The Conservative Party Tourism Taskforce’s report, published during
the party’s recent conference in Manchester,
calls for greater investment in bidding for events for the UK.
The report calls on the minister for tourism to ensure that the
events industry is strongly represented on the Tourism Advisory Council, a
position currently held by Paul Thandi, chief executive of the NEC Group. The report recommends
“special access” for business visitors and a smoother visa system.
The report supports the idea of an ICC in Central
London, while acknowledging Excel’s potential as an international
conference hall venue too.
The report outlines that much of the growth in Britain’s visitor economy has come in
recent decades from business visits, meetings and events, while accepting that
the recession has put business tourism under severe pressure.
The Tories’ report says the high-skill, high-spend sector deserves
attention and support to return it to health and economic growth, arguing
Britain needs to win more international conventions and events against overseas
Chairman of the Business Visits and Events Partnership, Michael
Hirst, who represented the events sector on the Taskforce, says: “I am delighted
that, in considering its tourism strategy, the Conservative Party has recognised
the importance of business visits and events and some of the measures needed to
support the industry. Let’s hope they will follow these through in their final