27 Jul

ABTA’s Message to Government: Cut Red Tape for Growth

The ABTA Red Tape Taskforce issued a clear message to Government today: free up the tourism industry from red tape to encourage growth. The Taskforce’s report Tourism’s Bureaucracy Challenge has been submitted to the Government in response to the Prime Minister’s red tape challenge to the private sector. The report identifies eight unnecessary pieces of legislation that should be scrapped or amended to help foster growth in the travel sector.

The Taskforce is made up of tourism regulation experts from across the industry, with ABTA Members feeding into the process.

Included among the report’s eight recommendations are the removal of travel insurance sales from FSA regulation and a sensible approach to the implementation of money laundering laws which disproportionately impact on Members selling foreign currency.

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “This Government has repeatedly made clear its commitment to growth. With figures yesterday showing the economy in danger of stagnating, these recommendations are a timely reminder that freeing up the private sector can help encourage economic growth. Our recommendations would play a significant role in freeing our Members from the bureaucracy which is hindering their ability to run growing, flourishing businesses”.

Christine Farnish, ABTA Board Member and Chair of the Taskforce said: “We have identified several pieces of unnecessary, badly drafted, or poorly implemented pieces of legislation for amendment or repeal – from redundant signage rules, to excessive collection of customer information, inconsistent fire regulations, irrelevant energy performance certificates and excessive charges for alcohol licences. The industry has done its part. It is now up to the Government to seize this opportunity to get rid of these obsolete or unnecessary pieces of legislation”.

John Penrose Tourism Minister welcoming ABTA’s recommendations: “The clammy hand of bureaucracy and over-zealous regulation has been holding back business and enterprise for far too long.  And the tourism, travel and hospitality sectors have suffered more than most.  The Government is determined to fight back though, consigning red tape and rules that are neither wanted nor needed to the dustbin of history.  ABTA’s contribution to the work, as shown in this report, is entirely welcome and will be studied with great interest.”

ABTA’s recommendations are:

  1. Removing unnecessary regulation in travel insurance sales
  2. Common sense changes to money laundering rules
  3. Streamlining Government bureaucracy on consumer protection
  4. Removing Regulation that has done its job
  5. Repeal of Energy Performance Certificates regulation
  6. Rolling back redundant Cold War regulation
  7. Common sense alcohol licensing regulation
  8. A risk based approach to fire safety

The full report is available here.