April 2015

Trade paper for the domestic tourism and inbound tourism industry in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

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NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES By Samantha Mayling ViSitEngland is to separate from VisitBritain and consult the industry about strategies to boost domestic tourism. Following the government's triennial Review of VisitEngland and VisitBritain, the English tourism agency will become a stand-alone body. VisitBritain will lead overseas promotions, while VisitEngland will cease international marketing. tourism minister Helen grant said: "VisitBritain will be set stretching targets by government to deliver more visitors across the regions, helping to boost local economies and create jobs." James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive, added: "this gives us the role we have always wanted. We will lead strategic development across the industry to ensure England's tourism offer is compelling." VisitEngland will manage a "challenge fund" for English destinations to bid for investment to develop tourism offers. Berresford pledged to continue the Holidays at Home are gREat initiative, which again this year uses aardman animated characters to encourage domestic holiday bookings via travel agents. Exclusive travel trade press sponsor last year, Wallace & gromit helped VisitEngland to generate £138 million in additional spending by domestic holidaymakers, thanks to the £4 million 'Holidays at Home are gREat' campaign. a new £4 million campaign is currently running, starring another aardman character, Shaun the Sheep. Berresford said feedback from the trade about VisitEngland's new role was "pleasingly positive". He also reported "strong forward bookings" for English tourism, leading to optimism for a strong start to the year. "However, the pound is strengthening and we have to continue finding new ways to encourage Brits to holiday at home," he said. "Brits keep rediscovering the fantastic products on offer in England, but we can't afford to be complacent. "the new challenge fund will be focused on making holidays and short breaks in England just as attractive, if not more so, than overseas options – through our Shaun the Sheep and our new alison the agent campaigns." news of the shake-up came ahead of English tourism Week (EtW), which saw tourism agencies across the country offer discounts and hold events An unforgettable experience! Best Western GB has hundreds of hotels and thousands of stories just waiting to be discovered. From city breaks, seaside getaways to countryside retreats, Best Western has something for everyone. • Exclusive Coach Charter • Meal Stop menu: £2.50 coffee stop, £11 for a 2 course set menu, 13.50 for a 3 course set menu. Tea & coffee included • Stay connected with FREE internet Keep everyone happy at or call 0844 387 6400 Images: BEST WESTERN PREMIER Mount Pleasant Hotel, Doncaster Travel GBI.indd 1 26/03/2015 13:38 A RoARsome opening: Land of the Living Dinosaurs – claimed to be the UK's largest animatronic dinosaur attraction – has opened at West midland safari park. The walking trail features 38 life-size dinosaurs, with moving eyes, mouth and neck, surrounded by prehistoric plants and sound effects. VisitEngland optimistic as it goes it alone NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES April 2015 No. 436 to boost domestic holidays. to launch EtW, VisitEngland announced its industry-wide consultation which "will set the stage for a mid-term refresh of the Strategic Framework for tourism 2010-2020". Berresford said: "Since we launched this strategy five years ago, the sector has performed strongly, delivering against target on jobs and economic growth. However, the tourism landscape has changed radically over the past five years with political, economic, structural, technological and social shifts all having an impact, which is why we need to revisit the original strategy to make sure it is still right for a new operating environment." Ufi ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality association and chair of the tourism alliance, said: "We need to speak with a single-minded, strong voice on tourism growth. Combining our efforts is the only way to deliver true success." actress Joanna lumley joined VisitEngland's chairman lady Cobham CBE to launch EtW, and encouraged Brits to visit gardens, as 2016 is Year of the garden. l James Berresford Big interview, page 8. l deirdre Wells, Viewpoint, page 4. Trade welcomes MPs' tourism report toURiSM bosses welcomed a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report which said Vat and air Passenger duty cuts would make the UK better value. John Whittingdale MP, committee chair, said: "given the size of its contribution, there is not enough recognition of or support for the sector. tourism needs a stronger voice, and government should look at how the burden of regulation and taxation on the tourism industry could be lightened to boost its contribution even further." the report also urged funding for the gREat campaign for a longer period. abta chief executive Mark tanzer said: "abta is particularly pleased to see the committee's recognition of the importance of the UK's vibrant mix of inbound, outbound and domestic tourism businesses." graham Wason, Cut tourism Vat chairman, said: "We have extensive and robust research that shows the positive impact a lower rate of tourism Vat would have – for consumers, for jobs, for the UK economy and for treasury income." Ufi ibrahim, British Hospitality association chief executive, said: "Cutting tourism Vat to 5% is the single most transformative tax reform for the UK, which could massively boost jobs [and] bring billions of new revenue to the treasury." Separately, the tourism alliance listed 19 ways the next government could boost travel and tourism, including reducing aPd, increasing airport capacity, improving the visa process and cutting Vat.

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