The UK tourism industry is expected to be worth more than £257 billion) by 2025, just under 10% of UK GDP, although uncertainty surrounding Brexit puts this under threat.

This American article considers the three main parties’ manifestos and their views on three issues:

  • On tourism, which Labour acknowledges is often ignored by governments, and whose proposals generally focus on inbound visitors. The Liberal Democrat manifesto centres more on outbound tourism, including looking to retain benefits currently enjoyed as part of the EU. In contrast, the Conservative manifesto has no mention of tourism at all.
  • On airports, including the UK debate about extra runway capacity, the Conservative manifesto makes reference to expansion but sidesteps any firm commitment. Labour doesn’t refer to Heathrow but admits that more capacity is necessary, while still claiming to want to protect the environment. Liberal Democrat opposition to expansion is clear, with a pledge to develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK, including taking into consideration the impact on climate change and local pollution.
  • On the challenge of Brexit, the Tory manifesto makes clear that ending free movement is going to cause problems for business, as does Labour’s. The Lib Dems are so opposed to leaving, they want a second referendum on the outcome of negotiations between the UK and EU.

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