Month: October 2015
The Hansard report on Monday’s Westminster Hall debate regarding the e-petition on in term-time school leave can be accessed below. A long but nonetheless interesting debate with many very good speeches made. The Ministerial response at column 26 WH or 6.24 pm near the latter end of the report is a little disappointing and points towards the Government’s reluctance to accept that there are serious issues involved for anyone, or anything let alone tourism. It suggest to me that they need considerably more persuasion if they are to take even the most basic of actions, like for example issuing clarification on the intended interpretation of the original guidance. More yet to do I am afraid:
Congratulation to colleagues at the Carrier Group who last week won the Direct Commerce – Supplier of the Year Awards for Best Creative and Design Services Award.
The Carrier Group have been sponsors of the British Destinations Annual Awards for many years and it good to see them being recognized themselves for their superb work in one of the many professional service areas that they provide to the tourism industry: https://britishdestinations.net/members-area/content/carrier-direct-marketing-services-for-members/
A useful short report on the UK wide Gross Value Added of all DCMS’s sponsored sectors including tourism is now available in the British Destinations’ research and statistics library: https://britishdestinations.net/1194-2/content/gva-of-dcms-sectors-2015/
A reminder from our strategic partner organisation the Tourism Management Institute that their Annual Convention is taking place in the easily accessible 5 star Grange City Hotel, in London, on the 23rd and 24th November 2015. Delegate rates starting from £97.50 + vat for TMI members. Booking is available now https://www.tmi.org.uk/event-booking/2/tmi-annual-convention-2015.htm.
The convention commences at 1.15pm on 23rd November with a study tour of the Guildhall Galleries and the Roman Amphitheatre followed by a Jewel House Tour, drinks in the New Armouries in the Tower of London and then on to Tower Bridge for dinner; book early as places for the dinner are limited. The seminars commence at 9.30am and run to 17.45 pm on the 24th November. There is an excellent line up of speakers and a varied programme which should be of great interest to all tourism professionals.
Everyone in the sector is welcome so please feel free to share with your colleagues i.e. BID and Town Centre Managers, those working in DMOs, advisory groups, consultants, digital managers, event organisers, AONBs, National Parks, cultural groups, universities, students and others.
The Grange Hotel is offering delegates special accommodation rates up to 22 October so make sure you visit https://www.tmi.org.uk/page/87/accommodation.htm now to book your superior room. There are also discounts available at the hotel and local attractions should you wish to stay for the weekend prior to the event.
All non TMI Members booking for the Convention will receive a £20 (inc VAT) voucher towards TMI membership, valid for anyone applying and accepted for membership by 31st January 2016. With limited places and rates starting from £150 + VAT early booking is advisable https://www.tmi.org.uk/event-booking/2/tmi-annual-convention-2015.htm.
Good news on visa reforms courtesy of the Tourism Alliance.
Original message reads:
The Prime Minister has just announced a number of reforms to visa processing for Chinese visitors to the UK as part of the Chinese Premier’s visit.
Key among these is that, from January 2016, 2 year multiple entry visas for Chinese visitors will be reduced from £324 to £85 – the cost of a standard six month visa. The PM also announced that the Government is planning to reduce the cost of 10 year visas from £747 to £85, although no date has been set for this as yet.
Reducing the cost of long-term visas has been central to the work that the Tourism Alliance has been undertaking with the Airport Operators Assn and Virgin Atlantic over the last few months so we are delighted with this announcement.
Other reforms include:
- Extending the reach of the on-demand mobile visa service in China. This service allows customers to provide their biometric data at one of 17 locations rather than being required to travel to a visa application centre.
- Upgrading the 12 visa application centres and offering out of working hours appointments.
- Extending the 3 to 5 day priority service.
- Introducing a passport pass-back service, which allows customers to apply for the UK and Schengen visa at the same time.
- Launch of a new online application form, with fewer questions, translated guidance and giving the option of pre-populating a Schengen form at the same time.
- Offering Premium service lounges in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou visa application centres, reducing waiting times for applicants and offering personalised assistance at every stage.
- Developing a dedicated team based in the British Embassy in Beijing which supports business, tourism and education sectors with their visa needs.
- Reducing documentary requirements for the Chinese government-endorsed Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) for Chinese tour groups and repeat travellers.
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The debate on the virtual blanket ban on in term holiday taking in schools in England is getting profile in the news. More importantly there is a short notice opportunity in the form of a Westminster Hall Debate 16.30 19.30 on Monday 26 October to try to influence an issue that arguably has a direct effect on the customer base for domestic tourism across the UK. See more on the Britishdestinations.net page accessed at:
In order to assist those member destinations trying align current budget and business planning for 2016 and beyond with the unknown outcomes of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review British Destinations have produced a short assessment of the most likely impacts for destinations based tourism and visitor economy support.