Month: June 2016

BREXIT update

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The initial comment on the impact on international inbound tourism markets, as far as they are known, from VisitBritain can be accessed at: The VisitBritain TIER update 27 June 16 .

Meanwhile there is considerable comment and press speculation around the potential benefits for the domestic market.

I don’t doubt for a moment that one of the immediate effects will be fewer UK residents holidaying abroad this year and as a consequence many of those choosing to do something, somewhere holiday related in the UK instead.  If the current economic conditions continue that pattern could then be repeated in future years.  That obviously can be articulated as positive for UK tourism as a whole and possibly for UK PLC as an entity.  That said to my mind it’s rather akin to suggesting that the closure of BHS is obviously a positive for the UK retail and for many high streets as it removes the immediate competition from nearby shops?  Complex issues have complex consequences many of which go by unrecognized and unreported.

I would caution that experience, some of it quite recent, shows that the underlying causes of the decision of some not to holiday abroad can also be detrimental to large parts of the domestic tourism market, whilst the full benefit of more domestic holiday’s being taken is seldom evenly spread geographically, socially or by product or by destination typology. In other words there will be significant winners and losers domestically as well as internationally and, thus, it’s not unremitting good news all round for UK tourism.

Why I airing this with you now? Largely because I am concerned that if not presented as a complex mix bag, the short to medium term performance of the domestic market as a whole, could easily be used as yet another reason to turn off support for the domestic industry by cash strapped governments.  This of course also comes on top of domestic tourism’s performance already being underpinned to a considerable degree by fears of terrorism and instability in once popular overseas destinations.  Planning the longer term strategic direction, the levels of support and the management structure for the domestic market around the current unpredictable woes both at home and abroad I hope might now be seen as being a little short sighted?

In last week’s the news

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Last week ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer was the latest senior industry representative to publicly air growing concern about the worldwide growth of Airbnb.  Tanzer’s concerns about the impacts on international destinations have been dismissed by some as an attempt to protect travel agents and the traditional commissionable sales model.  There is clearly far more to Mark’s concern than this and probably a whole lot further for the issue to run.  Increasingly UK domestic destinations are being forced to consider the pros and cons of Airbnb, their impact on their own destinations and on destination partnership models.  If you aren’t already thinking about how to manage Airbnb in your own patch  then you probably should be starting to: .

No one could possibly have missed last week’s referendum result but if you are in need a quick informed overview of the process of withdrawal from the EU then the House of Lords Select Committee report into the subject published in May might assist:

The National Coastal Tourism Academy recently released a report entitled 2016 Coastal Tourism, which looks at the current state of tourism on the English coast:






Conference report now available

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The 2016 British Destinations Annual conference was held this week in Southport.  Delegates from inland and coastal, City, rural and resort destinations were treated to a number of presentations of exceptional quality and relevance (the delegates assessment not ours) on topics of both immediate tactical and longer term strategic importance to the UK’s tourism and visitor economy industries.

A brief report giving access to all the presentations made during the event can be found at:

Final conference update and last booking plea

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Three things: update and changes to speakers, the final programme  is now available and it’s still not too late to book (just).  What’s more, we really do need you to support this high profile event:

1. Speakers: Liz Byron has been confirmed as the DCLG speaker for the closing session of conference prior to lunch 20 June.  Richard Veal MD of New Mind tellUs replaces Andy Abram of New Mind telllUs who is indisposed. Richard will now speak on late Monday afternoon, not the Tuesday morning.  Nick Brookes-Sykes of Visit Manchester has agreed to move his session from late Monday to the first session Tuesday morning to allow all this to happen (many thanks Nick).

2. The final pre-publication version of the programme text has been  now been added to the conference page at: ,or it can also be downloaded directly at: .

3. Despite the quality of content and speakers the numbers of delegates remain disappointingly low.  We desperately need your support for this high level event and it isn’t too late to book, especially if you do now.  Booking detail at:

Annual General Meeting Agenda

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The agenda for the Annual General Meeting being held on Monday 20 June 2016 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel Southport can be found in the following section of the members’ area of  or it can accessed directly at:

Please note nominations for new Vice Presidents and Fellows which will be considered at the AGM are still being sought: .

The agenda for the joint Board and Executive meeting being held on the morning of 20 June can also be accessed by members at: .

If you wish to raise any substantive issues at either meeting but can’t attend to do so in person, then please feel free to email or call me this week so I can do it on your behalf.

Late booking for annual conference 20-21 June can still be taken, detail and booking forms are at:


Your nominations for Vice Presidents and Fellows sought

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At the AGM on the late afternoon of Monday 20 June members will be asked to consider recommendations from the Board or made from the floor, for Vice Presidents (typically MPs, AMs, MLAs, MEPs, members of the House of Lords). They will also be asked to consider recommendations made by the Board for Fellowship, an honour bestowed in recognition of services to the association or the industry we represent.

In order to ensure your views are taken into account, regardless of your ability to attend the AGM during annual conference in Southport 20/21 June, suggestions (in confidence/not attributed) or formal nominations from yourselves or your organisation (attributed) are urgently sought for both Vice Presidents and Fellows.

The detail of current holders and the criteria for each appointment can be accessed from the “Governance, events & activities” page on See first and last bullet points at:

To make a suggestion or nomination simply email me indicating who and why and stating whether you are happy for this suggestion or nomination to be attributed to you or your organisation or not.  If not then, provided it meets the criteria, I will happily make the proposals for you to the Board or AGM as appropriate.

Alternatively it’s not too late yet to book to attend conference and nominate at the AGM in person: .


Destination Management Survey

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Colleagues at TEAM Tourism have been talking to me about a study they are undertaking for a destination client designed to assess the current state of Destination Management in England and differing approaches to it (my simplistic interpretation, not necessarily theirs or the clients).

The aggregated findings, which will not include individual destination data, is pretty much the sort of thing that we have been regularly been asked for of late by members and strategic partners, principally to assist with local and national  lobbying activity targeted toward the retention of destination management and management services.

I have agreed to help circulate and encourage participation on the basis that it is information that is urgently need and that will have much wider utility across the UK.  In return TEAM Tourism and the client will share the aggregate, group data and findings with any of you that participate and critically, from my point of view at least, with British Destinations.

The recently launched survey consists of c 27 relatively simple questions and although targeted at England, I think there would be mutual benefit if destinations from other home nations also took part:

Please feel free to ask questions before participation of me or contact  Carmel Dennis at TEAM Tourism directly on  07946425958 or