The SNP published its Manifesto for the 2017 General Election this morning in Perth. Below are the key points from the manifesto for Scotland’s tourism industry:
Tourism and hospitality
Tourism is a growing part of Scotland’s economy with Scotland hailed as the second best place to visit in the world this year.
Against the backdrop of Brexit, Scotland’s tourism industry has worked hard to ensure we continue to be seen as an open and welcoming nation.
To provide further support to our tourism industry the SNP will call on the UK government to examine a reduction in VAT for the hospitality sector, levelling the playing field with other EU nations and creating new jobs.
The tourism and hospitality sector faces real challenges presented by Brexit. The Tourism Industry Council expects that there will need to be a 200 per cent increase in Border Force resources to deal with post-Brexit EU passengers. SNP MPs will press the UK government to ensure border checks are as seamless as possible after the UK leaves the EU, making it as easy as possible for international tourists to visit Scotland.
Connecting Scotland to the world
International connectivity plays an important role in facilitating trade, tourism and investment. Membership of the EU has helped open up skies across Europe, boosting the number of flights to and from Scotland, creating more choice for businesses and families. SNP MPs will:
• press the UK government to commit to the Open Skies Agreement in Brexit negotiations to ensure there is no loss of flights to or from Scotland and our airports are not disadvantaged;
• work with the Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, Scottish Development International and UK departments to secure an expansion of international flights to and from Scotland, opening up new markets for trade and tourism;
• protect vital Scottish air connections to other parts of the UK;
• continue to work with local partners as part of City and Regional Deals to deliver improved connectivity including an Inverness Airport Rail Hub;
• ensure the UK government continues to work with the Scottish Government to secure an exemption from air passenger taxes on Highlands and Islands flights.
Economy, Enterprise and City Deals
• The SNP will work with partners to deliver a strategy that takes account of Scotland’s economic challenges.
• SNP MPs will work to ensure that UK agencies are working with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support Scottish businesses to export.
• SNP MPs will campaign for a UK government funding commitment for an Ayrshire Growth Deal, a Tay City Deal, a Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal, an Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal, and a Deal for the Islands of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
• The Scottish Government will establish a new enterprise agency to address the enterprise and skills needs of the South of Scotland.
Pay and conditions
We will support moves over the next Parliament to increase the Minimum Wage to the level of the real Living Wage.
We believe people should receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We support payment of the real Living wage, which ensures people’s basic wage continue to meets the real cost of living. We will back a transition over the next parliamentary term towards payment of the real Living wage as a new minimum legal requirement to all adults above the age of 18, creating a new single adult rate. We believe that the rate paid to 16 to 18 year olds and apprentices should increase in line with changes to the rate of the real Living wage. We will call for the UK government to task the Low Pay Commission to deliver this national pay rise, and to put in place appropriate support for employers.
Click here to read the SNP Manifesto for the 2017 General Election.