Month: September 2015

Last chance to book for next week’s conference

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We still taking booking for this year’s annual conference: Tourism and the visitor economy in the age austerity but only just.

You can see the latest programme here and access the booking forms here.

Executive Minutes Published

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Due to an oversight the Minutes of the April Executive were not posted as they should have been in the Member’s area of  They can now be found on the  protected Board and Executive Meetings page at: .

Although things have moved on since April many of the item still contain useful background briefing material on the for those not involved in the meeting.

I am still trying to recover the January Board meeting minutes which were lost in major data crash earlier this year.


Visit Kent to provide services for Hertfordshire

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Destinations managers may be interested to hear the news that Visit Kent will be providing tourism services for Hertfordshire from March 2016. More information available at:

A busy day in London and two things you might wish to do

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Tuesday 22nd September – a fruitfully day in London representing your interests at a series of meetings, including most notably the Tourism Alliance Board and the VisitEngland (VE) Strategic Industry Advisory Group.

There were lots of positive developments and some worrying challenges report during the day and a number of opportunities  were taken to reiterate the importance of support for the domestic market, in addition to international markets (i.e. the need for both, not just one or the other), the importance of effective local destination management, and the need for continued local government engagement in and adequate local and national public funding for, tourism and the visitor economy to help make destination management and marketing happen.

Much of what was said will now be reported by me to the Board and Executive at their meeting on 5th October and/or to delegates by VE and Tourism Alliance speaker at our annual conference 5th and 6th in Blackpool . Those members not attending  (it’s not too late to book will get access to the information via either our meeting minutes or conference presentations which will be posted on in due course.

Two things to raise immediately:

  • The mood around the potential outcomes of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) for VisitEngland  is still pessimistic.  The importance of support for the domestic market, the need for domestic product development  and the need for  VE to have a domestic marketing role, with or without dedicated resource to fulfil it, have not necessarily been recognized or accepted by DCMS or Treasury, whereas the importance of international tourism and international marketing almost certainly has been. Individual department submission to Treasury have to be completed by mid October and headline departmental settlement are due to be announced by Treasury on 25 November. Based on Treasury allocations we will then learn over a period of time the Departmental apportionment to the various  activities and bodies within their direct control.  If you have strong views on the need for VE to maintain a domestic product development and a domestic marketing roles post CSR then it isn’t too late to say so, but it will be soon.  This is best done via, copying in the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon. John Whittingdale OBE MP using, and any local parliamentarians in your area. Moreover you don’t necessarily have to be an English destination to effected by a failure to adequately support English domestic tourism or to have a strong view on the wider UK issues involved.
  • VE’s refreshed framework strategy, or strategy for growth as it will now be called is developing well and it will be going out to wider consultation shortly.  For good reason, VE are likely to continue to insist that destination management bodies that they proactively support and work with should have a functional destination management plan (DMP) in place.  I am encouraging VE to take as  flexible approach as is practically possible to what constitutes a DMP, on the basis that if the local plan works for the local business partnerships that underpins any destination, then by default it is functional DMP whatever the form it is presented in.  My top tip for English Destinations wanting to work with or to gain support from VE in 2016 and beyond is to start dusting off and if necessary revising and updating your existing destination management plans in whatever form they take.  Or in the unlikely event of your destination or destinations not having one at all, to start looking at creating plans with your partners that articulate what you do,  for and with whom, why for what purpose and to what effect.

If necessary we will post the existing VE suggested DMP template and source some good examples of real plans for you to look at, once the dust settles post conference.

Important Tourism Management Institute Consultation

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Those of you who are TMI members are reminded that the consultation on the future direction of TMI closes shortly.  It’s an important consultation and  your opinion for or against separation from the Tourism Society counts but only if you bother to respond by close of play 25th September!

TMI’s reminder email reads:

The deadline for letting your Executive know your preference for the future of TMI is close of business Friday, 25 September, i.e. the end of this week. Please reply to this email or to the original email sent on 7 September, with Option A or Option B in the subject line and any comments in the body of the email.

Depending upon the outcome of this consultation, your Executive will bring a formal resolution to the AGM in November.

To remind you, the options are:


Separation from the Tourism Society and re-creation of TMI as a standalone body and voice for those in destination management.  Members may choose to remain a member of Tourism Society as well, but this will be a separate arrangement.



TMI remains a section of the Tourism Society. Members will continue to receive the Tourism Society Journal and be offered special rates to attend Tourism Society events.

Your Executive and National Council unanimously recommend Option A.  Our vision is that a new, revitalised and dynamic TMI:

  • will continue to offer at least two events a year dedicated to those working in destination management
  • will re-join the Tourism Alliance in its own right, giving a greater voice and influence to destination managers
  • will build on its success amongst the higher education sector, building on the established accreditation schemes and developing them further
  • will be keen to maintain strong relationships with Tourism Society and all bodies in the tourism family, affiliating where there is a benefit in so doing at the same time as maintaining an independent voice for destination management
  • will seek to build a broader based Executive team well placed to meet the changing needs of those working across the wide spectrum of destination management

This is the future of your TMI and your opinions count, so please take two minutes to reply to this email, or the earlier one, with either Option A or Option B in the subject line.

Many thanks in advance

Kind regards

Cathy Guthrie FTMI FTS
Hon. Secretary
Tel: 01467 620769  Mob: 07802 679489

Final speaker confirmed, draft programme now published.

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We are delighted to confirm that Bernard Donoghue Director, ALVA – The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Chairman, The Tourism Alliance will be joining use to give an overview of his organisation and the Tourism Alliance update at our Annual conference (5th/6th October) at The Imperial Hotel Blackpool.  The final draft of the programme outlining contributions from speakers including, among others, James Berresford, CEO VisitEngalnd, Simon Kitto, People 1st can be accessed at:

A number of rooms remain vacant at the conference hotel but these will need to be released from 22 September onwards, so please, if you are intending to attend, book soon.  Booking forms can be accessed at:

Labour’s New Shadow Cabinet Announced

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New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has today named his shadow cabinet.  They are:

Shadow chancellor – John McDonnell

Shadow home secretary – Andy Burnham

Shadow foreign secretary – Hilary Benn

Deputy leader – Tom Watson

Shadow business secretary – Angela Eagle

Shadow health secretary – Heidi Alexander

Shadow justice secretary – Lord Falconer

Shadow Commons leader – Chris Bryant

Shadow international development – Diane Abbott

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury – Seema Malhotra

Shadow education secretary – Lucy Powell

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary – Vernon Coaker

Shadow secretary of state for Scotland – Ian Murray

Chief whip – Rosie Winterton

Shadow defence secretary – Maria Eagle

Shadow work and pensions secretary – Owen

SmithShadow energy secretary – Lisa Nandy

Shadow environment secretary – Kerry McCarthy

Shadow communities secretary – Jon Trickett

Shadow culture secretary – Michael Dugher

Shadow secretary of state for transport – Lilian Greenwood

Shadow secretary of state for Wales – Nia Griffith

Shadow minister for young people and voter registration – Gloria De Piero

Shadow minister for mental health – Luciana Berger

Shadow leader of the House of Lords – Baroness Smith of Basildon

Lords chief whip – Lord Bassam of Brighton

Shadow attorney general- Catherine McKinnell

Shadow minister without portfolio – Jonathan Ashworth

Shadow minister for housing and planning – John Healey

Conference bookings

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As ever the conference hotel is putting pressure on us to confirm room numbers as we fast approach conference Monday 5th and morning of Tuesday 6th October .  If you are intending to book but have not, or have indicated an intention to book but not confirmed  for which night or nights you are staying (4th, 5th [6th]), can you please do so ASAP.

Booking forms are preferred but if needs must we will happily  take a quick email as a holding reply provided outline dates/nights are given and a booking forms follows in due course.  I am meeting with the hotel on Wednesday 16th by which date I doing to have to start releasing rooms.

Conference detail can be found on the following page:

or go direct to the booking forms at:

New question posted on

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Our colleague, Martin Goodhew from Swale is seeking advice, view and current tips on busker policies in order to inform work on a new policy for the three main town within his destination.  Can you help?  More detail at:

Free British Destination member features in Coach Monthly

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After a brief break the free British Destination member monthly feature in Coach Monthly is back and back in a new simplified format that’s even easier for you to produce and more flexible so it can meet the needs of differing types of destination, destinations and destination areas  encompassed by our membership.  Copy is now sought for the October 2015 and subsequent editions.  October’s copy is required by no later than 18 September, so its first come first served for that one.

More detail on what and how can be found in the drop down menu from the members area tab in or go directly to the relevant webpage now at:

Although this is a members section page it has not been password protected.  To participate in this and access a wide range of other benefits you need to be in membership; if you are not in membership then perhaps it is time that you should be: .