Talent, trade, taxation, transport and transition have been outlined as the five key elements in a manifesto for UK’s inbound tourism industry.

The call from UKinbound ahead of next month’s general election came as the association revealed that bookings and revenues are holding steady for the industry despite business confidence dropping to a 2019 low.

Brexit continues to be the dominant cause of lower confidence levels, with 21% of members experiencing a decline from either Germany, France or Spain.

CEO Joss Croft said: “With the right support, the UK’s inbound tourism industry has the capability to keep growing and innovating.

“Our manifesto sets out a clear pathway to achieve this but we need a government that will listen and act to ensure the success story continues.”

He warned: “There is no room for complacency. Our industry continues to be very worried about the impact of Brexit, particularly with the end of free movement as parts of the industry rely heavily on EU nationals.

“Our key asks of the next government include recognition that language skills are in short supply amongst British nationals and to re-think the proposed salary threshold of £30,000 for non-British nationals wishing to work in the UK tourism industry post-Brexit.”

Croft added: “Despite the ongoing political uncertainty, it’s positive to see that many tourism businesses across the UK are continuing to see bookings and revenues increase year-on-year, and that our long-haul markets are performing well.”

UKinbound called a government which will support the industry by:

  • Representing its priorities during and beyond the Brexit transition period, with:
    • Visa free access for EU visitors and ongoing protection for EU workers;
    • Continued strong promotion of the UK as a welcoming destination;
    • Continued access to the single market, customs union and open skies agreement;
    • Extension of the December 2020 transition period deadline;
    • Implementing and building on the Tourism Sector Deal to ensure tourism is considered within wider policy changes;
    • Sufficient funding for VisitBritain in the upcoming comprehensive spending review;

Plus:

  • Ensuring that the industry has enough talent and skills to be able to keep growing;
  • Enabling the industry to be able to trade effectively;
  • Reducing taxation, as visitors to the UK are some of the most highly taxed in the world;
  • Ensuring that there is a regulatory level playing field for all tourism businesses including those in the sharing economy;
  • Ensuring that the UK’s transport infrastructure supports leisure tourism right across the UK