A group of cross-party members of parliament has been set up to boost tourism and hospitality across the UK.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Visitor Economy aims to enhance local economies through promoting measures and incentives, including a reduction of VAT on tourism, which would increase visitor numbers and investment in the regions.
Co-chaired by Margaret Ritchie MP (SDLP) and Nigel Huddleston MP (Conservative), the body will work closely with the British Hospitality Association (BHA). Together they will host a Hospitality and Tourism Lobby Day on 16 September 2015, where BHA members and other business leaders will visit parliament to voice their views on key issues affecting the industry.
Ufi Ibrahim (pictured), chief executive of the BHA, said that the APPG was "a terrific opportunity" to hold the Prime Minister to account on his recently announced plan to support the industry with a vision that creates more growth and jobs.
"It is imperative that politicians mobilise to sustain pressure on both parliament and Whitehall to deliver further economic success for the UK through the powerful potential of hospitality and tourism," she explained. "The private sector is ready to rise to this challenge and looks forward to working with politicians to make it a reality."
Ritchie said: "We have a real opportunity to boost tourism, and with the APPG's cross-party support, I have renewed confidence that our voice can be heard across parliament, in the Treasury and in wider government circles."
Huddleston added: "We want to challenge the current perception of tourism in the UK by emphasising the many benefits that it provides to our economy. Whilst we recognise and celebrate the success of London's booming tourism industry, we aim to raise the profile of other tourist destinations across the UK."
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