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Award-winning association UKinbound has launched its manifesto for the UK’s inbound tourism industry, which focuses on bringing international visitors to the UK, ahead of this year’s general election.

Featuring seven policy ideas and reforms, the manifesto highlights that inbound tourism is an export industry that brings new money into the UK, providing the current and future government with both short-term and long-term growth opportunities.

The asks presented are:

  • Expand and reform the Youth Mobility Scheme
  • Extend passport-free travel schemes for under 18-year olds
  • Create home-grown talent with language skills
  • Enhance the UK’s competitiveness via a reduced-price five-year visitor visa
  • Make the Electronic Travel Authorisation more competitive
  • Boost regional economic growth through the introduction of a new VAT Reclaim Scheme
  • Reinstate national tourist board budgets to pre-inflationary levels to strengthen international marketing

The document outlines that inbound tourism is forecast to be worth £34 billion to the UK economy in 2024, with 39 million international visitors to the UK. By the end of the year the industry is expected to have returned to 2019 figures.

It also details the positive impact the industry has on regional economies and its ability to sustain and create skilled jobs. Data is shared which suggests that international tourism spend in the UK is due to grow 20% by 2027, in comparison with a UK average of 5% for the wider economy.

Concerns regarding the UK’s international competitiveness are included - the World Economic Forum places the UK 116, out of 117 countries for price competitiveness, alongside a range of solutions encompassed by the seven policy ideas and reforms. 

Joss Croft OBE, CEO, UKinbound said: “Our manifesto is a blueprint for export growth that harnesses opportunity, while supporting businesses and creating and maintaining skilled jobs across all regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

“This strategy matters. Our seven policy ideas and reforms provide both immediate and long-term solutions, that would significantly enhance the UK’s 2nd largest service export industry, inbound tourism, and Britain PLC.

“International tourism is incredibly competitive, but the UK should be more ambitious about the significant role that inbound tourism can play in economic growth. We are therefore calling on the current and future government, to continue its ongoing collaborative relationship with industry, to ensure the sustainable growth of this export sector.

Driving Export Growth – A Manifesto for the UK’s Inbound Visitor Economy was launched on Tuesday 14th May at a reception event in the Houses of Parliament. The event was hosted by Sally-Ann Hart MP for Hastings and Rye, with a speech from the Tourism Minister, Julia Lopez MP.  Over 20 parliamentarians attended, alongside 60 UKinbound members and stakeholders.

The UKinbound manifesto can be accessed here.


PHOTO: (L-R) Sally-Ann Hart MP; Rebecca Brooks, Chair, UKinbound; Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound; Tourism Minister, Julia Lopez MP

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