Odds and ends you may have missed in the national news:

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A quick catch-up on various tourism and economic development related stories in news in recent days and weeks:

1.International tourism:

ABTA warn of £7m online booking fraud in 2018. The perils of direct online sales both at home and abroad:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48179984 

Hefty fines for visitors ignoring plastics ban in Capri, the latest in a growing list of fines and fees for tourists in Italy. An environmental, over tourism issue or a response to local under-funding? :  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7000691/Capri-tourists-banned-taking-plastic-Italian-island-protect-coastline.html

2. Domestic High Street:

Debenhams are seeking  c 50% business rate reduction on the majority of their remaining stores. Yet another challenge to the traditional business rates model as a local and national funding stream and potentially challenging for future plans for plus 50% (75% or 100%?) local retention:  https://www.businesstelegraph.co.uk/debenhams-demands-business-rate-cuts/

and a more strident take from business prospective:  http://www.commercialnewsmedia.com/archives/88511

The full list of 2020 Debenhams’ closures, includes properties in a number in popular destinations: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48063604

Lest we forget this follows on from an earlier, less high profile but on-going closure programme by Marks and Spencer, some of which are also major or anchor stores in popular visitor destinations: https://www.itv.com/news/2019-01-15/here-are-the-latest-marks-spencer-stores-to-be-closed-putting-1-000-jobs-at-risk/

3. Tour operators:

Thomas Cook are seeking to improve its finances. Is this as much a story of bricks and mortar,  High Street exposure as it is of wider weakness in 2018 holiday results, including TIU’s: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/03/thomas-cook-seeks-to-borrow-400m-to-stave-off-cash-crunch

Sale of Thomas Cook airline may fill the gap, but as its major profit centre, is it a long term solution: http://www.cityam.com/277238/thomas-cook-shares-soar-following-lufthansa-bid-airline

TUI’ previous profit warning; 2018 was clearly a very difficult year for tour operators. Will 2019 be markedly better: http://www.cityam.com/273094/tui-losses-widen-summer-heatwave-and-falling-pound-take

4. GIG economy:

Deliveroo Edition’s takeaway expansion plans facing an increasing number of planning objects to “Rooboxes” (popup container kitchens) and “Dark kitchen” (permanent kitchens in less traditional locations).  An example perhaps of disruptive industries disrupting more than just the traditional business models with which they intend to compete. Perhaps legislation and regulation serve a  very necessary, if sometime, inconvenient purpose:   https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/deliveroo-roasted-over-fast-food-in-dark-kitchens-n8g25nkp6  more on the local detail:   https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2018/03/26/Deliveroo-to-appeal-council-decision-to-close-its-Editions-kitchen-in-Portslade  and  https://www.foodserviceequipmentjournal.com/deliveroo-stands-firm-kitchen-centre-planning-permission-dispute/

UBER’s public float is still pending. Mind boggling sums for a business apparently not yet set to make a profit for sometime to come, if ever.  What future is there for the traditional taxi model:   https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/05/uber-flotation-investors-bottomless-well-of-money

OLA, UBER’s main GIG economy competitor, continue its expansion in UK: https://www.asian-voice.com/News/UK/London/Hola-London-Ola%27s-expansion-into-the-UK

and cabs.com are the latest to join the fray: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/cabs-app-cabs-com-takes-aim-at-uber-from-rural-uk-r03s88708



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