Struggling pound could bring UK tourism boom, says Varney | attractionsmanagement.com news
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Struggling pound could bring UK tourism boom, says Varney
POSTED 28 Jun 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
Varney's company Merlin operates 32 visitor attractions across the UK including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle among others
Merlin Entertainments CEO and British Hospitality Association (BHA) chair Nick Varney has said that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union could actually bring an influx of visitors based on the weakened value of the struggling pound.

Varney, whose company Merlin operates 32 visitor attractions across the UK including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle, addressed BHA members at the annual Hospitality & Tourism Summit, telling them that they should “seize the opportunity” despite a volatile financial market.

“I think it is a good thing that the pound is devalued relative to the euro,” said Varney. “If we had voted to remain, putting all other issues to one side, we would have been left with a very uncompetitive currency from the view of exporters and the tourism industry in general. What I think we have to do is lock that competitive advantage in so we get to sort of pick up with renewed vigour the whole argument for cutting tourism VAT on accommodation and on attractions.”

Varney added that tourism and the wider leisure industry would be able to grow under an independent Britain, with the initially weaker pound encouraging visitor and export numbers to flourish.

Despite Varney’s positive outlook, the BHA last week called for the government to “urgently clarify the issue of movement of labour which is so important to the growth and expansion of the sector and reassure our workforce that they are both welcome and valued”.

Other tourism heads have predicted a different path for tourism in the UK, with Tourism Alliance director Kurt Janson predicting ‘Staycation 2’ with a rise in domestic tourism as seen during the 2008 financial crisis. Janson also highlighted potential disadvantages of a Brexit, namely lower levels of foreign investment and tourism businesses having less access to skilled workers from the EU.

UKinbound CEO Deirdre Wells also called the referendum result “disappointing”, adding that there would be “far-reaching consequences” for its members, urging the government to focus on securing the best possible trade deal for the inbound sector.

The hospitality and tourism sector is the UK’s 6th largest contributor to export earnings and 4th largest employer, with 10 per cent of the workforce (4.49 million people) represented across 180,000 businesses including hotels, visitor attractions and restaurants. The BHA says the industry created 600,000 new jobs over the course of the last parliament – one in three of all new jobs in the UK. The BHA also says that with the right policies in place, growth of 100,000 new jobs can be delivered by 2020.
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Struggling pound could bring UK tourism boom, says Varney
POSTED 28 Jun 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
Varney's company Merlin operates 32 visitor attractions across the UK including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle among others
Merlin Entertainments CEO and British Hospitality Association (BHA) chair Nick Varney has said that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union could actually bring an influx of visitors based on the weakened value of the struggling pound.

Varney, whose company Merlin operates 32 visitor attractions across the UK including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle, addressed BHA members at the annual Hospitality & Tourism Summit, telling them that they should “seize the opportunity” despite a volatile financial market.

“I think it is a good thing that the pound is devalued relative to the euro,” said Varney. “If we had voted to remain, putting all other issues to one side, we would have been left with a very uncompetitive currency from the view of exporters and the tourism industry in general. What I think we have to do is lock that competitive advantage in so we get to sort of pick up with renewed vigour the whole argument for cutting tourism VAT on accommodation and on attractions.”

Varney added that tourism and the wider leisure industry would be able to grow under an independent Britain, with the initially weaker pound encouraging visitor and export numbers to flourish.

Despite Varney’s positive outlook, the BHA last week called for the government to “urgently clarify the issue of movement of labour which is so important to the growth and expansion of the sector and reassure our workforce that they are both welcome and valued”.

Other tourism heads have predicted a different path for tourism in the UK, with Tourism Alliance director Kurt Janson predicting ‘Staycation 2’ with a rise in domestic tourism as seen during the 2008 financial crisis. Janson also highlighted potential disadvantages of a Brexit, namely lower levels of foreign investment and tourism businesses having less access to skilled workers from the EU.

UKinbound CEO Deirdre Wells also called the referendum result “disappointing”, adding that there would be “far-reaching consequences” for its members, urging the government to focus on securing the best possible trade deal for the inbound sector.

The hospitality and tourism sector is the UK’s 6th largest contributor to export earnings and 4th largest employer, with 10 per cent of the workforce (4.49 million people) represented across 180,000 businesses including hotels, visitor attractions and restaurants. The BHA says the industry created 600,000 new jobs over the course of the last parliament – one in three of all new jobs in the UK. The BHA also says that with the right policies in place, growth of 100,000 new jobs can be delivered by 2020.
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
RELATED STORIES
BHA chair Nick Varney laments visa policy for Chinese tourists


British efforts to court Chinese tourism through a major Shanghai business festival launched by Prince William are missing the point in terms of what needs to be done to attract Chinese visitors.
BHA brings in Nick Varney to lead pre-election policy push


Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney has been announced as the successor to British Hospitality Association (BHA) chair Alan Parker when he steps down on 1 January, 2015.
VAT rate puts British tourism at 'disadvantage' says Merlin's Nick Varney


In the wake of a new report which says cutting the value added tax (VAT) rate on visitor accommodation and attractions would massively boost the UK’s tourism economy, Merlin CEO Nick Varney has said that the current VAT rate is at present a "disadvantage" to British tourism.
Merlin's Nick Varney: Shrek will 'mark a new level' for IP attractions


Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney has revealed the latest developments for the Shrek-themed attraction set to open in London next year and believes it will “mark a new level in the way location-based entertainment and intellectual property work together.”
MORE NEWS
Seoul's Incheon airport reveals plans to host global museum
South Korea's largest airport could host an international museum as early as 2024.
Motiongate Dubai launches first-ever John Wick rollercoaster
Motiongate Dubai in the UAE is launching two new rides this month (January 2022).
Universal Beijing Resort reveals expansion plans for second phase
Universal Beijing Resort in China is preparing to embark on the second phase of its construction programme.
Museum operators using AR to take their exhibits global
Two leading museum operators in the UK have partnered with an augmented reality specialist to present holographic exhibits and experiences for students around the world.
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COMPANY PROFILES
Antonio Zamperla Spa

Founded in 1966, the Antonio Zamperla SPA is privately owned by Mr Alberto Zamperla. Located in Vi [more...]
iPlayCO

iPlayCo was established in 1999. [more...]
Sally Corporation

Our services include: Dark ride design & build; Redevelopment of existing attractions; High-quality [more...]
DJW

David & Lynn Willrich started the Company over thirty years ago, from the Audio Visual Department [more...]
+ More profiles  
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide | Atlantis Dubai
More videos:
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

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