Month: October 2016

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: .

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:


Job Vacancy/World travel market/TMI Conference 11/12 Oct 16

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Three quick practitioner updates in one go:

It is just a week to go to the TMI Annual Convention; the event for those working in destination management and there is still time to book. This year it is taking place in Bournemouth on 11th and 12th October.  Delegates can chose from tickets for either or both days, full details and booking can be found at but to summarise:

11th October at Bournemouth University

  • From noon until 3.30pm – Summit for destination managers and higher education professionals and students.  Speakers on sustainable tourism, destination management – but not as we know it – and learning from the creative industries, as well as group discussions on student/practitioner working.  This session is free for all but delegates must book to secure their places via the website.
  • From 4.30pm until 6pm – walking study tours on Heritage and Popular Culture and Dorset Food and Culture led by industry experts – starting and finishing at the Hilton Bournemouth.
  • From 6.45pm networking supper and entertainment by the Blue Tides at the Key West restaurant on Bournemouth Pier.

12th October at the Hilton Bournemouth

From 9.30am to 4.45pm – do you want to find out about:

  • The latest in digital and tourism trends; research into opportunities for coastal destinations and the tourism landscape post Brexit?
  • Case studies on working with OTAs from a destination management point of view as well as from Expedia, creating a legacy with the Mayflower 400 initiative, working to create rail and tourism partnerships, The Wight Bid, accessibility and the Discover England Fund South West Coast Path’s project
  • Data protection from a legal perspective as well as using data to improve market effectiveness
  • Proven revenue generating opportunities for destinations
  • and more …

Rates start from £50 for students, £117.50 for TMI members, £137.50 for affiliates such as ACTM, HTF, BAFA, BD and TS and £157.50 for non members.

For more on speakers, the programme and to book visit

If you have any questions or do not want to receive any more information about TMI events please let me know.  Thank you and I hope to see you in Bournemouth.

Best wishes

Nell Barrington MTMI




Visit Wales Year of Legends 2017

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Visit Wales will be on the road in November for a series of interactive workshop sessions to explore how destinations and businesses in Wales can work with them on the Year of Legends in 2017.  More at:

PPL small residential hotels and guest houses tariffs

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PPL have now published their response to the consultation on proposed changes to public performance licence tariffs.  As I am afraid anticipated they are proposing to go ahead more or less as outlined in the consultation document; the consultation being part of a statutory process that they must adhere to that included previous engagement with the hotel industries own trade body BHA and others.

The only substantive changes are that: hotels of between 16 and 25 bedrooms will remain in the small hotels category for a further 12 months from January 2017 before moving up into the standard tariff category and the introduction of surcharges (new penalties for none compliance with existing and new PPL licencing) will also be deferred for a year.

My reading of this is that whilst hotels and guest houses with 3 or fewer rooms will now fall outside the licensing provision, those with 4 or more up to 25 rooms are now likely to have to start paying where they have not paid before and/or pay more where they have previously paid PPL.  PPL is of course separate to PRS (Performing Rights Society) fees which are also likely to be payable wherever PPL is applicable.

The original consultation, our submission and their response can all be found under the consultation menu tab or go directly to the page at:

This may not be mainstream business for all of you; nonetheless you might still like to: ensure local accommodation trade bodies are aware of: 1. the consultation response and therefore the implications for small residential hotel and guest house in your destination and 2. the fact that you, through your membership of British Destinations you have been representing their interests nationally on this matter of importance to them.