Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West (which includes BU) visited on 13 Feb 2017 to give a talk entitled ‘Government, Tourism Policy and Brexit’ to final year BA Tourism Management undergraduates. Conor shared his experiences on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, arguing that while the tourism industry is one of the biggest sectors of the economy (and employs more people than the automotive industry) it is not successful at speaking with one voice, unlike other industries.
He also suggested that responsibility for tourism would be better moved to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to reflect its importance. Conor also discussed the implications of Brexit for tourism, arguing that the fundamentals of why tourists visit the UK will not change after the country exits the EU. The session was followed by a lively and wide-ranging question and answer session. Afterwards, students were enthusiastic about the session, with many wanting to examine Brexit in more detail in their assignments.