Mark Williams – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Culture Media and Sport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Mark Williams on 2014-06-26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the importance of regional tourism in the UK; and what steps he has taken to support small, local hospitality businesses.

Mrs Helen Grant

Estimates of the direct tourism gross value added (GVA) contribution to the UK economy for each English region, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were recently published by the Office for National Statistics for the year 2011. In total, they show that tourism directly contributed a GVA of around £50 billion to the UK (4% of the economy).


ONS figures for 2011

(direct in £bn)





Northern Ireland




Rest of England

North East


North West


Yorkshire and the Humber


East Midlands


West Midlands


East of England


South East


South West


Further economic analysis by Deloitte, commissioned by VisitBritain, suggests that if indirect economic effects are also included, GVA is forecast to be as high as £127 billion (9% of the UK economy) in 2013.

In terms of supporting small, local hospitality businesses, since April 2013 community venues have not had to apply to the local council for an entertainment license for events such as dance displays and concerts. Previously, such licenses currently cost, on average, more than £200 for new applications or needed at least 10 days’ notice for Temporary Event Notices. At the 2014 Budget, the tax on a typical pint of beer was cut by 1 penny, the duty on ordinary cider was frozen this year, and the duty escalator for wine was ended. Duty on spirits was also frozen for 2014-15.

Furthermore, thematic marketing campaigns focusing on what England is most loved for including Heritage, Coast, Countryside and Culture, as well as Sport and Literature, will be delivered and developed as part of the three-year, £19.8m project ‘Growing Tourism Locally’, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (BIS), with contributions from VisitEngland and private sector. The project focuses on working directly with destinations and the private sector, to create a number of dedicated marketing campaigns throughout the country with emphasis on specific areas and themes. This will also benefit SMEs in the hospitality sector.