Latest Event Updates

Another new “high-street” research report added

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A late entry the original blog, was posted as a new page in  error…….Original read:

I have added a report released by the Centre for Cities.  It’s a relatively long and technical piece that, among other things, makes the case for increasing new commercial office stock and makes recommendations to National and Local Government for policy changes to support that aim.

The report covers England and Wales and takes in a number of British Destination member Cities and a few larger towns and therefore it should be of direct interest to colleagues in these destinations.  The more general points about the proportion of office to retail space in City/Town centres and logistic to industrial in the suburbs and the comparisons between weak and stronger performing Cities/Towns may be of much wider interests to other Cities or towns of various sizes that are not specifically included in the research.  Recommendations around the potential need to reduce and re-purpose excess retail in a rapidly changing retail market may be of particular interest. Perhaps it is one to consider be sharing with colleagues in regeneration and economic development?

The report can be accessed off the  “Research & statistic – by year ” main menu tab.  It is currently the first main item on the full list of 120 plus reports. Alternatively go direct to the paper’s individual page at:


IPS second quarter headlines

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I am reproducing a note from Kurt Janson Director of the Tourism Alliance summarising some of the headlines from the recently released International  Passenger Survey. These are of concern given the recent focus on international tourism within England and the apparent previous boost from the post Brexit announcement on the pound.  Please not the caveats on small sample sizes.  Hopefully just a temporary glitch:


Following is a cut and paste from VisitBritain of the Journey Purpose and Origin Market data from the Q2 IPS figures. They show Holiday visits down 8%, while VFR visitors were up 6% (although spend was down 4%) and Business travel was down massively with visits down 15% and spend down 30%.

There was also a huge fall in Misc sector which includes study – 32% –  although spend there was down by only 6%

There is also a health warning on the data in the market performance table as the sample size for a number of the countries is small and the margin for error can be significant but, overall, it shows a fairly consistent fall in visitors across all markets with the exception of China, Japan and UAE. Of particular concern will be the 12% decline in US visitors as they are the UK’s largest spending market by some margin.


Journey purpose:

  • Holiday visits and spend both fell from Q2 2017’s records. Visits fell 8% to 4.3 million; spend fell by a milder 4% to £2.8 billion.
  • Journeys to visit friends or relatives (VFR) rose by 6% to 3.0 million – the first time the UK has welcomed 3 million VFR visits in any Q2 period. VFR spending fell 4% from Q2 2017’s record to £1.3 billion.
  • Compared to a record setting Q2 2017 business visits fell 15% to 2.1 million and spending was down 30% to £1.1 billion in Q2 2018.
  • Visits for miscellaneous purposes (including study) fell by 32% to 554,000 with spending down 6% to £670 million

Q2 2018 – selected marketsIPS 2nd quarter

Please note that for many markets base sizes on a quarterly basis can be small and confidence intervals can be wide, especially for spending data.

Best regards,

Kurt Janson


Tourism Alliance


Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Inquiry response

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The British Destinations’ narrative response to the issue specific House of Lord Select Committee’s call for written evidence on the regeneration of seaside towns a communities can be accessed at:

British Destinations Joint Conference 2018/19

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Following the success of British Destinations 2017/18 conference which was held as a joint event with the Tourism Alliance  and Tourism Society in London in March 2018, it has been agreed to hold a further joint conference event on Monday 1 April 2019 at the RAF Club 128 Piccadilly, W1J 7PY.  Subject to Parliament siting on that day, it will again be followed by the industries annual Parliamentary reception.

Details of the event will follow in due course.

We are also delighted to announce that both Quality in Tourism and Global Tourism Solutions (UK) (GTS [UK])  have again agreed to join us as the joint conference partners:

GTS (UK) are a leading independent tourism research company with over 25 years’ of experience working with both the public and private sector.  Their STEAM model providing timely estimates of annual value, volume and economic impact of tourism is widely used by many UK destinations and tourism organisation.

Quality in Tourism has been assessing properties and driving standards across the UK for over 15 years and they are experts in the field, offering advice, support and assessments for tourism & hospitality businesses.  They are currently delivering a suite of assessments, including the initiative Safe, Clean and Legal assessment which is  designed to be more than just an entry-level level scheme.  Safe, Clean and Legal could, we believe, now help fill the growing gap in the market between reliance on customer reviews alone and the more traditional grading assessments approach.

Conference partners:

                                                                                   Qit_New_Logo_v1-01 (003).jpg                                    


MAC report- European Economic Area Migration in the UK

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The Migration Advisory Council report commissioned by the UK Government on EEC Migration in the UK was released earlier this week.  The report reviews EEC migration’s impact to date and makes recommendation on potential post Brexit migration policy.  The report, together with  a brief overview on tourism impacts from the Tourism Alliance, has now been added to  It can be accessed at: policies/migration-advisory-committee-eea-migration-in-the-uk-final-report

Fisheries White Paper response

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Although not a mainstream tourism consultation the Fisheries White Paper does discuss future fisheries community funding  and references the Coastal Community Fund which is of direct relevance to coastal tourism interests.  British Destinations have taken the opportunity to major on the importance of tourism to the coast and importance of the CCF to non-fisheries communities.  The aim being to ensure that Defra don’t presume that the current CCF  could in part act as a substitute for the current European Maritime and Fisheries Funding support for UK Fisheries which ends post Brexit in 2020.  See our response at:

It is well over time we took over tourism seriously

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Over tourism – a problem of too many tourists or one of not enough management of tourism (strategy/policy issues) or of tourists (infrastructure/operational issues)?  Are some UK destinations now in serious danger of  accidentally smothering the golden goose or alternatively of missing the equally golden opportunity to spread the social and economic benefits more widely or over longer periods?  Is this a major reputational issue and therefore one capable of causing damage well beyond those places and those times at which the peaks of over tourism actually occur?

The questions around over tourism are complex.  As it seems likely that the problem will grow and spread to other destinations, these are questions that British Destinations now wish to start confronting.  We are doing so in order to help prompt further debate around policy and strategic direction, infrastructure and operational matters at national through to local level.  We also wish to see far more discussions around the critical (?) role of destination management in dealing with what logically appears to be a local management issue but one with significant national consequences attached.

Although not directly related to the sharing economy, the sharing accommodation sector is frequently cited as one of the factors helping to drive, over tourism, especially in popular urban destinations and Cities in particular.  Rather than creating yet another main menu tab, on, articles that relate to UK and international over tourism will now be posted in the drop-down menu under the sharing economy tab or got direct to the page of recent relevant articles at: