letters of support for event bids.
- The government will continue at appropriate fiscal moments to evaluate the case for expanding the VisitBritain Business Events Growth Programme.
- The government, working with the Tourism Industry Council Working Group, will produce a strategy for sustainable business events in line with the broader Sustainable Tourism Plan.
- The government will work to ensure the business events sector is fit for the future, including working with the sector to identify skills gaps, capacity gaps and potential improvements to accessibility.
At yesterday’s Tourism Industry Council meeting and the VisitBritain Annual Review, UKEVENTS urged government to consider the role events play in improving productivity in the visitor economy filling existing spare capacity as well as driving visitor traffic to create greater placemaking opportunities, helping with seasonality and geographical dispersal. It was suggested that there be greater co-ordination with events and the creative and cultural industries to produce future event programming, responding to the productive needs of the visitor economy, filling spare capacity in the right places at the right times.
PLASA Research – Latest survey results from PLASA, the technical services association for the Events Industry provides some insightful data on the impact of the pandemic and current economic circumstances on the Industry. Although business recovery is very much evident, debt, shortage of supplies, and depletion of technical skills are holding the full recovery back. Access report at https://www.plasa.org/plasa-wemakeevents-survey-report-2023/