Government cuts in travel and tourism receives industry backlash
July 23rd, 2010 by elisa

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have announced that government plans to cut up to half of the staff at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport could “stagnate” growth in the sector and accused the coalition government of showing “incredible short-sightedness and bad judgement”.

WTTC president and CEO Claude Baumgarten said tourism represents a similar share of GDP to the financial and business services sector.

“But while the latter received a bailout to the tune of £850 billion and still struggles in its lengthy recovery, the government appears to be actively working to stagnate growth in Travel & Tourism,” he said.

He warned that the government’s pledge to stop Heathrow expansion, its overreaction to the volcanic eruption, unfair taxation from Air Passenger Duty to a VAT increase, and the continuing challenges of visa processes and procedures will all damage tourism.

“If it continues down this path, the UK will quickly lose its competitive advantage and find itself fall from the top ten league of international destinations,” said Baumgarten.

“We are not asking for a handout, but the private sector needs this government to implement policies that will help it thrive and quickly create new employment opportunities to help bring the UK further out of recession.”

This comes as independent research by Deloitte and Oxford Economics shows that Britain’s tourism economy will grow faster in the next decade than retail, chemicals, transport, and manufacturing. However, the report highlights that this growth is only possible with help and cooperation from the government. See the full blog on this report at our sister site, HolidayCottages.

The WTTC plans to meet with the Prime Minister to increase his understanding of the potential of the Travel & Tourism industry and the challenges it faces.

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