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Hirst calls for re-think
The UK government was today (May 7) criticised by a leading events partnership for not appointing anyone from the industry to a new tourism panel.
The new Tourism Advisory Council has 21 members drawn from hotels, transport, leisure attractions, restaurants, holiday centre and heritage sites.
But the said there was no one from the events sector, a business worth £100bn a year.
Michael Hirst, the Partnership's chairman, called on Barbara Follett, the UK minister for culture, creative industries and tourism, to re-consider her decision.
The aim of the new council is to provide guidance on the needs of the tourism industry as well as expert advice for ministers.
Its terms of reference describe business tourism as a "priority."
Mr Hirst said: "I recognise how difficult it is to select a truly representative group of people for Tourism given its diversity, but several sectors are represented by more than one member"
"The omission of anyone from the business and leisure events sector is puzzling, given the importance of events stressed at the Liverpool National Tourism Summit."
He said the prime minister Gordon Brown and other ministers had cited the Liverpool City of Culture Festival as a clear example of how events could be used to re-vitalise the visitor economy.
He called on Ms Follett to think again but also suggested a meeting of representatives from the meetings and events industry and other sectors "to explore how the events sector could provide an extra economic and social stimulus for Britain's recovery."