Hugh Robertson: New Tourism Minister

Following this week’s cabinet reshuffle, Hugh Robertson has picked up ministerial responsibility for tourism following John Penrose’s resignation.

With the Olympic Games now over, Prime Minister David Cameron is reducing the size of The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) by handing full responsibility for tourism, sport and Olympic legacy to Robertson in a downsized department.

Robertson and Tourism

Whilst many industry insiders consider Hugh Robertson, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, to be a good appointment, there is sadness to see John Penrose leave who has proved himself to be a key supporter of the UK hospitality industry.

There is also concern that there will no longer be a dedicated Minister for Tourism, prompting an letters to the Prime Minister from some industry bodies.

However Robertson’s brief will not include all of Penrose’s responsibilities. It is expected that the focus will move away from areas like heritage and architecture (Penrose’s former brief) to areas like Olympic legacy, gambling, licensing and lottery.

Amid these industry concerns, Robertson has something to prove and UK hoteliers will be watching his tourism policy closely as he tackles key issues like regulation, VAT and visa control.

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