Latest Event Updates

Call to reduce Tourism VAT rejected:

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Thanks to colleagues who provided the following links to an excellent summary of  the 11 February Westminster debate on reducing Tourism VAT:

Further background detail on the ongoing campaign, the October 2013 campaign briefing note can be accessed at:


UK Beach Managers Forum Chalet Beach Hut Survey Published

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Principally for those on the coast but also for anyone involved in or thinking of chalet and day accommodation rentals elsewhere, the results of the survey of chalet and beach hut provision conducted by UKBMF members can be accessed at:

User tip: when we send you page links to do not be mesmerised by the very busy menu in the upper portion of the page; the information we are passing will invariably already be displayed for you in the text on the page below the menu, so you do not need to use the menu to find it.

Tourism and “The South West”.

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There is lot of speculation in the UK media around the impact of the recent “floods” on tourism especially on “The South West”. Clearly significant damage has been experienced across the UK and to varying degrees in most areas and regions of home countries and, especially but not exclusively, along the coast where storm damage over breach and tidal flooding has been has been major problem this winter.  Today’s focus is on the South West, which can be variously viewed by potential consumers as Cornwall, Cornwall and Devon but equally any combination of anything West of a line, say, Bristol Bournemouth? (or is it anything West of London!)  There is also significant problems in South and West Wales, some of which also falls into some people’s vague understanding of “The South West”.

My quick and dirty assessment is that at the international and national tourist board levels there needs to be work done, probably at a PR level, to promote the fact that Britain/England Wales Northern Ireland, the “South West” Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bridgend, Swanse, Pembrokeshire and so on are very much open for business; preferably illustrated by folk enjoying those place now. I would be surprised if the international, national and any local area tourist boards were not already working on or doing this or something far more cleaver now.  But there is probably no harm in us asking them what is in hand and what can we do to assist, especial around arguing for addition resource for the task.

Whilst in real terms the break in the coastal rail link at Dawlish is probably not hugely significant to overall tourism numbers in England’s South West; the majority of tourists travel by road I think it currently represents the PR Achilles heel and the most important single avenue out of all the associated problems (I appreciate for some the lack of a rail link is an unmitigated disaster).    I may be wrong but for many the image of the broken rail link and the coverage and comment around it is saying that, “The South West (wherever you think that might be) is cut off and closed for business”.  If we are to do anything I think it should be to point the PR implications out and press to get that linked repaired as soon as humanly possible and, if necessary, at almost any financial cost.  If it costs double to fix it in two thirds of the time then it would be money well spent. Once fixed the brilliance of British engineering, the decisive action and the delights of one of England’s most scenic rail journeys needs to get as much, if not more coverage, at home and abroad than the physical break in service has.

I need feedback before acting, especially from those in, “The South West”.  Am I right or wrong, too late or just dabbling where British Destinations don’t actually need to? You are near to the problem and have had more need and spent more time assessing it. Views please.

Peter Hampson

Possible content for British Destinations comment on English Heritage Consultation

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The DCMS consultation on English Heritage new model closes midnight Friday 7 February.  My rough draft of comments I am considering dropping into the tick box formatted consultation or sending as a separate topped and tailed email can be accessed using the login BDEHCon on the protected page:

Comments, corrections, additions or pleas to tone or edit it down to me ASAP……  A work in progress but any assistance  would now be appreciated.

Seaside Tourism in England & Wales report update.

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The latest update on the forthcoming new report on Seaside Tourism in England and Wales, including a urgent appeal for additional support, can be found at:

This will be of direct interest to all coastal destinations, coastal counties, Cities and rural coastal areas in England and Wales.  It may be of passing interest to other coastal and non-coastal tourism interests.

Welsh Government Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector

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The Welsh Government Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector, which closes on 27 February 2014, can be accessed at (corrected link detail):