Abta’s chief executive has agreed the coronavirus crisis could finally present an opportunity for the travel industry to be given a dedicated tourism minister.
While he praised the work of minister for sport, tourism and heritage Nigel Huddleston to date, describing the former Google Travel head as “by far the most effective [tourism minister] we have had for our agenda for quite a few years”, Mark Tanzer agreed the sector would benefit from a minister focused on tourism solely.
Speaking during a panel at TTG’s Keep Your Business Alive seminar last week, Tanzer said: “We are disadvantaged that our agenda is felt across a number of departments – the DfT, the Treasury, BEIS, the Home Office and so on.
“In other countries, where perhaps tourism is a more prominent part of their economy, having a tourism minister covers all of the [issues], which is their advantage."
Phil Nuttall, managing director of The Travel Village Group, asked Tanzer whether the current crisis presented an opportunity to lobby for a dedicated tourism minister.
“Is there not an appetite now to canvas for Nigel to be promoted? I’d like to figure out how we can grasp this opportunity so it’s not forgotten.”
Tanzer responded that he thought it “avery good suggestion”.
“Never waste a crisis as they say,” he said. “If there is a silver lining to this, it could be the opportunity to get a more prominent seat at the table for our sector.”