Month: August 2015

British Destinations conference bookings now being taken

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Booking are now being taken for the British Destinations Conference in Blackpool Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th October.

There are now three events in one:  The main, tourism and visitor economy conference covering key strategic tourism issues of relevance to all destination representatives, a parallel seminar focusing on coastal destination’s housing and associated issues and a local government, principally elected members focused, coastal issues/shared coastal services workshop which will straddle the last hour and a half of both the conference and seminar and then continuing on into the Tuesday afternoon.  Delegates can if they wish mix and match attendance at sessions at the conference, seminar and workshop.

More details can be found at:

Booking detail can be found at:

Tourism colleagues in coastal destinations are asked to pass on details of the seminar to appropriate local housing interests and  workshop details principally to appropriate local authority elected members. 


New open question posted

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Can you help colleagues investigate the options for sponsorship of public open space? See latest open question in the Forum: ask questions get answers section of at:

Report on music tourism’s contribution to the UK economy

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UK Music have published a new report outlining the music tourism’s contribution to the UK economy during the period 2011 to 2014.  The report by Oxford Economics,” Wish you were here 2015 – Music tourism’s contribution to the UK economy”, has now been added to the British Destinations research and statistics library available at: .

The report gives UK and Nations and Regions total estimates for “music tourism” and a brief Nations and Regions case study for each.  The figures are not broken down below regional level, other than to give event headline figures within each case study.  Nonetheless the report’s National/regional level figures may still be useful in supporting existing, or in developing new destination based live music events?  At a more strategic level, as we rapidly approach critical comprehensive spending review decision points,  the report is timely, good news for the music industries and, at the very least by inference, for tourism and the visitor economy in general.

New Blue Deal report now added to library

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New Blue Deal,  a report by the New Economic Foundation has had considerable coverage in recent days. The reports stated  aim is to “deliver stronger economies for UK coastal communities through a healthier marine environment”.  Whilst the report is interesting and contains many indexed reference to coastal facts and figures taken from other studies and reports, having read it I am still uncertain as to whether the New Blue Deal is a “vision”  seeking support in the coming 18 months, or “vision” or plan offering support to coastal communities, or is it  a bit of both?  If anyone has more knowledge of this then please let me know.  The report can be accessed from the main British Destinations reports and statistics library at:

Reminder on funding opportunities in England

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For coastal areas in England don’t forget the closing data for the £3m Coastal Revival Fund is 14 September:

We have also added a link on the main menu, “new funding” tab to  Arts Council England’s Creative Local Growth Fund which closes on 16 October 2015:

New report: The Skills and Productivity Question published

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People 1st have published a new report entitled, The Skills and Productivity Question.  A useful report that identifies several challenges and opportunities for tourism and visitor economy.  If pressed for time the executive summary at page 2 and main body summary at page 18 highlights all main issues, whilst the report itself is well worth reading in full; comments on an over reliance on younger worker and the suggested alternative approaches I thought were particularly thought-provoking.

This may well be a report worth sharing with your own local partners and businesses?  Access it in the main British Destinations reports and statistics library at: or separately for ease of distribution at:

The nub of the report’s findings (taken from the main body summary) are:

“As a result of these challenges there needs to be greater focus on:

• Employee engagement to help staff retention

• Promotion of career progression pathways to the existing workforce, aligned to succession planning and training and development opportunities

• Recruitment from diverse labour pools so we are not so dependent on attracting younger people

• Promotion of career progression pathways to attract candidates to fill skilled front of house, chef and management roles • Recruitment targeting sustainable, but flexible labour pools, such as older workers and women returner

• More systematic training and development planning integrated within an organisation’s people strategy

If the sector were to raise productivity levels by just 1% it would contribute an additional £1.43bn to the UK economy”.

Free four day registration for the London World Travel Market 2 – 5 November 2015

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A free British Destinations Membership offer from Reed Exhibitions Ltd; register for free entry to the London World Travel Market 2 – 5 November 2015.  More detail available on at:

Consultation on devolving Sunday trading rules in England and Wales

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Yesterday Bis (Department for Business Innovation & Skills)  and DCLG (Department for Communities & Local Government) launched a 6 weeks consultation on devolving the power to relax Sunday trading restrictions on large stores in England and Wales down to the Local Government level.  Our description of the salient points and access to the consultation can be found at:

You might wish to consider responding yourselves and/or to alert business partners and local trade organisations to the consultation, assuming they are not yet aware.  I would also welcome your view for inclusion in our corporate response and, in particular, any substantive arguments against relaxation, as I think I already understand many of the pros.

Meanwhile, I am left pondering why, if it is such a good idea, which, it probably is, National Government can’t just bite the bullet and make a single or dual English and Welsh national decision on relaxation?  The answer is probably that, however good an idea it may or may not be, it will always be contentious whatever you decide to do, and thus it is probably far easier to let the local politicians take the inevitable flak for the delivery issues, whilst nation politicians can sit back and take the credit for both having the idea and for apparently empowering localism.  Not sure if this is being cynical or is insightful, or a bit of both?

Visitor Attraction Trends report published

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Today  VisitEngland published their annual visitor attractions trend report 2015 based on 2014 performance which also looks forward into 2015 and beyond.  Although a VE report on English attractions, there are many synergies with visitor attraction performance and trends elsewhere in the UK.

Access the report now in the British Destinations’ reports and statistics library at: or find it later in approximate date order under the corporate website’s, Research and statistic – by year, or the + symbol  tab in the main website menu.

For those with a more academic interest in statistic, or for those in the future looking at the measurement of tourism return on investment we have also added a historic report from DCMS “Tourism Marketing Return on Investment: the Impact of Displacement” first published in 2012.   Access it directly at: or again find it later listed in approximate date order (2012) in both the Research and statistics – by year tab or in the drop down menu from the symbol in the main menu.