October 2021 - Part One
Welcome to Part One of a two-part update on recent AIR activity. Part One focusses on AIR’s recent activities at Party Conference, where we were able to soft-launch our three key campaigns which, together, will help to increase Britain’s appeal as an overseas destination, particularly to high spending international visitors. These campaigns are:
- enhancing UK visitor visas for the Middle East and China;
- replacing or restoring tax-free shopping on high streets and in airports; and
- excluding Britain’s two International Centres from Sunday opening restrictions.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to make AIR a strong voice for campaigning on the issues that are so important to securing a positive future for the international retail sector.
AIR at Conservative Party Conference
AIR partners with Gulf States Ambassadors to attract more Middle Eastern visitors
Representatives from the embassies of the GCC states, led by the UAE Ambassador, joined AIR’s Visa Round Table to discuss ways of enhancing the UK visa for Middle Eastern visitors, following concerns that Britain is falling behind Schengen.
AIR’s Visa Round Table brought together leaders of retail, tourism, travel and luxury organisations to agree ways of working together to encourage more visitors to the UK from the Middle East.
As the next step, AIR will partner with the embassies to seek support from Parliamentarians who are committed to enhancing relations between the UK and GCC states.
Tourism Minister tells AIR Round Table “retail is central to international visitor recovery”
Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP, the key guest at AIR’s Round Table on Retail and Tourism, acknowledged the central role of shopping in Britain’s attraction as an international visitor destination.
He told the 30 industry leaders at the Round Table that ending tax-free shopping was a Treasury decision. Collecting robust data on the impact of the decision would be central to any future discussions with HM Treasury, he advised.
AIR Round Tables bring industry experts together
AIR’s two Conference Round Tables provided opportunities for industry representatives to discuss key issues for the future growth of shopping by international visitors with policy makers and influencers. Attendees included, at Chief Executive or Director level, UKInbound, UKHospitality, The Tourism Alliance, Walpole and VisitBritain.
AIR Board members were represented by Global Blue, New West End Company, Heathrow Airport, and Marketing Manchester.
“London’s high-end retail creates jobs throughout the UK”, Retail Minister tells AIR
Retail and London Minister, Paul Scully MP, told guests at AIR’s Retail Reception that the recovery and growth of Britain’s high-end retail creates and supports skilled manufacturing jobs across the whole of the UK, producing goods for world-renowned brands such as Burberry and Mulberry.
He stressed the important role of retail in the Government’s levelling-up agenda and pledged to continue working with AIR and others to explore innovations and ideas to help Britain retain its international reputation as a shopping destination.
New Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group for Retail “gets” International Retail
Thank you to our Sponsors
AIR Board Members
AIR’s new board includes
- New West End Company
- Value Retail
- Marketing Manchester
- Essential Edinburgh
- Global Blue
- Heathrow Airport
Become an AIR Member
AIR is seeking new corporate members at Board, Advisory Council and Standard membership levels.
Your support enables us to campaign on key issues for the future growth of international shopping sales.
To find out more about supporting AIR, contact Charlie McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about AIR
If you would like to know more about how AIR’s work and how you can support AIR for the benefit of your own company and the sector as a whole, please check our website www.internationalretail.co.uk., our social media pages or contact Paul Barnes, our Chief Executive, at email@example.com.
Click here to read Part 2 of this update.