NEWS UKinbound ramps up campaigning By Samantha Mayling

UKinbound is urging its members to join the association at the House of Commons this month, as it escalates its Brexit campaign over the summer.

The association is planning a major programme of parliamentary engagement to demonstrate the “urgent need to prioritise the inbound tourism industry in the Brexit negotiations”. The campaign will also

press for “early clarification from government” about the arrangements for access to the UK for European Union tourists and EU tourism workers after Brexit. The association will hold a

Parliamentary reception on June 19, and is appealing for members to support a photocall and lobby of parliament that will take place on the same day. During the reception, UKinbound will launch a report carried out jointly with Canterbury Christ Church University, which will focus on the need for advanced language skills in the inbound tourism sector. Deirdre Wells, chief executive of UKinbound, said: “With Brexit 300 days away, there’s never been a more important time to make

With Brexit 300 days away, there’s never been a more important time to make sure that government understands our sector’s vital role

sure that parliamentarians and government understand the vital role that our sector plays in the UK economy. That’s why we are stepping up our engagement with Westminster and Whitehall.” Antonia Stratford, head of public

affairs and communications at UKinbound, added: “We’re asking our members to come along and take part in a photocall and meet their MP on June 19 at the House of Commons. “It would be great to have a

large number of our members from across the sector in uniform if possible, which will really help the overall campaign. “Please drop me an email on if you are a UKinbound member and are able to support us.”

The association will help members by supplying a full briefing ahead of the meetings with MPs. Research by UKinbound shows

that more than nine out of 10 (92%) members employ EU nationals – with more than a third saying that over 50% of their workforce are from the EU. They bring benefits such as language and customer service skills which are often harder to find among UK candidates. However, many EU employees

are leaving the UK because of the long-term uncertainty over their status and members are encountering difficulties recruiting EU staff because of Brexit. One member told UKinbound:

“The government needs to understand the burden recruitment already represents to our industry, financially and time- wise, so having to obtain visas for EU nationals would be a disaster and result in most companies relocating outside the UK.” Another said: “If more UK nationals would have advanced language skills, we would employ them. The issue is the education system and the curriculum in the UK which needs to be improved and adjusted to provide a better skill set.”

POP-UP PANDAS ON PARADE: More than 50 panda statues have taken over the Longleat estate in Wiltshire, as part of a new art trail which runs until September 3. Created by artists in China, the statues can be seen in the Monkey Drive-through, from the Longleat Railway, inside Animal Adventure, in the Sun Maze and within the formal gardens, set against the backdrop of Longleat House. 4 TravelGBI | June 2018

Deirdre Wells steps down as UKinbound boss

Deirdre Wells will leave her role as UKinbound chief executive in August, to head Go To Places, the destination management organisation responsible for Visit Kent and Visit Herts. She succeeds Go To Places chief

executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh, who will be moving on to “new and exciting personal goals”. Wells said: “I have thoroughly

enjoyed my time at UKinbound and I am really pleased at the growth of the association in recent years. “I would like to thank the members of the secretariat and the board, both past and present, who have helped build the success of the organisation.” Mark McVay, UKinbound chairman, said: “My fellow board members and I would like to thank Deirdre for her dedication to the association over the past four-and- a-half years. “During that time we have seen significant growth in membership, an exciting new overseas presence at Arabian Travel Market and an increase in revenue, which has made the association viable for the long-term.”

Jonathan Neame, chairman of

Visit Kent, added: “We are delighted to have attracted such a talented and high-profile figure in the tourism industry to lead the business. “She has held a number of

very senior positions in both government and the private sector and she has a strong reputation as

a dynamic and effective leader.”

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