We are now in the middle of the summer season – the busiest time of the year for those of us who work in the hospitality and tourist industries supplying services for the many visitors who visit our beautiful part of the world for their holidays.
With this in mind, last week I was pleased to welcome John Glen MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism to Newquay, one of the top tourist destinations in the UK, to show him just how important the tourist industry is to Mid-Cornwall.
In Mid-Cornwall we are proud to have many of the best tourist attractions not just in our Duchy but in the whole country. Along with vibrant visitor destinations such as Newquay and Fowey, we also have historic harbours such as Mevagissey and Charlestown, attractions such as the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project and beautiful beaches such as those at Par and Crantock.
In Cornwall, the hospitality and tourism industry accounts for 37,000 jobs and sustaining further jobs in other sectors dependent on hospitality and tourism. Between 2010 and 2014 the industry created 3,523 jobs in Cornwall and 1 in 5 new jobs nationwide. It is the biggest industry and economical driver in our county.
During the visit I took the Minister to meet with local tourism business leaders to press the case about how vital tourism is for not just Newquay, but Cornwall as a whole, and what the Government is doing to support it. It was good to welcome representatives from Visit Cornwall, the Headland Hotel, Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Eden Project, all major organisations that do so much to promote and grow Brand Cornwall as one of the top international destinations for people from across the world.
Of course, as we were in Newquay during the summer I also persuaded the Minister to come body boarding with me at Watergate Bay. It’s not often that you can get a Minister in a wetsuit to catch some waves, but he told me he really enjoyed his experience!
As well as bringing Ministers down to Mid-Cornwall, to show them first-hand how important tourism is to our area, I also work in Parliament to promote and support the industry.
One of the ways I can do this is in my capacity of Chair of the Visitor Economy All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). This group provides an opportunity for MPs from all parties to work with the tourism industry to make sure their voice is heard loud and clear, on matters locally and nationally that matter to them. We aim to actively support and promote the visitor economy by working with the Government to bring forward measures and incentives to support domestic and international in-bound tourism.
As we look to the future, returning to Parliament after Summer Recess and also to Brexit and beyond, I will be doing all I can, both in Cornwall and in Westminster to promote and support the tourist industry.