The announcement made at UKinbound’s Annual Convention, taking place for the first time in Scotland in over a decade, at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, follows the Prime Minister’s recent request asking the business community to share their views on EU membership.
Addressing the matter, Mark McVay, Chairman at UKinbound commented, “Our member survey findings highlight overwhelming support for Britain to remain in the EU. This shouldn't come as a surprise as the EU is an extremely important source market for tourism. It is important to our country's economy that we make it as easy as possible for people to travel here, not isolate ourselves from the market which collectively brought two-thirds of our visitors in 2015.”
Hailed as one of the leading contributors to the economy, overseas visitor spending in the UK contributed £22bn last year with each inbound visitor subsidising an additional £630 in export earnings and bestowing £216 to the Exchequer - statistics which UKinbound highlight as a pivotal role in which inbound tourism plays within the economy.
Recognising the importance of remaining in the EU to its members, UKinbound will continue its efforts to emphasise the importance of the inbound tourism sector maintaining the theme of ‘Staying GREAT’ which has been the reigning focus throughout the Annual Convention in support of VisitBritain’s GREAT tourism campaign.
UKinbound’s Chief Executive Officer, Deirdre Wells OBE comments, “We are fortunate to have a major market – the EU – right here on our doorstep. Our members have been welcoming visitors from our European neighbours for decades. They bring much needed revenue to the UK, creating valuable jobs for the UK economy. We need to continue to do all we can to attract more visitors to the UK – and saying “yes” to staying in the EU sends a clear message that we are open for business”.
The Association’s ‘Tourism ABC’ campaign will progress into 2016, calling upon the Government to Acknowledge that tourism is a contributor to both the economy and employment generation, Build a strong infrastructure to allow the industry to deliver to its full and ever-growing potential and Commit to making the UK more accessible through reviewing the tourism taxation, and improving the competitiveness of the UK’s visa system.
Wells commented further, “At a time when we have no decision on an additional runway, fluctuating exchange rates and proposed visa fee increases, now more than ever we need the Government to Acknowledge, Build and Commit to our inbound tourism industry which generates billions for the economy and accounts for almost one in 10 jobs across the UK. We are GREAT but we need to stay GREAT to keep breaking those international visitor records.”