Friday, 30 April 2010

Tourism Plan for Thanet and Sandwich

Conservatives launch 12-point tourism action plan for Thanet and Sandwich

We have published a 12-point tourism action plan designed to ensure that the UK’s fifth biggest sector gets the full support it deserves. It includes pledges to raise the profile of the sector across government and permanently stop Labour’s damaging ‘holiday tax’ plans to abolish the Furnished Holiday Lettings relief.

“This is a really important, dynamic plan for the development of tourism within Thanet and Sandwich. This Labour Government has let down tourism badly and let down many people within this constituency as a result. It is time that politicians gave tourism the profile and status it deserves which is why this action plan is so significant. The benefits that tourism can bring to an area like ours are obvious and the Conservatives’ tourism strategy is just one example of how a Conservative Government can help our local visitor economy grow.”


Conservatives will:

Raise the profile and status of tourism within government as well as within the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. This will involve the creation of a Minister for Tourism with the responsibility to engage with the industry and champion its cause within parliament. This will be made possible by bringing back the Olympics into DCMS and therefore avoiding duplication between the Olympics and Sports Ministers.

Challenge VisitEngland to get 50 per cent of UK holiday spend to be spent on domestic holidays (up from the current figure of 38 per cent) by improving the marketing and offer of UK holidays. It will take over tourism responsibility from the ineffective Regional Development Agencies.

Encourage the formation of Local Tourism Partnerships which will better coordinate local tourism plans and increase the buy-in of local authorities and the private sector.

Ensure VisitBritain conducts a review of its grading system. We envisage a simplified, customer-led grading system for all hotels and B&Bs modelled on tripadvisor.

Allow local authorities to retain any growth in business rates (above the indexed rise in the national business rate) for a period of 6 years, so that there is a genuine incentive to encourage small and medium sized tourism businesses to grow.

Support tourism businesses by cutting the headline rate of corporation tax from 28p to 25p. To help small businesses we will lower the small companies’ rate to 20p and make small business rate relief automatic to reduce admin costs and ensure take up.

Reduce the burden of red tape on businesses with a “one in, one out” approach for new regulation.

Maximise the opportunity presented by 2012 for the whole of the UK by setting up a fund to which both industry and the government would contribute (from existing resources). This would exploit the once in a lifetime opportunity presented by the Olympics to promote the UK in our top tourist markets.

Examine the possibility of introducing ‘single double summertime’ on a pilot basis provided it has support from all parts of the United Kingdom.

Re-invigorate our costal towns so that as well as being a great day out they are also economically diverse and attractive places to live and work.

Take action to undo the damage caused by the abolition of the Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL) reliefs.

Return the National Lottery to its original purpose; as an addition to, not as a replacement for, government spending. We will consider allowing lottery money to go to privately owned projects, such as piers, providing they can demonstrate this will create considerable public benefit.

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