Month: April 2017

More VisitBritain “Foresights” published

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Visit Britain have  issued two Foresight publications in April;  issue 152 on the use of technology and social media by international visitors and 151 on the keys stages of booking holidays to Britain.  These along with issue 150 on research and planning holidays and 149 first-time and repeat visits to Britain, which I missed in the last couple of months have been add to our Foresight library on  our VisitBritain protected page at paragraph 3 onward:

Forgotten the password, just email me at:


Efra Select Committee Rural Tourism Inquiry

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Regrettably it was confirmed today that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry on Rural Tourism is another victim of the snap General Election along with several other ongoing EFRA and other Westminster Select Committee inquiries.

We had high hopes that this committee report might lay the foundations for some much need positive action on rural tourism in England and potentially by inference on rural tourism elsewhere in the UK.  The extract below from today’s EFRA committee press release suggests that the chairman has at least lodge views with the outgoing Government, who may or may not form the next.

In the circumstance it is beholden on British Destinations as major contributors to the inquiry to seek other avenues to press the case for greater support for rural destination management interests.  Brexit and a potential UK replacement for the current EU rural support programmes is one obvious ongoing avenue of approach. Another would be to try to get the new Government to revisit the original inquiry, or the new EFRA committee to re-examine the rural tourism from scratch?

The press release extract on the tourism inquiry stated:

The Chair has also written today to Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble on the Committee’s rural tourism in England inquiry, which the Committee has not been able to conclude and report on owing to the early General Election. The Chair draws to the Minister’s attention the key issues heard in the course of the Committee’s inquiry, specifically on:

  • support for tourist businesses;
  • access to rural areas;
  • broadband and mobile connectivity;
  • funding and fiscal policy; and
  • skills.

We will seek to obtain more detail on the letter’s content.

The British Destinations written and verbal submissions can be accessed at :

Board Meeting 16 May now open to all members.

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You are all invited to attend the British Destinations’ Board meeting 16 May.

You may recall that the existing Board (mainly senior representatives)  and Executive (mainly practitioners) have agreed to form a new single British Destinations’ Board from April 2017, which will be open to representatives of all member organisation to attend.

Member organisations have been/will be asked to nominate a senior officer, a senior representative (for example local politician local public sector,  partnership chairman etc.) and, if they so wish, a senior local business representative (leading business person, private sector, partnership chairman etc.). All three may attend the board but with only one vote.

The first of the new Board meetings is being held in the Visit Britain offices 12:30 15:30 on Tuesday 16 May.  Until such times as we have extracted names from each member organisation we are doing an open invitation to all.  So if you are willing and able and wish to attend please confirm this by email now: .

An agenda will follow in due course.  Items to be discussed currently include:

The Association, financial out-turns for 2016/17 and prospects for 2017/18, new Board, and Governance arrangements.

General Election and any associated issues.

National lobbying via the tourism alliance, including industry Brexit paper, VAT,  visas and air passenger duty.

Our own lobbying including lobbying on Coastal Communities Funding, rural tourism inquiry, County and none core cities tourism representation and funding opportunities, more flexibility around in term holiday taking in England.

Our stance or future stance on tourism tax, online travel agents, sharing economy and sharing accommodation platforms.

Tourism as a distributor of domestic wealth.  Potential Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded tourism and tourism related research options.

New markets for the North of England’s Classic Resorts bid to Discover England Fund (decision expected June).

The plans for a new VB/VE Destination Management Forum.

Our annual conference  (now late October).

Any other item raised by members in advance.  (please feel free to raise items you wish to discuss)


Early bird discount for TMI “Hot Topic” debate available to British Destination members

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The Tourism Management Institute “Hot Topic”

19th May 2017 Sheffield Hallam University

The conference is aimed at you – the destination professionals, government officers, National Park and AONB officers, Town Centre Managers, consultants, rural attraction operators, food tourism specialists and accommodation providers.  Details, discounted travel, accommodation and early bird rates, from £95 for TMI members and £125 for partners (available until 2 May), can be booked via

We will debate the issues around the often-overlooked sector of rural tourism in the UK. It comes at an important time; as Brexit negotiations begin to shape an alternative UK agricultural and farm diversification policy and as a Parliamentary Committee enquiry into rural tourism continues. The conference will highlight innovation in tourism practice in rural areas, share success stories in food tourism and discuss new rural accommodation trends.  The event hosts this year are Marketing Sheffield, proud of their status as a UK leader in the craft beer industry and as gateway to the Peak District and Sheffield Hallam University.

Plenary talks feature Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance, Anthony Pickles, Head of Tourism Affairs at Visit Britain and Andy Tordoff, DEFRA, will highlight new funding opportunities for rural destinations available through the Rural Development Programme. New approaches to working with destinations and facilitating tourism in the National Parks will be presented by Lindsay Rae (Peak District), Mark Holroyd (New Forest NP) and Duncan Wise (Northumberland NP).  Andrew Keeling, leading hotels and accommodation sector expert, will discuss rural accommodation trends and editor of International Glamping Business, Stephanie Curtis-Raleigh, will be looking at the diversity and possibilities offered by the glamping market while Andy Woodward will showcase how working together can make a real difference.

Food tourism will be explored by Tom Naylor-Leyland, the man behind Malton’s ascent to the “food capital of Yorkshire” and by destination guru Roger Carter, currently undertaking a profile of best practice in food tourism overseas (for Visit Britain and DEFRA).  We will hear from Katie Read, Cumbria’s local “woman of Whiskey” and Beth MacLeod from Knockderry County House who will take us on her personal food and drink journey.

Major events are of course a key feature of re-energising tourism in the countryside and Peter Dodd, Marketing Director for Welcome to Yorkshire, will bring anecdotes and impact research from Yorkshire’s facilitation of international cycling events in recent years. Equally important in rural revival is the development of adventure tourism and work opportunities for young people which will be explored by Dave Jackson of the YMCA.

Afternoon workshops will allow delegates to further discuss and debate key issues around food tourism and rural accommodation.


The conference will be preceded by an evening of wine and beer tasting with expert talks concerning the role which both wine and beer production can have in destination diversification.  Tickets will be available via the website soon.

We are delighted to have New Mind E-Tourism Solutions as headline sponsor, supported by Acorn Tourism Consulting, Marketing Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Quality in Tourism.

Early bird rates (to 2 May) for TMI members are £95, for members of Tourism Society, consultants Network, British Destinations, RTPI, HTF and ATCM £125 and non members are £135, all plus VAT.  Online booking is available via

For more information visit or email or call Nell Barrington on 07968 807022.

World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017

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We have just received the latest biennial report on international travel and tourism competitiveness from the World Economic Forum.  The full report and some useful headline comment on the UK’s international position, provided courtesy of the Tourism Alliance have now been added to the British Destinations’ research and statistics library.

The library can be accessed via the “research and statistic – by year”  and “+”  main menu tabs on  or go directly to:



Thoughts on website procurement sought

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Colleagues in Hastings seek  lessons learnt from your experience of website development and procurement.  Can you help?

See more under  the “Forum: ask questions get answers” tab of or go direct to the website page at:

In-term holiday taking update

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Following the Supreme Court finding earlier this week I have updated the briefing note on in-term holiday taking within the National level & political strategies & policies + tab of  The brief now includes a useful summary of the “Isle of Wight Council v. Jonathan Platt Secretary of State for Education intervening” case the finding of which potentially begs far more direction from Government and that coincidentally may allow us one more shot at moving the focus of the debate away from those who choose to take holidays in-term for purely financial reasons, towards those who can’t take family holidays at any other time, due to nature of their work; a category which paradoxically also including significant numbers of those individuals working within the visitor economy itself:

Can you help? New question added

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Colleagues in Swansea are seeking advice of sports pitch/facilities booking systems.  Can you help?  More information at:

New job vacancy, Executive Director Tourism Society London c £40k

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The Tourism Society is seeking a new Executive Director to head up its London based headquarters operations.  The post was advertised in the last week of March 17. No specified closing date for applications appears to have been given.  More detail can be accessed via the following job vacancies page:

c£40 m of Coastal Community Fund Awards announced today for England

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This morning the Big Lottery Coastal Community Fund website  quietly published a list of the round 4 awards made in England.  The awards cover the two year period 2017/18 and 2018/19 and combined come to a total award of c £40 m shared between 33 projects.  The site also states that: Funding decisions are expected to be made in Spring 2017 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Summer 2017 for projects in Wales.

It is gratifying to note that yet again a significant number of British Destination coastal members are recipient of monies from a fund that they and British Destinations were instrumental in lobbying and evidencing the need for over a protracted.

For ease the list of successful projects in England is reproduced here: Coastal Communities Fund England year 4 funding