Month: December 2016

Three pre-Christmas updates:

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1. The transcript of the EFRA Select Committee oral evidence session that included British Destinations and Tourism Alliance can now be accessed at:


2. The CBI excellent report on its EU Brexit consultation can be accessed below.   Worth scanning in full but specifics for tourism and leisure can be found at pages 79 -79:

3. And finally DCMS are conducting a review of the sustainability of churches and cathedrals, focusing on England.  The next stage is an online survey which closes for comment on 31 January.  The survey seeks views on how churches can continue to be play a central role in supporting local communities, especially considering that increasing level of resources and expertise required to maintain them.  Its a wide review but tourism will doubtless have a part to play, particularly in some rural areas.  This is one of those subjects area where we don’t have any residual experience, so I would welcome comment to inform a submission from British Destinations and/or submissions from yourselves or any encouragement you might give to local church or other interested parties to participate:

Have a wonderful and well deserved Christmas break.



Rural Tourism Inquiry Oral Evidence

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The link to the EFR Select Committee rural tourism inquiry  oral evidence session recording of 14 December which includes evidence given by Peter Hampson for British Destinations and Kurt Janson for the Tourism Alliance has now been added to the following page (last item on the page):

24 hours for any final comments and new research available

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Three things:

1. Select Committee oral evidence. We have had additional comments and requests from a number of rural member and non-member organisations in advance of tomorrows EFRA Select Committee oral evidence session on rural tourism. I have more than enough to go at, especially since myself and the two other witnesses in tomorrow’s first of two 1 hour slot are answering question asked of us rather than just presenting our case.  Nonetheless any final critical points that you think I may missed or that needs highlighting post the first evidence session of 21 November (transcript and video here) then please let me know by email before 14:00 14 December.

2. International Brand Index. Last week Anolt-Gfk’s National Brand Index 2016 was released, which showed unprecedented movement in the normally relatively stable international reputation tables, reflecting a year of arguably unprecedented political, social and economic events that would logically impact on how various nations view other nations. I have yet to source the full document but for the purposes of destination management the headline detail contained in the press release should be more than adequate for what is otherwise a very high level strategic issue. Access the release here.

3. Latest research from VisitBritain. The latest VB Foresight report “Impact of exchange rates on tourism to Britain” can be found on the member’s protected page (item 3) at:

AirBnB announce new London restrictions

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Our draft response to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Leisure and Tourism’s inquiry into the sharing economy which was circulated for comment earlier in the week has now been submitted without further amendment.  It is accessible at: .

Yesterday in response to their own consultation and calls from the MPs and the London Assembly to restrict home sharing in London, due to its impacts upon the longer term rental markets, AirBnB has announced that from next year entire home listings that exceed 90 days in the Greater London area will be automatically excluded, unless the hosts have certified that the property has the appropriate local permission.  Currently in greater London any property let on a short-term basis for more than 90 days in any one year must have planning permission for that usage.

This all sounds very encouraging but as ever the devil is vested in the detail: its only in London, its only currently AirBnB, it applies only to entire home lets (house/apartments), it is for the period physically let, not the period made available for let, the processes for switching off the automatic exclusion are still under development but it is intimated and would be normal AirBnB practice for it to be based on a self-certification and, critically, AirBnB are making it clear that they have not and will not be sharing any of the host’s details with local authorities in London in order to implement this.

In the ideal world AirBnB appear to be addressing a known problem and may have done so in time and to a degree that will defuse calls for more robust regulatory controls such as those implemented in several other Capital Cities. Unfortunately back in the real world the opportunity for individual abuse of this and many other rules and regulations remains as local and national authorities haven’t the resource or indeed arguably the appropriate means in a digital world to cross check who is letting  what, let alone who in London’s case is letting in excess of 90 days.  This is basic information that is readily available to the sharing platform operators, if only they were willing to share it?

It is ironic that the sharing culture that these business models and the, sharing economy movement are based on doesn’t, in this instance, extend to sharing entirely legitimate, factual information with those legally responsible, publicly accountable, local and national authorities that are charged with looking after the best interest of the whole community.

A big well done to AirBnB for rising to the immediate challenge but there is still much more they and other platform providers can do, most of it around the sharing of basic information with those who legitimately have a need to know.  These developments in London do of course give us a new opportunity to monitor how effective changes are and to develop evidenced arguments for further change in London and for the rest of the UK, as appropriate.

New job vacancy detail on

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Destination Marketing and Communications Manager Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism at c£25k -£30k, closing 20 December.  See more at: