Process of consultation
56. It came to our attention that there were many
parties, specifically the Tourism Alliance, the WTB and VisitScotland,
not properly consulted for their opinion on the proposed changes.
They may have been informed after decisions had been made but
felt they made no formal contribution to the decision-making process.
The WTB confirmed this view during oral evidence: "We were
consulted at ministerial level but the Tourist Board were not
brought into the loop, neither were the board members of the BTA,
so it was a very strange situation".
The Tourism Alliance took a more positive view and they are "pleased
that there is still time for the detail to be worked out"
within the new body but feel the "department take a laissez
faire approach to tourism".
The concern they have is getting their "message across Whitehall
that a whole variety of different issues have an enormous impact
for the industry"
and they feel that "more could be done"
by DCMS to provide tourism with effective and efficient promotion.
We have serious concerns over the process of consultation which
took place in relation to the proposed changes in tourism structure
in the UK. The Committee believes that this must be rectified
in any further consultations.
57. DCMS claimed that the consultation process was
systematic. However, this process did not include consulting officially
with the Tourism Alliance, VisitScotland or the WTB which the
Committee view as a serious omission from any tourism consultation
The Secretary of State defended DCMS against the comments of the
Tourism Alliance, saying: "I think it is simply not fair
to say that it gets a low priority from the Department".
DCMS have provided a full list of the consultation that took place
with the industry stakeholders.
This details a number of meetings held with a variety of representatives
which do not include the WTB or VisitScotland.