Three things….

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1. Business Rate Review. At the fringes of yesterday’s VisitBritain/VisitEngaland  Annual Review and the following British Tourism Industry Group meeting I was discussing with colleagues whether there was any major visitor economy or tourism issues arising from the business rate revaluations in England and Wales, the draft detail of which were made available online to all businesses on 30 September:  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency .

The only comment I have had so far from any member is that, where local retail rateable values have fallen the percentage reductions appears to be far less than the percentage of the fall in real rental values between 2008 and 2015 upon which the rateable values are supposedly based.  Colleagues representing the self-catering cottage market told me yesterday that they were getting reports of significant increases in the rateable value of self-catering letting properties across the board.   Has anyone picked up any anecdotal or hard evidence of potential impacts, good or bad, on tourism or the visitor economy in their own destinations?  If so can you let me have the detail now or whenever you become aware of it.

2.  English DMO forum. The next VB/VE Destination Management Forum will now be held in a Central London Venue, midday to 7pm on 21 November 2016.  Invitations are starting to be distributed from today.  If you think your destination should be in attendance but the senior officer representative hasn’t received their invitation in the next week or so then do please let me know so I can help rectify any oversights.

A number of you did respond to requests for amendments to the VB/VE DMO master list, but I am still aware of a number of notable omissions among the British Destination membership, which I can’t try to get corrected without your say so: (original uncorrected list) destination-management-organisations-in-england . If you not on the DMO master list then don’t expect VB to invite you to the DMO forum or potentially even to regard or treat you as if you were the management (and/or marketing) body for your destination.  I am puzzled as to the lack of reaction in some instances to my prompt on this.  If you don’t wish to be included please could you consider letting me know why so I understand the rational and don’t inadvertently end put my foot in it at some later date.

3. Rural Tourism Inquiry. I neglected to share our responses to Westminster Government’s  Rural Select Committee Inquiry on tourism with you.  It’s a very long piece but despite that it has been accepted: https://britishdestinations.net/consultation-responses/open-consultations/select-committee-inquiry-on-rural-tourism-written-evidence-closed-6-september-2016

 

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