Minister for Business and Industry visits Oxford as part of Tourism Sector Deal Announcement

Jun 28 2019

Experience Oxfordshire Press Release                                                  

For immediate release: 28/06/2019

Andrew Stephenson MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Business and Industry, visited Oxford yesterday in anticipation of the announcement this morning of the Tourism Sector Deal, which sets out how the government and industry will work in partnership to boost productivity, develop the skills of the UK workforce and support destinations to enhance their visitor offer.

The Ministerial visit was hosted by Experience Oxfordshire, the destination management organisation (DMO) for Oxfordshire. The delegation were welcomed by the DMO team and board directors along with senior business leaders from across the visitor economy. It was also an opportunity to discuss how local initiatives such as the new Oxford Pass and national initiatives such as the Discover England Fund England Originals project were working locally.

The Right Hon. Mr Stephenson was given a guided tour of Oxford Castle & Prison by Debbie Dance OBE, Experience Oxfordshire Board Director and Director of Oxford Preservation Trust, followed by an inspection of the Malmaison Hotel, accompanied by Sales Manager Victoria Little. Also in attendance were representatives from Blenheim Palace, City Sightseeing Oxford, Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Macdonald Bear Hotel, Wellers Accountants and Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP).

The minister then discussed the government’s strategy for the UK tourism industry as set out in the Sector Deal, announced by the Prime Minister this morning. The new deal will:

  • Deliver a direct boost to holiday destinations across the country with new Tourism Zones, helping create new jobs as well as supporting improvements in transport connections
  • Revolutionise the way data is used by the sector, through the creation of new Tourism Data Hub
  • Seek to provide more than 130,000 new hotel rooms across the UK, with 75% being built outside of London
  • Support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors
  • Improve disabled facilities and access to destinations across the country to make the UK the most accessible destination for disabled visitors
  • Grow the number of Business Events and Conferences, helping to drive off-season visitors
  • Support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors

Of the event Andrew Stephenson MP said:

“Tourists from both here in the UK and abroad understandably flock to Oxford every year to see all the city has to offer – from the university’s dreaming spires to the fascinating history I saw at Oxford Castle.

“It’s therefore been really heartening to hear the exciting plans that Experience Oxfordshire has, working hand-in-hand with councils and local businesses to make the most of every opportunity to promote the City of Oxford and the county as a whole.

“This is a key part of our new Tourism Sector Deal, and our modern Industrial Strategy – delivering a world-class experience economy that creates new jobs and businesses and continues the UK’s strong record as a world-class holiday destination.”

 Experience Oxfordshire Chief Executive Hayley Beer-Gamage, discussing the impact of the Sector Deal, said:

“We welcomed the minister’s visit on the eve of the Sector Deal announcement for our industry – recognising the pioneering work of Oxfordshire’s private sector in collaborating to improve the economic and social impact of tourism to Oxfordshire. We are extremely pleased to see that this commitment is now being matched by Government through the deal. We will be working hard to engage with stakeholders across Oxfordshire to seek to be part of the sector deal as it aligns with our own destination management ambitions. We are particularly keen to hear more about the Tourism Zone proposals, however all elements of the deal will help us address our own skills and productivity challenges in destination and we will work hard with public and private sector organisations across the county to ensure that Oxfordshire is in a strong position to bid into this exciting national initiative.”

Full Government Announcement on the Tourism Sector Deal can be found at:


Photographs of the minister’s visit are available here

Names of those appearing in photographs, copyright information etc. is available in each photograph’s metadata:

 For more information contact:

Antonio Ferrara

Phone: 01865 686433

Email: /


Experience Oxfordshire

Experience Oxfordshire is the official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Oxfordshire. We are the trading arm of the parent charity, the Experience Oxfordshire Charitable Trust, and are a not-for-profit partnership organisation that is committed to the promotion, management and development of Oxfordshire as a great destination to live, work, visit and do business.