A UK trade association has called for the new government to review its approach and consider the importance of tourism to the country in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
UKinbound says the general election results show that the electorate has rejected Theresa May and the Conservative’s vision of a ‘hard Brexit’.
The travel group is calling on any potential government formed by the Conservatives and Northern Ireland’s DUP to implement a strong sector deal and visa reforms, after 75% of its members stated these as the most important issues in one of its surveys.
UKinbound’s chief executive officer Deirdre Wells, said: “The general election result clearly shows that the electorate is against a hard Brexit, and so is the UK inbound tourism industry. Our members are calling for a continued strong relationship with the EU and the implementation of a sector deal that addresses issues such as the Customs Union, Open Skies Agreement and residency rights for EU workers. For inbound tourism to prosper long-term we need the Conservatives and DUP to champion our industry.”
With negotiations scheduled to begin next week, UKinbound wants to remind the government that the UK’s tourism industry employs more than three million people across the country and in 2016 was responsible for contributing over £22 billion annually to the UK economy.
UKinbound wants the Government to address the following points during Brexit negotiations:
• An immigration system flexible to business needs – residency rights for EU workers
• Continued access to the Open Skies Agreement
• Visa-free travel between the UK and the EU
• A strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination