DCMS Select Committee Inquiry into ‘Promoting Britain abroad'.

On Tuesday 8th March, Paul Barnes, AIR’s Chief Executive, appeared in front of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Commons Select Committee regarding their inquiry into ‘Promoting Britain abroad’ where he made the case for reinstating Tax-Free shopping and enhancing the UK’s visa offering. To find out more, you can see highlights from his appearance in the video below.

June 2021 Board Workshop

On June 15, AIR gathered some of the key players in the international retail sector for a Board Workshop. The event was attended by senior representatives of over 20 leading organisations from around the UK, including retailers, property owners and tourism bodies. Over two hours they shared their unique perspectives on how to promote the interests of the international retail sector going forward. Andrew Brown, Regional Director for Europe and Oceania at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) set the scene for us with insight into the WTTC’s views on the likely development of international travel and tourism post-Covid-19.  The group then discussed five key policy priorities...

  • Restoring Tax-Free shopping,
  • Simplifying the visitor visa application system,
  • Extending Sunday trading hours in International Centres
  • Marketing to attract international shoppers
  • The environmental impact of international retail.

The focus of our efforts for the next couple of years will be the Tax-Free shopping and Visa programmes. On other issues such as Sunday trading, the environment and marketing, AIR will play a supporting role alongside our industry partners. We would like to thank our speakers, who gave up their time to introduce key topics, as well as our other attendees, for their willingness to openly share their views and for their continued support for AIR. To watch some of the highlights from the Workshop, please click the video below.

Retail Minister Welcomes AIR

We were delighted to open the inaugural AIR Board Workshop with an official welcome from Paul Scully MP, Minister for Retail and Minister of State for London. He described AIR as a “great initiative to identify areas where we can work together for the good of the UK economy”.  AIR worked closely with the Minister and his officials over the course of our first year and we look forward to building on that relationship.

 You can watch the Minister’s welcome in full by clicking the video.