New Tourism Alliance chair urges next government to support sector

A change at the top has seen a new chair appointed at the umbrella trade association for the UK tourism industry.

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin takes over at the Tourism Alliance from Tom Jenkins, chief executive of European travel association Etoa, who has stepped down after two years.

Other changes at the Tourism Alliance include Brigid Simmonds, formerly of the Betting and Gaming Council, stepping down as a director as well as two terms as chair.

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Two new members to the Alliance’s advisory council are former MP and shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher, chair of the Betting and Gaming Council, and Deborah Heather, chief executive of Visit Isle of Man and chair of the Tourism Society.

McClarkin, who has served as a director of the organisation, said: “I am delighted to serve as chair of the Tourism Alliance at such an important time. 

“Regardless of the outcome of the general election there will be an important job for us to ensure that the economic and social importance of tourism is well understood across government and Parliament, and that policy decisions are taken to support our sector and allow it to deliver sustainable growth.”

Executive director Richard Toomer added: “I am looking forward to working with Emma and the other members of the board and advisory council on our agenda for the next Parliament.

“Tourism represents 9% of our GDP, and has potential to grow further with the right policy support. 

“We stand ready to contribute to the next government’s strategy to grow the British economy. 

“Our policy manifesto, Realising the Potential, outlines a number of areas where government can support us in doing that.”

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