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Tourism strategy is better off "outside of government"

Tourism strategy is better off

Friday 27 January 2023

Tourism strategy is better off "outside of government"

Friday 27 January 2023


The deputy with political responsibility for tourism has defended the creation of a new tourism board saying such matters are much better without the government interfering.

The Committee for Economic Development announced the creation of a new Tourism Management Board last year and ran an open application process to find someone to lead it.

Hannah Beacom was appointed as the first Chair of the Tourism Management Board earlier this month, and Deputy Neil Inder, the President of Economic Development said she was a strong and impressive candidate with a "clear and holistic approach to tourism".

This week, during the States meeting which has focused on tax and social security proposals, Deputy Inder was asked why his committee hasn't yet published the Tourism Product Development Letter which ED said would be ready by the end of last year.

Deputy Inder has said that instead, the new Tourism Management Board will be coming up with the product development plans and that will happen much more efficiently without political oversight.

Deputy Sam Haskins asked how ED will hold the new Tourism Management Board to account, and Deputy Inder assured him and the States that the committee will be represented on the board with one officer from ED to sit on it - along with Deputy Simon Vermeulen who is the tourism lead on the ED committee.

"Once appointed the (ED) committee will pass the work to the (Tourism Management) board that has already been done on the tourism product development for the board's consideration and comment," he said - confirming that the plans are progressing.

"The committee has determined that strategic thinkers outside of government are best placed to determine the objectives and strategy and delivery of future tourism growth," he reiterated.

Deputy Inder also expressed that there has already been work on the tourism strategy including plans for the Victor Hugo centre. He said the Tourism Management Board will continue that work and further it.

Deputy John Gollop asked about Steve Lansdown's recent suggestion that the tourism sector should be grown to contribute 6% to the economy rather than the 2% it currently does.

The businessman is investing millions in the redevelopment of La Grande Mare as a golf resort. Deputy Inder said that "all objectives have to be reasonable," adding that "that is an admirable and possible objective to achieve."

He stopped short of confirming he agrees with Mr Lansdown's ambition but said it would be an aim for the new board who will be looking to grow the industry as a priority.

"The industry are more likely to be able to understand the industry in its entirety and it won't be coddled by politicians who believe they have to come with a grand statement to feel better," he said. "Thats not my style. I am confident we can grow the industry but I am not sure it can be 6% but I hope it can be."

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