Thursday September 06, 2012

The Tourism Society was shocked to hear of the sudden departure from office of John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism. The explanation given was that DCMS is being reduced in size, although the move comes at a time when Tourism should be at the heart of the political agenda.

Society Chairman David Curtis-Brignell FTS said it was “appalling” that this was allowed to happen when the Prime Minister has on many occasions spoken of his support for the 5th largest industry. “We were thrilled when David Cameron made his "importance of tourism" speech in the first 100 days of his premiership, but was the Prime Minister's support for Tourism just lip service?” Curtis-Brignell added.

Successive governments have made a habit of changing the Minister with responsibility for Tourism on a regular basis and the industry’s hopes that the current administration had reversed this trend – in particular by appointing a specific Minister for Tourism – now seem unfounded. With the first ever Tourism Strategy published in March this year the industry is calling for the reinstatement of the Minister’s role in order to see its successful implementation.

Ken Robinson CBE FTS, Chairman of the Society’s Think Tank, added “With no indication of a new Minister being appointed, this is a great mistake that will have a negative impact on Government actions needed to realise the growth potential of British Tourism, that our economy so badly needs.”