Visit Isle of Wight welcomes new Tourism Sector deal

Visit Isle of Wight is welcoming an important announcement for the tourism industry.

The UK Government has said the new Tourism Sector Deal sets out how the government and industry will ‘work in partnership to boost productivity, develop the skills of the UK workforce and support destinations to enhance their visitor offer.’

It includes a 5 year target to improve accessibility for everyone, deliver 30 000 apprenticeship roles per year within the industry, create 5 new ‘Tourism Zones’   and increase the number of bedroom spaces by over 130 000 – 75% outside London.

Visit Isle of Wight is looking closely at the announcement to ensure that businesses here benefit as much as possible for the Tourism Sector Deal.

Welcoming the announcement, Visit Isle of Wight MD Will Myles said:

‘This is long awaited recognition for the benefits of the tourism industry. Here on the Island, we welcomed 2.3 million visitors in 2018, who increased their visitor spend by 9% to £303 million, providing an important boost to the Island’s economy and to have this deal in place is absolutely fantastic.’

A 5 year target has been set by the government to make the UK the top destination in terms of accessibility, echoing Visit Isle of Wight’s drive to make the Island a beacon of accessibility, working with local and national partners.

Will said:

‘Our work with our local and national partners to increase awareness of accessibility issues has already reaped rewards and we will continue this work to ensure that everybody has the chance to enjoy a holiday on the Isle of Wight.’

The Tourism Sector Deal will also see a pilot scheme of 5 Tourism Zones to be created around the UK, and Will Myles hopes the Isle of Wight will be part of that scheme.

‘Our colleagues in the Solent LEP already recognise tourism as a major economic driver, and it would be of major benefit to the South to be a part of a newly created tourism zone, delivering a further boost to the region.

‘It’s all about partnership, it’s about us working together and it’s about us doing the best for the tourism industry across the Island and ultimately across the south of England and Britain as a whole.’