In the UK, there are many organisations that either lobby the Government on behalf of the tourism industry or work to improve the industry. The six detailed below are our key partners and the main players that we work with. Collaboration is key when lobbying and wherever possible agreeing a common position. The Exec Chair of PASC UK maintains close working relationships with the leads of all of these key partners.
The Tourism Alliance (TA) was formed in the aftermath of the foot and mouth disaster, to bring together tourism to work with the Government to help the tourism sector recover. Today the TA involves all the key players in UK tourism and is an effective organisation in lobbying the UK Government for positive changes for our sector. This is probably our most important relationship, PASC UK is a Member of the TA, and Alistair Handyside our Executive Chairman is on the Board of the TA. Kurt Janson, the Director of the TA is also on the PASC UK board, and this close working relationship is the best opportunity for getting significant support within Government for change, especially Business Rates and cutting tourism VAT.
The Cut Tourism VAT Campaign says that the Chancellor’s decision to extend the reduction of VAT for hospitality and tourism businesses to 5% by a further six months will help the industry start to get back on its feet and begin trading again. However, increasing it back up in October to 12.5% does not solve the problem. The case for a permanent reduction in hospitality VAT has never been stronger given the positive impact it has had on pricing, investment as well as safeguarding and creating of jobs during the pandemic. They will be making the case to the Chancellor that he needs to show his long-term support for a post-COVID hospitality industry by keeping a permanent low rate of VAT on hospitality businesses beyond the time frame currently proposed.
The South West Tourism Alliance (SWTA) was formed to fill part of the gap caused by the closure of the regional tourist boards by the coalition Government. Key services were maintained in the South West for the tourism sector, including research, data and quality awards. All are now managed by the private sector. SWTA represents all the key players in the South West visitor economy and lobbies Government on its behalf. The key subjects are Business Rates, support for rural and coastal businesses, rural broadband and better road and rail connections to the South West. Alistair Handyside, Executive Chair of PASC UK is also the Chief Executive of SWTA.
PASC UK is unashamedly based on the successful model adopted by the Association of Scottish Self-Caterers (ASSC). The ASSC has a paid Chief Executive and some administrative support, plus a strong supporting board. The ASSC has enjoyed considerable success in its dialogue and lobbying with the Scottish Government, tourism is devolved to the Scottish Government, and is frequently asked to provide input into both the Scottish Government and Visit Scotland. We will work closely with the ASSC on matters of common interest and share data when required. Robert Kennedy, a board member of PASC UK is also a Board Member of the ASSC.
UKHospitality seeks to unlock the industry’s full potential as one of the biggest engines for growth in the economy and to ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented. Our key priorities are the future workforce of the sector, tackling the excessive tax burden the sector faces and ensuring that regulation on business is proportionate. Kate Nicholls is the CEO and has been a force for good in lobbying the Government during the pandemic. PASC UK are fully paid up Members of UKHospitality.
The Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) was formed in 1998 when the National Assembly for Wales was established and the responsibility for tourism was devolved from Westminster to Cardiff. WTA and its members provide a collective voice to put forward the views of the industry to Welsh Government and beyond. The WTA is widely recognised as the voice of the industry in Wales. WTA is Chaired by Andrew Campbell and the Policy Advocate is Adrian Greason-Walker, both of whom have extensive knowledge of the tourism sector in Wales and are well connected with the Welsh Government. PASC UK is a fully paid up Member of the WTA.