The Government's decision to postpone the long-awaited Olympics tourism plan for a second time has split opinion in the hospitality industry.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which has been charged with formulating a plan to ensure the games create a £2b legacy for tourism, postponed the launch this week, citing the recent reshuffle.
The delay also follows industry concerns over some of the wording in the proposed document, originally due to be published on Tuesday (17 July).
Guy Parsons, chief operating officer at budget hotel chain Travelodge, hit out at the delay. "From today up to the Olympics 2012 is the most crucial time for tourism in decades," he said. "If ever we needed more Government interest and investment, now is the time. We can't afford any further delays."
But the British Hospitality Association (BHA) said it was "delighted" by the delay, as it gives new tourism minister Margaret Hodge time to consider BHA concerns, particularly on skills and the role of VisitLondon.
And Kurt Janson, policy director at the Tourism Alliance, said it was reasonable that the new DCMS team is "entirely comfortable" with a strategy that will set the basis for its activities over the next six years. "The most important thing is that we get the strategy right and that sufficient resources are allocated to its delivery," he said.
A DCMS spokesman said: "New ministers have come in following the reshuffle, and they want to have their own take on it, so meetings have been set up with various bodies from the tourism industry to assess the plan and take it forward."
By Daniel Thomas