In the UK, there are many organisations that either lobby the Government on behalf of the tourism industry or work to improve the industry that we work closely with. These are the main players that we work with.
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 both the UK Government and the EC for positive changes for our sector. This is probably our most important relationship, PASC 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 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.
Cut Tourism VAT
The campaign to cut the VAT rate on tourism accommodation to 5% is gaining momentum. There are almost 200 MP’s who now support this, and the recent deal between the Conservative Administration and the DUP in Northern Ireland has a full formal evaluation of cutting tourism VAT as part of the deal. This has rejuvenated the conversation with Government for the wider UK. A cut in the rate of VAT would have a hugely positive impact on the tax vortex suffered by professional self-caterers covered elsewhere on this website. Graham Wason, a PASC board director, started the VAT campaign and is currently advising the Cut Tourism VAT team. Alistair Handyside, Executive chair of PASC is a frequent spokesperson for the Cut Tourism VAT campaign in the media. PASC as an organisation is an active Member of the Cut Tourism VAT team.
SWTA South West Tourism Alliance
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, training, awards and green tourism support. All are now managed by the private sector. SWTA represents all the key players in the South West visitor economy and lobbies 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. SWTA was a key provider of information to the recent Rural Tourism Enquiry, chaired by Neil Parish MP. Alistair Handyside, Executive Chair of PASC is also the Chief Executive of SWTA.
Association of Scottish Self-Caterers (ASSC)
The Professional Association of Self-Caterers is unashamedly based on the successful model adopted by the 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 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 is also a Board Member of the ASSC.
European Holiday House Association (EHHA)
(PASC will be joining the EHHA from 1st January 2018).
The (EHHA) was founded in 2013 to give voice to the short-term rental industry. The EHHA ranges from national private house owner associations to managers’ associations to platforms. Trade associations and member companies operate in all the European Union member countries. The core of the association is the distribution of short term rentals in private houses and apartments. The boundaries between what is private and what is commercial are blurring in the new sharing economy. Of particular interest to PASC and its Members is the work that the EHHA are doing on the gig economy, (AirBnB etc.) and the wider impact that this has on our sector. Robert Kennedy a board Member of PASC, is also a board Member of the EHHA.