Campaigning for the Sector

Visit Kent sits on the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group (TIER) which currently holds weekly dial-in meetings with Government. This provides an important conduit for information from Government but also an opportunity to feed in performance and impact data directly to Ministers.

To feed into this group, we are tracking the impact on the sector by monitoring closures, event cancellations, reduction in footfall and forward bookings. Thank you to everyone who has been providing data to the team about this, please continue to send any relevant business updates to enquiries@visitkent.co.uk. We are also monitoring performance through our monthly business barometer which you can sign up to here.

You can read the statement we issued on 17th March 2020 here.

  • The Professional Association for Self-Caterers UK is sharing regular COVID-19 updates and advice for self-catering businesses including Government information and support, deferring bookings and other tips. Businesses can sign-up to their newsletter on the PASC website.
  • ABTA is calling for industry-wide action to ‘Save Future Travel’. Individuals and businesses can get involved by visiting savefuturetravel.co.uk and emailing their local MP to highlight industry asks. The online system is automated so it’s very easy and quick to use. ABTA also want supporters to use social media to contact their local MPs and Government Ministers using #savefuturetravel and calling for action.
  • Tourism Alliance, The British Holiday & Home Parks Association and UKHospitality have been leading a new social media campaign to #ProtectTourismJobs. The campaign is to raise awareness and give a voice to tourism businesses and professionals who are suffering due to COVID-19. Key areas that are being focussed on include helping ensure seasonal workers are included in the furlough scheme, broadening the furlough scheme to include essential maintenance and security staff and making sure businesses survive the winter period. You can join the conversation on twitter using #ProtectTourismJobs
  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland has sent an open letter of support to the international events sector to show unity to the industry as it grapples with the COVID-19 crisis. The #StrongerTogether campaign shares the message that the UK is ready to support them and the industry’s recovery, and ready to welcome their events to the UK when the time is right. The UK business events industry are encouraged to get involved and join the conversation, a video asset can be downloaded to share on your own social media channels. To download the video and find out more visit the VisitBritain.org website.
  • The #RaiseTheBar campaign is calling on the Government to amend the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant by raising the rateable value threshold from £51,000 to £150,000, allowing more businesses in the sector to benefit from the support. Visit their website the sign the petition.
  • The Night Time Industries Association has launched #TheBigFreeze campaign asking the government to freeze loans/mortgages to allow landlords to give leaseholders rent-free periods during the crisis. You’ll find more information, including a sample letter for your MP here
  • The Association of International Retailers has launched a campaign to get government support for retailer impacted by the fall in inbound tourism which has impacted many retail businesses. The asks of the campaign include
    • A VAT Reclaim scheme for EU visitors when the UK leaves the EU
    • Targeting the big spending markets of Gulf region which currently account for 30% of all UK tax free shopping
    • Protecting tourist and student travel from China