These days mark the launch of the first Strategic Tourism Framework for ten years produced by VisitEngland, the country’s national tourist board. Developed in collaboration with organisations and individuals across both private and public sectors, this Framework highlights the action needed to maximize the tourism industry’s contribution to England’s economy, employment and quality of life.

The visitor economy is now worth £97billion a year and employs in excess of two million people. It supports 150,000 businesses both directly and indirectly, and has an interdependent relationship with a range of sectors, including farming, transport, retailing, sport, museums, galleries and the arts.

To ensure England retains and grows market share in an increasingly competitive industry, a detailed ten-year Strategic Framework has been created to provide focus and challenge for an industry that is set to deliver an additional £50bn in visitor spend and over 225,000 jobs. By achieving such growth, tourism would significantly outstrip the performance of most other major sectors of the national economy such as manufacturing.

A ‘no growth’ scenario for the tourism industry could result in significant job losses and the demise of a wide range of tourism businesses which is why it is vital that this Action Plan succeeds. 

The Strategic Framework will be launched during British Tourism Week on the 18th March at the Best of Britain and Ireland Show at London’s Olympia. Announcements will be made at the launch  of various programmes and activity that make up the Action Plan. These will include announcements of new events in England for the Cultural Olympiad, the launch of an online sustainability programme, an exciting new transport partnership, research around existing quality schemes and new welcome initiatives.

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive commented: “England is a fantastic country whether visitors have a couple of hours to spare, a long weekend, or a 2-week holiday. Tourism needs and indeed deserves much greater recognition for the positive impacts it brings to the economy in terms of income, skills and jobs. It is an excellent route into employment at all levels which is why the prospect of increasing the number of jobs the industry supports is so exciting. This Framework strives for an even higher standard of quality and service so that we improve our offering, increase jobs, spend and growth and champion a competitive industry”.

Lady Cobham, Chairman VisitEngland went on to say: “The Strategic Framework urges all areas of the Tourism industry as well as everyone in Westminster and Whitehall to play their part in helping England realise the potential £50billion."