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First Ever UK Tourism Summit

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In Autumn 2002 S & A were privileged to have been invited to work with the Wales Tourist Board to organise the first event held under the banner of the newly established UK Tourism.

A collective of the three Chairs of ETC, WTB and VisitScotland. The Summit, held at Celtic Manor Resort (Wales), brought together 16 industry leaders for a frank debate about the future of tourism in the UK. Their debate was informed by presentation by The Henley Centre, Deloitte & Touche and S & A. At the end of the Summit a Ten-Point Agenda was sent to the DCMs and Minister, Kim Howells, as well as Tourism Ministers in the Wales Assembly Government and the Scottish Parliament. The Ten-Point Agenda is as follows:

1. Set stretching growth targets and provide clear strategic leadership to ensure these targets are achieved.

2. Decide where Britain should be positioned vis-à-vis the competition and develop an overarching brand image, capable of accommodating strong subsidiary brands for England, Scotland and Wales. Implement a co-ordinated strategic marketing plan in England which would complement the approach of Scotland and Wales.

3. Drive forward a dynamic process of product innovation to meet the fast changing needs of markets and customers. Tomorrow’s tourist is increasingly diverse and sophisticated and is seeking a broad range of exciting destination experiences, based on lifestyle enrichment, sporting and cultural events, wellness, education, and fun. All of this must be supported by a comprehensive Total Quality Management programme for the industry.

4. Introduce a statutory accommodation registration scheme through which minimum standards would be verified. Introduce a common classification scheme across Britain and make participation mandatory in order to secure inclusion in official promotional activity.

5. Provide additional airport capacity, nationally and regionally, with greater integration and interchangeability in internal transport, enabling access for tourists.

6. Place fresh impetus to skill development, especially in SMEs. Successful approaches, such as the National Apprenticeship Scheme should be promoted, together with successful individual company schemes.

7. Alleviate the impact of the strength of sterling by reducing VAT on tourism services to EU averages.

8. Fund the introduction of a national tourism database and information network, with an on-line booking facility, which would complement the boom in travel by low-cost airlines and individual hotel systems and integrate fully with schemes already in operation in Scotland and Wales.

9. Ensure that the development plan system adequately and appropriately embraces the spatial and landuse demands of a modern tourism industry.

10. Introduce a satellite accounting system which would facilitate the identification of the full economic contribution of tourism in the National Accounts. The three national tourist boards should share research, focussing on why our potential tourists decide to go elsewhere.

Date: 20/5/2004

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