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BHA slams common policy

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) this week issued a strong response to the EC’s green paper on the future of tourism, rejecting the concept of a full-scale Community tourism policy.

Deputy chief executive Martin Couchman said the association feared that such a policy – one of four options put forward in the green paper – could lead to new controls and directives affecting the hospitality industry.

He also voiced concerns that it might make funds available to other sectors, such as farmers, to enable them to come into tourism to the disadvantage of existing operators.

The BHA also rejected either a scaling down or a strengthening of the current levels of EC involvement. It would like to see the present arrangements retained with more assistance for the industry.

“What we do not want is the EC using funds now allocated to the British Tourist Authority to tell the BTA how much it can spend in overseas markets,” he said.

The BHA’s comments will form part of a wider response from Hotrec, the confederation of European hospitality associations, which has refused to favour any option as “the goals remain too vague”.

The green paper, on which the deadline for comments expires this week, was issued as a precursor to the 1996 inter-governmental conference at which the EC’s role in tourism will be considered.

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