Month: May 2015

New EU Package Travel Directive Published

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The new EU Travel Package Directive was published last week. Regrettably UK industry attempts to get the travel element recognised as the principal component of any package failed.  However, some potentially useful changes have been agreed which may well allow many smaller tourism and visitor economy businesses to offer additional services without falling foul of the Directive’s onerous conditions.

The next stage of the process will see the new Directive being translated in to UK law, probably during 2015, at which point there will be formal consultation and an opportunity to influence the outcomes in our favour.  No immediate action is needed but for those wishing to know a little more of the detail or to access the Directive see:


More links added to the FairBooking UK briefing page

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In the hope of make it easier for you assess the relative merits of the FairBooking UK campaign I have now added links in the briefing page, to the pages in each of three FairBooking founding destination’s websites describing the local scheme to their local trade and/or customer. All three provide some helpful additional insight, whilst I found the Cornwall video briefing clip particularly useful:

Provided the topic has not been done to death at other tourism events over the coming summer, I am proposing to include a session on the FairBooking campaign this year’s British Destinations conference in Blackpool 5 – 6 October.  Views on the merits of including it, especially from those thinking of attending, would be welcomed. The conference outline is at: .

FairBooking UK update

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The level of interest in FairBooking UK, the new industry led, low-cost ethical booking initiative is such that a new FairBooking UK webpage giving answers to the more obvious headline questions and a contact form has now been produced to replace the email and telephone hotline.  Links to these have been added to a new FairBooking UK page on which can be found at: 

Having reread yesterday’s introductory comment my attempt to be neutral may be read as being overly cautious even negative.

For clarity I happen to believe that this is an exciting new initiative, providing a much-needed, viable alternative to commercial third-party websites which may therefore help reduce the costs and strangle hold they appear to be gaining, especially over online accommodation bookings.  Currently this is my view only, since I have yet to discuss and have it confirmed, denied or amended by the views of the Executive who represent the practitioners view and, thus, the views that really matter. While waiting to hear from them I would also welcome pragmatic views from other members.

Regardless, I believe the initiative is not just worthy but something that is very likely to take off and become widely discussed and adopted.  What I was hinting at but didn’t explicitly say was that if I am right then destination manager and destination marketeers at the very least need to make themselves totally familiar with FairBooking UK.  My instinct also tell me you would be very well advised to have started if not finished rehearsed the arguments for and against participation as a “destination”, and preferably well before your trade partners start asking the obvious questions of you.

If it were me and the arguments against were few then I would be looking to get involved, however, I have the luxury of occasionally practicing isolated theory, whereas most of you have discomfort of constantly implementing and managing concurrent and often competing practice. That’s why I said it may not be for everyone, but that is a hard-nosed decision that can only be made by you once you are armed with the detailed facts.  Because this is a not for profit, industry led initiative there is no sales persons going to come round to trying to sell it to you, or explain the pros and cons in your given circumstance.  You need to seek that information out for yourselves……

FairBooking UK – low cost ethical booking site launched- participants wanted

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After trials in Cumbria, Cornwall and the New Forest last year FairBooking UK, a  new low-cost, ethical booking website has recently gone live.  The team behind the not for profit approach to online booking are in the process of seeking expressions of interest from other destination management bodies, who might themselves wish to consider participating as a destination. At some point later in the year they also intend to start offer the concept more widely to individual businesses across the UK, regardless of whether their locality is participating as a destination.

The scheme offers three different commission based approaches which between them we are told make the concept capable of integrating with many of the existing local booking and business models currently in use. Clearly a potpourri of differing local circumstances are going to dictate whether FairBooking is, or is not, something for those (you) at the destination level.

FairBooking UK may not be for everyone, however, we would urge you all to read the short briefing note provided, if only so you can make a more informed decision about whether or not it is something you should investigate in more detail; and in many cases probably investigate before more local businesses start to become aware of it later in the year?

The briefing note with links and contact details, which has been provided to us by Fairbooking UK, can be found at:

TMI Hot Topic – Digital Destination Masterclass – 18 June

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The Tourism Management Institute (TMI) are holding their annual, one day, hot topic event at the University Colleague Birmingham on 18 June.  This year’s event is a “Digital Destination Masterclass” and as in previous years a discount on the non TMI member rate is being offered to British Destination members.

Various discount deals have also been arranged at hotel in central Birmingham, close to the venue, for those wishing to stay over in advance of the event on the evening of 17 June.  For full detail go direct to the TMI website page:—digital-destinations-masterclass-.htm

Latest job vacancy. Digital content manager Isle of Wight

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Visit Isle of Wight Ltd are seeking a new digital content manager c£22k to £26k depending on experience. No specified closing date; just seeking the right applicant.  See more detail  via at:

Latest tourism and visitor economy update from British Destinations

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Three things:

1. Confirmation of the appointments in the Westminster Government and details of a few of the key players in relation to tourism, the visitor economy and destinations are summarised at:

2. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released their annual report on international inbound and UK outbound tourism travel during 2014.  Access it in the British Destinations research and statistics library at:

3. Since John Whittingdale the former Chair and Tracey Crouch a former member of the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee have recently become Secretary of State and Minister of State respectively at DCMS, it wouldn’t be that unreasonably to suggest that the relevance of that Select Committee’s recent tourism report might now be somewhat greater than it would otherwise have been? Perhaps almost the bones, if not the meat of a tourism strategy? Remind yourselves of what the committee and its Chairman said and recommended at:

UK Wide Inland and Coastal Bathing Waters latest results

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Following this week’s opening of the official 2015 bathing season in England and Wales (from 1 June in Scotland and Northern Ireland) the UK Beach Management Forum’s (UKBMF) website has been updated to include links on one single page to the latest interactive mapping for Scotland, Wales and England and text descriptions for Northern Ireland bathing waters and their historic and current results:

The UK Beach Management Forum website contains a host of detailed information on beach and inland and coastal bathing water management related issues, both for practitioners and for those wanting or needing to understand the much wider implications, for tourism and the visitor economy.

This year marks a key hurdle for beach management, in particular at coastal destinations, but also arguably for the reputation of UK domestic tourism in general as the new, much more stringent,  EU revised Bathing Water Directive (rBWD) comes into full effect.

Save the date: details of the British Destinations Conference 2015 announced

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Blackpool and the Imperial Hotel will host this years British Destinations Conference on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th October. For more detail see page:

Individual 2014 Destination Intelligence Reports now posted

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We’ve now added all the individual 2014 destination reports, on to the Destination Intelligence website.  These can now be found along side the 2014 category and all group reports posted last month:

The separate log in details for the protected pages on the Destination Intelligence site are also held on the following main corporate protected  page: .  The idea is that you then only need remember one log in!

If you have not had or lost the log in to the corporate site or it’s just “all too much” then simply email me here.