Tourism is vital for the south west's economy. Luke has spent five years working for ABTA - the trade body that represents travel and holiday companies and so is happy to back their #ValueTourism campaign in this general election.
Travel and tourism is worth more than £127bn a year to the UK economy, and employs more than 3 million people right across the country.
Tourism is a big employer in Plymouth and it's vital that our next MP stands up for our tourism sector. We have a huge potential as a city to create more jobs in tourism and travel. Whether that's attracting more tourists to the city for our excellent summer programme, people enjoying year-round theatre or promoting the excellent food and drink offer we have in the city the potential is there.
As your MP I'll work with the travel trade to get us what we need to realise that potential: better transport links, more investment in our hotels and accommodation, better marketing for our city and its attractions and help to promote Plymouth as a destination in the build up to Mayflower 400 in 2020 and beyond.
Luke spent five years working for ABTA. In that time he ran campaigns for better holiday protection, for safer and greener accommodation, to cut taxes on holidays and to protect and promote our tourism businesses. You can read more about ABTA's campaign here.
More than 252,000 people in the South West are dependent on a thriving travel and tourism sector for their livelihoods. Around a third of travel and tourism jobs are held by young people (aged 16-24), compared to just 12% of all jobs in the wider economy.
The South West attracts just over £1.1bn annually from international visitors and around £4.3bn is brought into the area by domestic tourists. An estimated £1.2bn is also injected into the regional economy from local people travelling abroad – meaning a collective contribution of around £6.6bn every year from the ‘tourism mix’.
If you work in travel and tourism and have a question please get in touch with me.