Month: January 2016

Conference dates announced

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We are pleased to announce that this year’s British Destinations’ annual conference will be held in Southport Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st June with optional accommodation and events available on the evening of Sunday 20th.  More detail at:


Parliamentary Reception 7 March 2016

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The Tourism Alliance, of which we are Board members, is holding their Parliamentary reception as part English Tourism Week on 7 March in House of Commons Westminster between 4:30 and 6:30 PM.  The host is Paul Maynard MP and the guest speaker Rt Hon John Whttingdale MP Secretary of State Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

As usual I have managed to secured a small number of additional tickets for representative of British Destination members, from any all home nations. If you would like to attend please, let me know by no later than 26 February and preferably much sooner.  Tickets will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

In return, those attending are asked to consider contacting their own local MP’s and/or Parliamentary contacts to ask if they too might like to attend.  I can’t hold you to that but I hope that you would at least try.

Request for ticket should be emailed to me at: 

Your opportunity to shape future development of English tourism

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I am reproducing the invitation from the CEO VisitBritain to the UK tourism industry below, in order to ensure that it has been seen by the maximum possible audience and in particular by all in British Destinations membership.

I would urge colleagues, and especially those England, to try and attend one of the 6 English regional meeting.  I would also urge you to consider helping to encouraging key local business, local representative groupings and any of key tourism partners in your destinations to do the same.

These meetings are your main chance to influence the use of £40m (over 3 years) of international product development and international marketing funding for England.  It’s also your chance to find out what else VisitBritain will, under the new arrangements, be willing and able (allowed) to do for England, beyond its traditional and well-established international market remit.

I can’t over stress how important attendance at these meetings and well informed engagement in the discussions held there will be.

The Discover England Fund: Delivering World Class Product
This will be an opportunity to shape future development of the Fund through questions and discussion, plus network with British Tourist Authority and industry colleagues.
The first event in London will be attended by the Tourism Minister David Evennett MP. To register your interest please click on your preferred date below. Further details will be available soon.
Since the positive spending review settlement, and the clarity on new priorities for both VisitEngland and VisitBritain, we have been working through the implications and considering the best way to achieve these goals. With core budgets unchanged, an additional £40m for the Discover England Fund and an uplift in GREAT monies, there is an unprecedented opportunity to drive additional visits and spend across the regions of England in the months and years ahead.

I would be delighted if you would join me at one of a series of sessions taking place across England. This will be a key opportunity to hear more on:
  • The spending review settlement for Tourism
  • Our future organisational priorities and delivery structure
  • Government aspirations for delivering world class product through the new £40m Discover England Fund

The sessions form a crucial part of our engagement process and I really do hope you can attend. I look forward to working closely with the whole industry as we continue to develop our plans.

Sally Balcombe
Chief Executive
British Tourist Authority

Visit Wiltshire latest member to be featured

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Visit Wiltshire are the latest member destination to be presented in the the British Destinations and Coach Monthly’s “Top 5 reasons to visit” half page feature.

See their entirely free promotional piece alongside other recent month’s examples including Ards & North Down, Ceredigion, Guildford and White Cliffs Country and find out how to get your destination or destinations included at:

Joint Board and Executive Meeting Minutes published

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The minutes of the latest British Destinations Joint Board and Executive meeting held on 15 December are now available at:

This is a protected page.  Any representatives of member organisations can email me here if they have forgotten or never had the password.

Last Minute Offer from Trinity Mirror

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Flash Sale for Last Minute slots on Trinity Mirror British Destinations feature *Plus a second Sunday title is added* 

Trinity Mirror’s British Destinations feature is on the edge of closing but still has 4 slots remaining!

If you would like to raise the profile of your destination and get your 2016 brochures out the door this is a great last minute opportunity.

All it requires is a high res jpeg image and 50-60 words and you will run in the following, against Mirror’s Travel editorial;

Daily Mirror 1 953 000 readers

Sunday Mirror 1 815 000 readers

Sunday People 470 000 readers

Saturday Extra; 10 regional titles including  The Gazette- Teeside, Coventry Telegraph, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail, South Wales Echo, Huddersfield Examiner, The chronicle – Newcastle, Manchester Evening News, Paisley Daily Express, Daily Post (Wales) 753 000 readers

The guide will also then be turned into an on-line advertorial and placed on the website and subsequently pushed to our Facebook (1 846 470 ) and Twitter (536 000) followers.

Contact Rosie Parson for details on; 02072933912 or

Potential important UK tourism news from Wales

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Two bits of recent news of potential UK significance which may be of interest to some of you:

1. The Welsh Government have conceded that a blanket ban on in-term holiday taking is not the intent of the legislation and Minister have now written to  councils advising them head teachers should instead exercise discretion. Clearly it’s not necessarily where the pupils go to school but where they holiday that’s most important from a purely selfish tourism prospective I.e. the tourism benefits from Welsh schools, if any, won’t necessarily be confined to Wales.

Moreover, the relatively smaller school age population in Wales, as compared to that in English schools makes this a fairly modest victory for UK tourism because as yet no one is predicting that the current Westminster Government’s very robust stance on this issue is likely to be similarly swayed. Nonetheless, well done the Welsh Government, its a chink of light in an otherwise stalled debate and yet it’s another new line of argument as to why we should revert to a more flexible, discretionary approach to in-term holiday taking in England too. 

2. David Cameron’s more cautious note on the financial viability of the Swansea tidal lagoon early this week has largely been picked up and commented upon as a purely Welsh issue.  However, as Swansea is the test bed for the viability of UK tidal power and a number of others potential contenders elsewhere in the UK are waiting in the wings for Swansea to prove the case, it is clearly a much bigger UK coastal economic development issue.

The problem of the strike price; the government guaranteed price per megawatt-hour, is well-known and will be of no surprise to anyone remotely involved.  The critical element is that the solutions to this lie almost entirely in Westminster Government’s hands and if the PM is now publicly professing to be “less enthusiastic” then it’s a fair indicator that UK Government and, in particular, Treasury may also be less keen to make this happen than they have previously been?   


Update your public facing webpage entry

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We maintain a public facing promotional website  in addition to the corporate internal information website.  This public site gives free promotion for your destination(s) via the website itself and additionally free promotion via our  public facing Facebook page which is automatically populated from your webpage entry.

The website entries are purposely designed to be sort factual pieces that encourage customers to seek further information from you via your website and/or via brochure requests (optional) and thus it needs little routine maintenance.  The maintenance is done remotely by you.  If you not recently visited you page and updated it for 2016 then now is the time to do so at:

Each destination has its own user name and login (not the same one as the corporate site). If you forgotten it email me:

Three things you need to do:

  • Check your page titles and text for accuracy and make any amendments.  The page is character limited so the scope for expansions is equally limited.  The save button is at the end of the page and there is no prompt function, so don’t inadvertently leave the page without saving.
  • You have the option to add events on a separate data base, if you have activated this facility check them for accuracy and update or add new ones for 2016.
  • You have the option to allow the public to order brochures.  The email address that the requests are sent to is found in the administrative section.  If activated already please check the current fulfilment email address that you are using.  If you wish to switch on or switch off the facility simply add or remove an email address.

Although not now state of the art the website does generate a steady flow of brochure requests and referrals to destination websites, particularly in through the first half of the calendar year.   Please help us to help you by making sure your entry is accurate.


Job Vacancy Stoke-on-Trent c£43k to c£46k closing Friday 15 Jan 16

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Slightly short notice as it closes on Friday 15 January but an interesting post has been drawn to our attention in the member destination of Stoke-on-Trent.

If its not for you please consider circulating to your own networks.

More detail available on our job vacancy pages at:

2015 UK Bathing Waters Conference Report

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A very brief report giving access to 26 of the 27 presentations, including our own, made to last November’s biennial UK Bathing Water Conference can be accessed on the following UK Beach Management Forum website.

This is not necessarily a subject of direct interest to everyone, however it is worth noting that the much wider UK tourism PR and other unintended and/or second and third order consequences of the ongoing implementation of the new 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive (previously referred to as the revised UK Bathing Water Directive) did get relatively good coverage, not least in my own presentation on the value of beach awards.