Month: November 2017

Tourism Sector Deal makes it through to the next stage.

Posted on

Tourism is one of only 8 industries specifically named it the Modern Industry Strategy White Paper published this week.  The following update from VB outlines the next stages in progressing the industry’s bid and also stresses Government’s apparent desire to deal with just one plan and one voice per sector:

Tourism Sector Deal: the latest

The Government has now published the next stage of the Modern Industrial Strategy, with Tourism now recognised and included.

Firstly, thank you once again to all of you who have been involved in this process. The roundtables, the consultation, meetings and submissions have all helped create the final submission that went to BEIS last month and which has been positively responded to by the Government. The Government has been clear from the outset that any industry which submitted its plans with ‘one voice’, clear leadership and a plan for the future would be granted a long-term deal for policy, planning and boosting overall competitiveness.

The industry came together with a clear plan to boost connectivity, productivity, skills and create a new idea; tourism zones.

With the publication of the White Paper, we have a much clearer idea of the road map for landing the Tourism Sector Deal.

  • On Sector Deal, the White Paper has only 8 industries listed, with tourism named as one. “We know that these partnerships can work – from our experience of decade-long partnerships such as the Auto Council and the Office for Life Sciences to more recent collaborations including tourism, creative industries, space and professional and business services.”
  • The next stage will now lead to Sector Deals being struck with industries who have demonstrated, a) clear leadership b) represents the breadth of the sector c) rigorous analysis of the strengths/weaknesses and d) impact on productivity.
  • The Government has also been clear that the core pillars of the Industrial Strategy remain largely unchanged. They are still a) Skills b) Infrastructure c) Business d) Innovation e) Place. The Tourism Sector Deal covers all of these key areas.

White Paper highlights

Under the Sector Deal section: “We know that these partnerships can work – from our experience of decade long partnerships such as the Auto Council and the Office for Life Sciences to more recent collaborations including tourism, creative industries, space and professional and business services.”

Under Productivity Challenge section: “We will work closely with sectors such as hospitality, retail and tourism on each of the foundations of productivity in order to be able to progressively drive up the earning power of people employed in these industries and enhancing our national productivity.”

Under the Britain and the World section: “We must do more to export and promote what we do to the world’s fastest-growing economies, where there is a strong appetite not only for our goods but our world-class services, from tourism and healthcare to professional and financial services, and for cultural collaboration too.”

In the House of Commons on Monday, a couple of MPs asked specifically about Tourism and Hospitality, including the Labour frontbench. For interest the replies from Greg Clark, the BEIS Secretary are here:

Michael Fabricant, Lichfield (Con)

  • Tourism employs 3m across the UK, would the Secretary of State agree that Tourism must feature in the Industrial Strategy?

Greg Clark, BEIS Secretary

“There are challenges and opportunities in the industrial strategy. Taking the opportunity to raise productivity is important, and the Tourism Sector is very important, they feature as a key area in the White Paper. It’s important to work with them to enhance training initiatives and raise productivity.”

Giles Watling, Clacton (Con)

  • Tourism is worth £127bn, and accounts for 9% of GDP. Would the Secretary of State agree that Tourism should feature in the Industrial Strategy?

Greg Clark, BEIS Secretary

“I do indeed. He’s right, Tourism is a very important sector. It’s a sector which has been associated with lower pay, and that’s why we’re working with the sector on their plan. Important that we invest to get improvements in productivity in Tourism.”

Next Steps 

The Tourism Sector Deal is making good progress but we need to keep our momentum. The Government is clear that they will only deal with one plan, and one voice. Steve Ridgway is meeting the BEIS Secretary in the coming weeks to start discussions, and we will keep you all informed as things progress.  It is anticipated that announcements on any new deals will be made in the new year – working together I’m hopeful we can see our name on that list.

We will keep you fully up to date on the next stages, and look forward to beginning the formal negotiations.

Watch this space!


Patricia Yates

Director of Strategy and Communications


A colleague seeks assistance.

Posted on

A colleague is urgently seeking your assistance in assessing just how well the 2017 summer season actually performed in similar and different types of popular UK destinations to their own.  Any substantive finding made will be shared in due course.  See the full question under the “Forum: ask questions get answer menu tab” of or go direct to the relevant page at:

A number of roles offered by VB

Posted on Updated on

Very late notification I know but I have just become aware of a number of roles being offered at VB/VE closing from tomorrow 28th (tomorrow) through 1 December to, in one case a temporary post closing 13 December.  Roles are offered from £25k to more typically £35k to £45k all London based.  There is no time/point now to these up on our jobs vacancies page but if you wish to see more or pass the detail to colleagues the original information is at:

New Coastal tourism report available on British

Posted on

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Visitor Economy which is serviced by BHA has recently published its “Report of the Inquiry into Coastal Communities
APPG for the Visitor Economy”.  The APPG took written and oral evidence from over 60 organisations and individuals.

The report makes 36 recommendations (at pages 17 and 18 of the 21-page document).  These include a call for a reduction on VAT for tourism services and a rejection of any move towards “tourism taxation on hotel accommodation” both of which are very much in line with BHA’s own longstanding position.  The other 34 recommendations cover a wide range of topics and swing from the very general to some very specific.

It is worth noting that unlike formal Parliamentary Select Committees, APPGs have no formal status as such and there is therefore no obligation for Government to consider the report, let alone formally respond to it.  Nonetheless, even if Government don’t react to it, BHA’s recent interest and intervention in coastal tourism issues should still be warmly welcomed.  The report and the work undertaken to generate it all helps keep this large and sometime particularly challenged sector within tourism and the visitor economy more in the political eye.

Access the report and over 120 others national strategic level reports and statistical documents at:

Annual Conference save the date

Posted on

As previously indicated the 2017/18 British Destinations conference has been reprogrammed to take place in March 2018 as a joint event with the Tourism Alliance.  I am pleased to announce that the provisional date of Monday 19 March 2018 is now confirmed.

The event will take place at a central London venue from 10 am to 3 pm and it will be followed for those wish to attend by the Annual Tourism Industry Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons between 4 pm and 6 pm which is held each year to marks English Tourism week.  A high-profile group of speakers is being lined up to address the conference, with a principal theme, subject to confirmation of a successful bid, being the delivery of the UK’s tourism industry sector deal.  Other more contentious issues within the British Destinations lobbying brief will either be included within the programme or addressed within the debate around sector deal.

More details to follow; meanwhile please diary the date.  Your support for the new style joint event would be greatly appreciated, not least because we are hoping that this will become the model for our future conferences and the catalyst for more joint working with the Tourism Alliance and its largely tourism trade association membership.


New research from ABTA now available

Posted on

Travelling together – The value of UK outbound tourism, is an interesting new report commissioned ABTA.  It looks largely at the value of UK outbound tourism to the EU and individual EU nations and also estimates the value within the UK associated with UK resident’s travelling to the EU.

The values are significant and when considered alongside  VB’s recent Annual Report which notes that in 2016, 2/3 of all inbound tourism to the UK was from Europe, you can start to understand why there may be growing concern in some quarters regarding the potential impacts of any significant physical, fiscal or administrative barriers to travel to and from Europe post Brexit.  The ABTA report’s messages are very clearly targeted as much, if not more, towards the EU and European states as they are towards the UK Governments.

It’s a strategic level report, probably of limited immediate operational relevance to many UK destinations but at only 12 pages it is definitely worth scanning if not reading in full, even if UK outbound and international inbound tourism are not your primary concerns:

2017 The value of UK outbound tourism

Two job vacancies at Experience Oxfordshire, closing 23 Nov and 4 Dec 17.

Posted on

Experience Oxfordshire are offer 2 new full-time appointment based in Oxford:  a PR and Marketing Executive at £18k to £22k closing 23 Nov 17 and a Head of Commercial Services post at £38k to £45k closing 4 Dec 17.

Find the detail under the  “Job vacancies +” menu tab at or go direct to the pages here and here.

Colleagues seek your help

Posted on

Can you help colleagues find information on local experience of land or road train provision and usage?  See the latest questions posed on this subject under the, “Forum: ask questions get answers”, main menu tab or go direct to the page at:

English Destination Forum, London 13 Nov 17

Posted on

VB/VE have published a reminder for those English destination management practitioners who have not yet booked to attend the English Destination Forum meeting on 13 December 2017.  The reminder helpfully includes details of the programme.  Original message from VB/VE reads:

Invitation: 13 November 2017
Dear partners,
We would like to remind you that the next English Destinations Forum is taking place on Monday 13 November in London (11-4pm) at St. Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster, London, SW1H 0QW. Please find agenda below:


10.30 Tea and coffee

11.00  VisitBritain/ VisitEngland update: Sally Balcombe, VB/VE CEO
11.30 Minister’s update: John Glen MP, Tourism Minister
11.50 Marketing update: Clare Mullin, VB/VE Marketing Director
12.30 Lunch
1.15 Choice of two seminars:

  • DMO diversification and commercialisation: Nicola Said, Marketing Cheshire; Sally Greenaway, Make It York; David Thornton, Isle of Wight BID
  • VisitEngland’s Business Support activity: Ross Calladine, VE

1.45 Choice of two seminars:

  • Rural funding: Andy Tordoff, Rural Payments Agency
  • DMO diversification and commercialisation (repeated): Nicola Said, Marketing Cheshire; Sally Greenaway, Make It York; David Thornton, Isle of Wight BID

2.15 Coffee break
2.45 Choice of two seminars:

  • Introduction to VisitEngland Assessment Services: Andrew Oxley, The AA
  • How to make the most of English Tourism Week: David Curtis-Brignell, GoToPlaces; Nicola Said, Marketing Cheshire; Charlotte Sanders, VE Senior Press Officer

3.15 Choice of two seminars:

  • Working with Google – opportunities and challenges: Discussion led by Nick Brooks-Sykes, Marketing Manchester
  • How to make products bookable for the international markets: Suzy Faulkner and Claire Ford, VB Product Development team

3.45 Networking
4.30 Finish

Please R.S.V.P. to if you would like to attend.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Sally Balcombe

Chief Executive

GB Day Visitor Survey and other new research now available.

Posted on Updated on

The 2016 GB Day visitor survey has been published by the National Tourist Boards and added to our extensive national level research and statistic library.  At 249 pages it is a big document containing a lot of detail.

To help you: the headline summary is at page 11 and 12.   Individual graphs on different types of day visits, for different types of activity, by different geography and by different destination typology can be found from pages 14 to 78. They are worth looking at but I recommend that you read the summary description and key points given in the right hand column on most pages, before deciding whether you need to look in more detail at each of the graphs and supporting text. The content of some pages will be far more relevant to your destination’s circumstance than others, so you can then focus on those.

From page 79 onward you will find full data tables used to produce the report, plus definitions and technical detail including descriptions of methodology etc.  These are probably best left to be read by the statisticians among you.

Importantly there are references at page 133 and 214 to attached Excel files giving breakdown by volume and value for English Local Authorities and English Counties and by tourism area (as defined on page 6) for both Wales and Scotland.   Tables covering your own localities should be of interests to you all.  However, they are only accessible if you download the PDF document and then view it via Acrobat Reader. They will then appear, regardless of which page you are viewing, as a group of attachments either on the left or right of the document viewing screen.  See the full GB Day Visitor Survey at:

I have also belatedly added the Visitor attraction trends in England 2016 report first published in late July.  If attraction are your area of interest then you probably do need to read/scan the full report, otherwise the headline findings can be found on pages 8 to 10:

I have also added the latest Foresight edition 156 on Perception and knowledge of Britain and its competitors 2016 to the protected VB section of the website.  An interesting read with some potential for local application.  Foresight edition 155, which is essentially on the propensity for visitors to visit Britain only or as part of a multi international destination trip, was also posted there some weeks ago but not promoted at that time.  It is interesting at a regions and Nations level but probably of less direct relevance to local management and promotion:

Email me if you, or your computer, has forgotten the protected area login.

The VB/VE 2016/17 annual review is now an online presentation rather than a “document”.  The individual presentations on GB inbound and English domestic performance in 2016 (left hand bottom two boxes on the review page) could be of particular interest to you or of use in presentations locally?  When the two are viewed consecutively figures like the £72bn value of English domestic tourism in 2016 as compared to the £22.5bn UK inbound tourism value are particularly striking.  For a proper understanding of what the presentations are tell us it is important that you read the main text  and do not simply rely on the headline statements for context.  Find the VB/VE Annual Review 2016/17 at the bottom of our VB protected page, or go direct to it at: