Primary Authority supporting English tourism

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The English tourism sector touches everyone – visitors, residents, businesses and employees. It’s one of the few sectors active in every part of the country. It’s the third largest employer, every day supporting 2.6 million jobs and is a major employer of school leavers and young people and an incubator for entrepreneurs.

The visitor economy is worth £106 billion a year to England supporting thousands of businesses and impacting on the performance of supplier industries such as restaurants, pubs, farming, transport, retailing, sport, museums and galleries, the theatre and other performing arts.

Primary Authority enables businesses to form a legal partnership with one local authority, which then provides assured and tailored advice on complying with environmental health, trading standards and fire safety regulations that other local regulators must respect.

Partnerships can be formed with one business or with groups of businesses, such as trade associations, enabling the scheme to support sectors of importance to a particular region, such as tourism. There are several examples of Primary Authority partnerships across the tourism sector in England, including: National Trust, British Hospitality Association, Marriot Hotels, The English Heritage Trust, Fox Narrowboats Ltd and The Caravan Club Limited.

Another example is Cornwall Council, which developed a Primary Authority partnership with Quality in Tourism and adopted their Safe, Clean and Legal framework to protect its tourists. This will give the opportunity to help self-regulate the county’s portfolio of short-term letting accommodation, in order to protect consumer safety.

Last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tourism, Leisure and the Hospitality Industry published a report on the sharing economy that highlighted significant concern among authorities regarding short-term letting accommodation.

Chief executive of the Office for Product Safety and Standards, Graham Russell, said: “In this case, Primary Authority offers a solution to a problem faced by councils, short-term letting associations, Destination Management Organisations and sharing platforms across the UK.

“It is a valuable tool for addressing local economic needs. Properly used it can help businesses comply with regulation and so underpin quality and safety throughout an industry such as tourism. Having a level playing field provides a boost for business confidence and encourages growth.”

Primary Authority has a significant role in the Better Business for All (BBfA) programme which supports the simplification of the way regulation is delivered in local areas. Local BBfA partnerships bring together businesses and regulators to identify the issues facing local businesses and shape the provision of effective support services to them. Growth Hubs are including Primary Authority in their business support offer, in line with the government Industrial Strategy’s aim of ensuring the scheme is available to every business.

More information about Primary Authority can be found on GOV.UK and there’s more about English Tourism Week at

Follow #EnglishTourismWeek19 on Twitter.

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