The government has appointed a new tourism minister amid a cabinet reshuffle.
Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston has taken over from Helen Whately to be the new tourism minister in Boris Johnson’s government.
He will have responsibility for the Commonwealth Games, gambling and lotteries, and tourism and heritage, alongside duties as assistant government whip.
Before 2015 when he was first elected, Huddleston worked at Deloitte in the travel, hospitality and leisure departments and at Google as industry head of travel.
Huddleston was on parliament’s culture, media and sport select committee from 2015 to 2017 and has been parliamentary private secretary to ministers in the digital, culture, media and sport department since 2017.
Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden is the new secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport and now has overall responsibility for the department.
“The association looks forward to working with both ministers,” said Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound.
“In 2018, the inbound tourism industry generated nearly £23 billion of export earnings for the UK economy but the industry still needs the government to continue its intervention and support, if it is to advance its delivery of world-class experiences for international visitors and deliver jobs and growth across the whole of the UK.”
“There are some significant challenges ahead this year as the industry copes with the impact of the Coronavirus, and the concerns of industry to resource businesses after 31 December.
“It is vital that the government’s new immigration policy allows tourism and hospitality businesses to have continued access to overseas nationals with foreign language skills, and to help plug labour shortages across the UK in key tourism hotspots, ensuring businesses can grow.”