The Business Visits and Events Partnership has re-iterated its ‘wish list" to government on behalf of the UK meetings and events industry as part of the Keep Britain Talking initiative. The opportunity comes as a result of the campaign’s lobbying activity and represents a clear breakthrough to government on the role Events can play in revitalising the economy.
The Keep Britain Talking campaign, created to raise awareness of the value of meetings and events to UK plc, is set to reach its pinnacle in September this year during Event UK (22 – 23 September 09). Since the new brand was launched in the spring, mirroring the US Keep America Meeting brand, encouraging progress has been made in gaining much needed government support for the industry.
“The strategy of the campaign is intended to raise government awareness of the industry and the various challenges we all face,” comments Michael Hirst OBE, Keep Britain Talking partner and Chairman of The Business Visits and Events Partnership. “We’ve shared our concerns with Barbara Follett, the Minister for Tourism and her Officials at DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport). We understand she is discussing these and other tourism issues with her newly established Tourism Advisory Council and other Government departments through the Cross Whitehall Inter-Ministerial Group on Tourism".
“The Wish List focuses on tangible actions government can implement to support this industry through this tough environment and ensure it flourishes as we move out of recession, making business visits and events within the UK more competitive and more profitable,” concluded Hirst.
The ideas to stimulate the Meetings and Events Sector put to government are:
- A government sponsored series of City Manager seminars to better inform local authorities about the benefits from Events to local and regional economies.
- The alignment of Britain’s Event strategies to economic strategies to ensure optimum regeneration, inward investment, employment and visitor economy benefits.
- A meeting of all representatives of the Events sector, led by the minister, to discuss a Britain wide strategy for revitalising the economy through Events.
- Re-instatement of corporate hospitality tax allowances on activities that seeks to bring business and events to Britain. (Inward missions; bidding for major events; entertaining for exports). RDAs and UKTI to lead on this.
- A National subvention package for UK destinations as part of bidding for international events to enable British cities to compete with international destinations that regularly offer subvention.
- A step up in the Ministerial Support Programme for bidding for International Events to come to Britain.
- Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London having agreed to champion the creation of a London International Convention Centre, Government could now help with some pump priming to leave a real legacy for Britain from a significant infrastructure investment project like this.