The encouraging UK tourism figures today released by the Office for National Statistics show that UK tourism is about to surpass the contribution to the UK economy from the financial services industry and provides even more clear evidence that the government is not doing enough to support the UK tourism industry with representation at the Cabinet table, says UKIP's Heritage and Tourism spokesman William Cash.
'In its Manifesto, UKIP has called for the government to create a new Ministry of State for Heritage and Tourism to support one of the fastest growing and important escorts of the UK economy, especially for migrant workers' says Cash. 'Yet there remains no Minister of State for Heritage and tourism - contributing over £126 billion to the UK economy – languishes under the portfolio of Equalities and Sport. This must be addressed with tourism given a seat at the top table of government, ideally with a Cabinet position'.
Statistics released today show visits to the UK by overseas residents rose by 4% to 34.6 million in the 12 months to April 2015 compared to a year earlier and earnings remained the same at £21.5 billion. In the 12 months to April 2015 UK residents made 61.5 million visits abroad, a 5% increase compared to the same period a year earlier. UK residents spent £35.8 billion abroad in the 12 months to April 2015.
William Cash continued, 'Tourism is an increasingly important contributor to the UK GDP but the government does not support the industry as it manages to do well through the entrepreneurial efforts of thousands of small business owners, tour operators, pub owners and B & B operators. The truth is that the tourism and hospitality sector could do so much better if the government was actually to support the sector with better regional funding, more tourism information offices, better signing and less red tape for B & B owners and hotel owners. We look forward to the government taking tourism seriously and recognising the critical contribution that the UK tourism makes to the economy'.