Hugh Robertson MP handed tourism responsibilities

Following the departure of John Penrose, Hugh Robertson has been handed the dual role of Minister for Sport, The Olympic Legacy and Tourism.

Hugh Robertson MP handed tourism responsibilities
Hugh Robertson MP handed tourism responsibilities

Massive endorsement

Robertson will report to incoming culture secretary Maria Miller at DCMS, who fills Jeremy Hunt's position. C&IT has also learnt that Robertson's remit is likely to include business tourism.

Michael Hirst, chair of the Business Visits & Events Partnership, said he was sad to see Penrose leave the DCMS, but is confident the new candidate would step up to the task.

"Hugh Robertson now has the dual role of Minister for Sport, The Olympic Legacy and Tourism, a positive move in understanding the role tourism will play in completing the Olympic legacy, but also a massive endorsement of the role large scale events play in driving tourism and social benefit," he added.

Hirst went on to praise Miller's commitment, saying that her home constituency of Basingstoke has shown positive support for events at a local level.

Eventia comments

Eventia Chairman, Simon Hughes offered his congratulations to Robertson, but asked: "Who do we need to engage with in Government to maximise on the Olympic halo effect?"
 
"We are focused on ensuring that the economic growth potential of the world class workforce we represent benefits from the massive boost in confidence that has been created over the summer. In the portfolio of responsibilities that the DCMS has, the event industry as a major employer in the creative industries sector does not appear by name.

"Whilst many of our members work on both tourism and sports related activities, many also deliver services and expertise in events that extend far beyond this narrow remit."

Great campaign gets Coe

Elsewhere, Lord Sebastian Coe has been appointed into shared responsibility for the 'Great' programme (with the DCMS, Robertson and Number 10) and Paul Deighton, chief executive of Locog is moving into the Treasury to deliver infrastructure projects.

Hirst said: "It is a fact of government that MPs move on into new positions and by and large we should see this as a positive; it means our message can be spread to new parts of government along with those Ministers and that sympathetic supporters can represent our industry in new places. Both the Business Visits & Events Partnership and our industry's promotional campaign Britain for Events will be looking to speak to these new Ministers as soon as possible and once again look to gain further support for this industry."


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