All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf Vice-Chair secures Golf Tourism Debate


All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf Vice-Chair, Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife Wendy Chamberlain MP, is to hold a debate in Parliament this Wednesday (27th January) on support for golf tourism. 
 
Many businesses and golf clubs in Fife and throughout the UK rely on international tourism, particularly from North America. 
With further restrictions on inbound international travel set to be announced by the Government, Chamberlain will call on the UK Government to set out ‘a pathway to international tourism’ to provide further certainty to businesses. 
 
Chamberlain will say that, “with further travel restrictions likely as early as this week, clubs and businesses which rely on international tourism are facing an increasingly bleak picture for summer 2021. With the prospect of domestic restrictions being lifted as the population is vaccinated, the Government must commit to supporting the golf industry which relies on inbound international tourism.”
 
During her debate, Chamberlain will call on the Government to implement a ‘deposit guarantee scheme’ to protect tour operators in the case of continued restrictions on international tourism throughout the summer. 
In the debate, Chamberlain will raise:

  1. The impact of the pandemic and tourism restrictions on golf clubs and the sector at large.
  2. The difficulties for tour operators posed by the restrictions on tourism.
  3. The delays in provision of previously announced support for tour operators by the Scottish Government.
  4. The need for the UK Government to further engage with the tourism sector.
  5. The gaps in support schemes, which means that on the day service people; caddies, and other self-employed people are unlikely to see the impact of grant support.
Chamberlain commented, “As the ‘home of golf’, much of the tourism in Fife is from international visitors travelling from across the world to play on our world famous and iconic courses. 
 
“I am acutely aware of the devastating impact that Covid restrictions, both on internal and external tourism, has had to the entire golf ecosystem in Fife – not just the clubs, but the caddies, the tour operators, the drivers, the hoteliers – the list goes on. 
 
“These businesses need certainty about when international travel will re-open. And they need further support – starting with a deposit guarantee scheme for tour operators, which would protect them in the event of continued restrictions throughout this summer. 
January is almost over and the warmer weather is fast approaching. Time is therefore limited. In my debate on Wednesday, I will ask the Government to provide certainty for timescales on re-opening international travel. I will also ask for further support for the many small business owners in Fife who rely on golf tourism.  
 
“I hope the Government will provide a positive response, and signal support is coming for Fife and for all parts of the country where golf tourism is significant.” 
 
The Group’s Chair, North Warwickshire MP Craig Tracey MP added, “I congratulate Wendy on securing this debate.  The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf has been working closely with industry bodies during the pandemic to support challenging the government on its decisions regarding golf in England and providing help to MPs and golf in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
 
“Tourism is a huge part of golf in the UK, Scotland and Fife in particular and the points Wendy has raised in Parliament are extremely timely, so I urge all home nation governments to look at them very closely to see how they can best support such an important industry to us all.”