Month: July 2016

DRAFT Tourism EU Exit Strategy paper

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The Tourism Alliance is in the early stages of drafting a Tourism EU Exit Strategy paper which is designed to inform UK Government of the key tourism industry concerns and key request relating to BREXIT that the Tourism Alliance membership would wish to see being considered and acted upon during the process of the UK’s exit from the EU.

The draft, with initial comment track from two organisation already included (mine in red track changes), can be accessed here: Draft Tourism Exit Strategy (21 July 2016) CTrev (2) .

I need to check with the British Destination members:

  • whether you feel the broad thrust of the paper is correct
  • take any broad comments on the individual headline issue already included
  • and/or take comment on any suggested key BREXIT issues not yet included
  • and finally give any of you who wish to the opportunity to make suggested detail amendments the text.

Any comments should be sent to me, preferably as tracked changes on a copy of the document.

The Tourism Alliance is a broad church consisting of all the main tourism trade associations and the paper reflects that broad church view.  Any comments you make will be put to the Tourism Alliance, but, just as I can’t guarantee my own comments tracked in red will be accepted, neither can I guarantee that any you make will get through to the final draft.  First draft changes are required more or less by return for discussion at preliminary meeting next week; however, the final version of the paper isn’t due for publication and use until the end of August, so you do have some time to comment.

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Whilst I was away……

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1. I have returned from two weeks holiday to hear the great news that the Isle of Wight Destination BID was successful and that work is now ongoing to bring the new arrangement for the whole island in to place for the New Year.  Congratulations to all concerned.

1.1. The Isle of Wight model, albeit island based, along with the largely rural model deployed in Scotland for Visit Inverness and Loch Ness gives further opportunities for the development of other wider area BIDs, as wells as for the more usual urban destinations based BIDs that we are now becoming reasonably familiar with. Examples of destination based BIDs of all shapes and sizes can be accessed via the updated Britishdestinations.net page:  https://britishdestinations.net/business-improvement-districts-and-tourism/  .

2. The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) application process for CCF funding for the period 2017/18 to 2018/19 in England opened in May (and is now closed).  In Scotland,  Northern Ireland and Wales it opened on 4 July and closes on 17 August in Scotland and Northern Ireland and  29 September in Wales.  More details can be accessed via:  https://britishdestinations.net/new-funding/coastal-communities-fund/ccf-201718-202021-update/

2.1. Of note, the date for applications for the next two year tranche of bidding has been given in the Big Lottery website as 2017, when logically for funding for 2019/20 -2020/21 it might reasonably have be expected to have been 2018?  Whether this is a simple error or an indication of either minor administrative or major structural changes to the presumed goal posts needs to be investigated further. We will let you know, but as it stands bids for the next tranche will be taken in England, Wales and Northern Ireland sometime in 2017 and not 2018 as you may have been expecting.  Arrangements for the next round in Scotland have yet to be announced as these will now have to tie in with ongoing plans to give their Parliament direct control of all Crown Estate revenues generated within Scotland.

Destination Business Improvement Districts Update

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I am sure you will wish to join with me congratulate colleagues at Torbay Council and The English Riviera Tourism Company and within the tourism industry in Torbay on the news of their recent successful English Riviera Tourism BID which was passed by a healthy margin on 1 July 2016 .  Observers of the growth of Destination BIDs (DBID) will know that regrettably the earlier broader based Torbay Retail and Tourism BID failed by a narrow margin last November.  Spurred on by the disappointment among the tourism industry a new tourism business focused proposal was quickly launched.  Tenacity and good sense have thankfully now prevailed.

Next in line is the Isle of Wight DBID the vote for which closes on 12 July 2016.   A really interesting broad area based proposal, this one has the ability to be transformation for the destination and destinations within it but also a potential transformation model for other larger mixed areas based destinations that may have been struggling with the business model or business case to go down a wider area DBID route.  Clearly as an Island the Isle of Wight has some unique advantages and unique challenges that stand it slightly apart from otherwise similar part rural, part urban destinations within a larger destination area. Regardless some really important lessons can be learnt, shared and critically built upon from the Isle of Wight approach, especially once, local businesses willing, it has been adopted.

It is to be hoped that businesses in the Isle of Wight will now be mindful of what their peers and competitors are doing to maintain and grow tourism elsewhere in the UK; in particular what is being done in places like Torbay and that as a consequence they will vote yes to their own DBID.

In light of the recent Torbay yes vote and other developments the background briefing note on Business Improvement Districts & Tourism on britishdestinations.net has now been updated:  https://britishdestinations.net/business-improvement-districts-and-tourism/