Did you know the overall contribution to the UK economy from outbound travel stood at £37.1 billion last year?
If you take into account inbound and domestic tourism, the sector is even more impressive.
Research from the World Travel and Tourism Council revealed travel and tourism was the fastest-growing industry in the UK in 2019, accounting for 11.9% of all jobs (ahead of financial services at 8.9%), and generating £231.6 billion for the nation’s GDP.
Given these stats, one would expect travel and tourism to rank highly on the government’s agenda.
But as last week demonstrated, Westminster, it seems, still fails to appreciate the significance of the industry.
First there was the appointment of yet another new tourism minister (the third in a year) with a huge shared brief of Commonwealth Games and gambling and lotteries, although at least this minister has some experience of travel.
Then there was the government’s new skills and immigration policy announced on Wednesday.