As has been tradition since it was first published back in 1993, we ask the Minister for Tourism to introduce Who’s Who in Group Leisure.


Ensuring tourism sector fulfils its potential

Over the past few years our world-leading tourism industry has shown its strength and resilience in the face of extreme adversity.

The pandemic has been the greatest challenge for the sector in recent history, but in the summer of 2022, we began to see the return of visitors to our shores in addition to another brilliant season of ‘staycations’.

Flagship international events, including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, once again propelled the UK to the world’s stage and reminded people across the globe of everything our great country has to offer.

There really is something for everyone here in the UK. We have unparalleled heritage, world-class museums and attractions, untouched beaches, breath-taking countryside, first-class food and drink, and so much more.

Tourism Minister, Stuart Andrew MP

Source: Roger Harris Photography

Tourism Minister, Stuart Andrew MP.

In June 2021, the government published the Tourism Recovery Plan, outlining our commitment to supporting the sector to become bigger and better than ever before. This plan is now well underway, and we are determined to create a more sustainable, inclusive, innovative, data-driven, productive and resilient industry, where the benefits of tourism are shared across every nation and region.

As part of our commitment in the plan to consider a Tourist Accommodation Registration Scheme in England, this year we held a Call for Evidence which received nearly 4,000 responses from local residents and stakeholders about the tourist accommodation market today. Evidence from this will help to inform how we can continue to make sure we are offering world class accommodation to visitors.

We are also working at pace to introduce our radical reforms of the Destination Management Organisation landscape to make it easier to attract tourists and major events to regions across the country. This includes piloting a funded partnership approach in the North East to be able to collect evidence to understand how the proposed model can be rolled out to other regions.

However, there is also no hiding from the profound economic challenges the whole country is facing due to unpredictable global events and the horror of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. Nonetheless, I am confident that tourism and hospitality businesses will continue to show their strength and resilience in these uncertain times, and in government we will continue to do all we can to support our brilliant tourism industry - to make sure it can fulfil its enormous potential as a driver of economic growth, creator of local jobs, and contributor to levelling up our great nation.

Stuart Andrew, MP
Tourism Minister

This foreword is from the 2023 edition of Who’s Who in Group Leisure. Posted to thousands of our readers it is also available online for everyone by clicking here.