Month: November 2018

ONS UK Tourism Satellite Accounts for 2016 now available

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The Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the their team at the Tourism Industry Unit have released yet another important UK  tourism statistical report:  “The UK Tourism Satellite Accounts 2016 reports on the annual contribution of tourism to the UK economy from demand for goods and services caused by tourism activity and supply of these goods and services”.

Satellite accounting is a very different way of measuring the total economic activity derived from tourism.  It is reached by attributing a share of all other economic activity to tourism from Governments own economic data for all other sectors, rather than modelling estimates starting with surveys of tourist’s activities as is done for example with the GB Tourism Survey (GBTS) and International Passenger Survey (IPS).  It is a significant piece of work that can only be conducted once the audited Governments key economic data becomes available, hence the full year 2016 UK -TS data only being available in the closing months of 2018.

The main points and a really simply description of what is an otherwise complex methodology can be found at page 2 of the report.  This now been added to the reports and statistics library at:



Primary Authority – Quality in Tourism take Clean Safe and Legal standards a major step forward.

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As you may already know, we have been working closely with Quality in Tourism (QT), supporting their work to improvement quality assessments across tourism and hospitality businesses and in doing so helping to maintain a wider choice of schemes and service providers.  One of QT’s main focuses has been on the home stay market and specifically how local authorities and their own destination managers or affiliated Destination Management Organisations can better influence the quality of all the local accommodation stock offered and therefore promote that stock and the destination with greater confidence.

I am pleased to confirm that QT have secured a Primary Authority Partnership with Cornwall Council for their Safe, Clean and Legal framework which has now been ratified by the Secretary of State.  This is the first step towards greater ‘self-regulation’ of the industry and a move which we are supporting.  Further information is outlined below and can also be found on the Quality in Tourism website

In order to help support Quality in Tourism and the development of Primary Authority Partnerships, I keen to understand some more about different destinations’ needs and what is happening in your local areas.  I would be grateful if you could please answer the following questions (bullet points will suffice):

  1. Any examples where your authority or your DMO has had to deal with safe clean and legal issues e.g. fires where a fire certificate was not present, trading standards issues, injuries and people unable to claim to due lack of insurance provision, etc. Headlines, not details: just what happened, what didn’t happen and the impacts it had.
  2. What is your current strategy or approach to quality accreditation, if any?
  3. Turning to the sharing accommodation sector. How much of a handle do you have on the nature and scale within your destination?
  4. What and how much of an affect is the sharing economy having in your area and or on your operations?
  5. Has the sharing accommodation been raised as an issue with you by your established trade or discussed at local authority member level within your destination area?
  6. What is your current strategy or approach to the sharing economy, if any?

If you would like to know more and understand how you can easily roll out Safe, Clean & Legal inspections in your area, please contact the Quality in Tourism team on 0845 300 6996 or email

QT SCL Marque 2018-19 (002)

Tourism Sector Deal moves a stage closer.

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Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright confirmed today that the Government will begin negotiations with the sector on an ambitious Industrial Strategy sector deal that will benefit the whole country.

For more detail on the proposed detailed negotiations see the Westminster Government’s press release here.

Tourism levy debate continues

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Following last month’s announcements by the Scottish Government of a consultation on “tourism taxes”,  the Scottish Tourism Alliance and UK Hospitality have written to the leader of Edinburgh City Council calling for the Council to abandon its own ongoing consultation on proposals for a Transient visitor Levy (TVL).  STA and UK Hospitality believe that the consultation is flawed and not fit for purpose.

Recent article on developments in Scotland, together with details of New Zealand’s plans to introduce a $35/£18 International Conservation and Tourism Levy  by October 2019 which was announced in June have now been added under the “and related articles” drop-down off the “Tourism Levies” main menu tab of

Go direct to the page at:

New tourism officer post offered at Canterbury £33.6 k – £36 k closing 23 Nov 18

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Among a number of new regeneration and economic development post Canterbury Council are seeking to appoint a new Tourism Engagement Officer to be based in the Canterbury area at c£33.6 k rising to c £36 k.  Applications close 23 Nov 18.

If the post isn’t of interest to you or close colleagues then please consider circulating among your own wider professional networks:

Latest PwC reports confirms worsening position for the British high street.

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PwC and The Local Data Company analysis of c 67k outlets operated by multiple retailers and leisure operators in 500 town centres during the first 6 months of 2018 shows that the British high streets is weathering the most testing retail and leisure climate in five years as gap between store openings and closures widens.

The report published today may give destinations some comfort in that it illustrates that they are not alone and that some of the key drivers are currently largely outside the control of individual destination managers and local authorities.  It is also provides further evidence, if indeed it is needed, that radical national solutions and means to implement them are urgently needed, alongside local innovation and bespoke approaches.  The PwC press release cover the key finding can be accessed at:

The full report will be circulate once it has been sourced.

New consultation on proposed changes to the treatment of holiday lets as businesses in England, closing 16 Jan 19.

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MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) are seeking views on their proposed changes to the treatment of holiday let as businesses in England; a move designed to tackle the alleged practice of classify holiday or second homes as holiday let businesses for the express purposes of avoiding both council and business rates via the mechanism of small business rate relief currently applicable to businesses with a rateable value of  £12k or less.

Please consider distributing to relevant local business partners.  Comment for inclusion in our own and a potential Tourism Alliance response are sought. Comments direct to MHCLG are also encouraged.  The consultation document is available under the consultations main menu tab of or go directly to the page at:

New research and other updates

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The Social Mobility Commission’s 5th annual report paints a picture of an increasing geographic division, especially between certain major Cities and rural and coastal communities; a division which goes well beyond the traditional view of a mainly North South divide.  The report looks at England but data for the rest of Britain is also available.  Although not a tourism specific report, the detail it contains  may be extremely useful in supporting the case for greater focus on communities that are being left behind and within that for support for those industries and activities that naturally lend themselves to these areas, including tourism:

Price Bradley a leading UK accountancy firm has recently published analysis of restaurant closures in 2018 which are running up to a third higher in  2018.  This supports our long-held concerns that causal dinning’s ability to absorb some of the declining in retail and High Street site occupation is coming to a potentially abrupt (?) end. Hopefully the Chancellor’s announcements last week on further business rate relief may ease some of the difficult that both retail and now causal dinning are facing ( more at: Tourism Alliance budget brief).  Ultimately built destinations in particular, with little to see and do and a growing number of empty premises are going struggle to meet the domestic and international consumer’s, “experience” test:

And for those destinations with blessed with a Britannia venue or two a depressingly familiar new record run for the company,  at least according to Which?:

Tourism Alliance Research Briefing 22nd November 2018

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In response to a number of perceived issues with some of the recent International Passenger Survey (IPS) data  the Tourism Alliance has organised, at relatively short notice a tourism research briefing session bring together a number of the key practitioners from ONS, VB and DCMS on 22 Nov 18 from 1:30 pm from 2 pm to 5 pm at the ABTA offices London.

Due to an immovable engagement I am unable to attend to represent your interests in this vital area.   Fortunately the event open to any members of Tourism Alliance organisations and therefore representatives of any or all member of British Destinations are welcome to attend.  There is a charge of £40 to cover the cost of lunch and room hire. Booking should be made via: .

The original Tourism Alliance calling notice reads:


As a result of the questions and queries that have arisen from the recent IPS figures, I have organized a Tourism Research briefing session for everyone on afternoon of 22nd November which will be held from 2-5pm in the ABTA offices in London (Sandwiches and coffee will be available from 1:30pm). In addition to explaining what is happening with the IPS figures, this Tourism Research Briefing  will look more widely are how tourism research and statistics are incorporated into Government policy and the latest trends in the UK’s international and domestic tourism sectors.

The speakers attending will be:

  • Giles Horsfield, Head IPS team at ONS to attend and explain the changes in data collection, the impact this is having on IPS figures and how accurate the figures are when looking a particular source markets and destinations within the UK.
  • Chloe Gibbs, Head of Trade and Tourism in the National Accounts at the ONS who will be talking about the work that ONS undertakes on tourism and how this is incorporated into the UK’s National Accounts for Treasury
  • Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting at VisitBritain who will be talking about the latest trends in Domestic and International tourism
  • The DCMS research team will explain the work that they do to monitor tourism growth and development and comparisons between tourism and other DCMS sectors
  • A member of ATHE to discuss the latest university research on UK tourism trends

I will send out a full agenda for the briefing when the DCMS and ATHE speakers are confirmed.

If you would like to attend, please contact Amanda   If you have members who would be interested in attending, please feel free to pass on this invitation.

There is a charge of £40 (+VAT)


Kurt Janson


Tourism Alliance

3 Gainsford St

London SE1 2NE

  1. 020 3117 0664
  2. 07946428123

English Destination Management Forum

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I have just returned from Kenya to discover that I have fallen off the Visit Britain/VisitEngland distribution list for the forthcoming annual Destination Management Forum meeting which is being held 1030 for 11.00 am to 4.30 pm at the Institute of Director Pall Mall on Wednesday 28 November 2018.  Just in case other destination practitioner representative have also fallen off the list here are the details.  If you wish to attend and have not received details  in the first instance please contact Anna  Adrian details below:

28 November 2018




Institute of Directors

116 Pall Mall







Dear industry partner,

We would like to invite you to our annual English Destinations Forum, to be held on Wednesday 28 November 2018 in London.

The event is open to all destination organisations across England.




A working agenda is as follows:

  • An update on VisitBritain/VisitEngland activity, including marketing, commercial and the Tourism Sector Deal
  • Update from DCMS
  • Latest research and insights
  • Tourism Zones and productivity workshop
  • Workshop on VisitEngland’s new inbound tourism toolkit
  • An overview of the new Business Advice Hub for England
  • Quality assessment workshop
  • Update on the online distribution platform
  • Seminar on how to make the most of English Tourism Week

If you haven’t already, please R.S.V.P. to Anna Adrien if you would like to attend.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Sally Balcombe
Chief Executive