The government has issued an update report on progress made against the objectives set out in its post-covid Tourism Recovery Plan.
Julia Lopez, minister for media, tourism and creative industries, said: “The sector is facing economic challenges. Domestic tourism is recovering well, but international tourism is lagging behind the targets set in the Plan. Behind this mixed picture of recovery, there is huge long-term potential for economic growth, which is why the Government re-commits in this Report to support the sector through the framework of the Tourism Recovery Plan – to help it grow, thrive and, in turn, boost the UK economy.
“The Report indicates that good progress has been made against the objectives of the Tourism Recovery Plan. It acknowledges that there is further to go to support the full recovery of the visitor economy in the short term and to work with industry to deliver on the medium- to long-term ambition to build a more resilient, innovative, sustainable and inclusive sector that benefits every corner of the UK.”
Responding to the publication of the Tourism Recovery Plan Update Report, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are pleased to see that today’s Update Report shows that the Government recognises the significance of the tourism sector for the UK economy and the specific challenges it faces. Through positive collaboration between the sector and Government over the last three years there has been significant progress made to get the sector back to pre-Pandemic levels of trading and growth, and we are committed to continuing on this path.
“While we welcome the Government’s recommitment to support the Tourism Recovery Plan, we need to see significant support in the form of urgent action on energy and the labour market in order for the sector to thrive. Thousands of hospitality and tourism businesses are still set to see huge energy price increases when current support ends in April, something which unfortunately was not addressed in the Spring Budget, and it still remains the case that we need to see urgent action on the market failures identified by Ofgem in its non-domestic review update last week. The current timeline of further action by the summer is not good enough.
“The sector also needs to see short-term immigration reforms implemented to counter the sales being lost due to labour shortages, particularly abolishing or reducing the Immigration Skills Charge and offering more flexibility to students to work longer hours. Only when we see this support in place can the sector meet its ambition of building a more resilient, innovative, sustainable and inclusive sector that helps deliver jobs and economic growth that benefits every corner of the UK.”