The prime minister has announced the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal today (28 June), which aims to reaffirm the UK’s global role as a “key player” in the industry.
The new deal commits to building an additional 130,000 hotel rooms to respond to the increased demand for infrastructure.
According to May, the new deal will also “revolutionise” the way data is used by the sector, through the creation of new Tourism Data Hub. The hub will collate regularly updated data showing the latest trends and spends, allowing businesses to better target overseas visitors.
The deal will also support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Last year around 38 million people visited the UK, contributing £23bn to the local economy. By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional nine million visitors to the UK.
The deal also outlines the government’s ambitions for the UK to become the most accessible destination for disabled visitors, through improvement of disabled facilities and access to destinations across the country.
May said: “As one of the most visited countries in the world, the UK is a world leader in international tourism and it is crucial that we remain globally competitive to meet growing demands.
“That’s why today I am pleased to announce the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal, ensuring that we continue to innovate, boost connectivity and economic productivity, expand career pathways and breakdown barriers for visitors with disabilities.
“This deal recognises the important role tourism plays, and will continue to play, in showcasing what our great country has to offer.”
Culture secretary Jeremy Wright added: “Today we have set out our vision for the future of UK tourism – a commitment to an industry that is vital for the prosperity of our communities, our businesses and our economy.
“The UK is one of the world’s greatest destinations and this deal recognises the importance of maximising our natural assets. We are dedicated to supporting life long careers for those that work in tourism, offering insightful data to help grow businesses and ultimately creating a better visitor experience throughout the UK.”