TravelGBI

May 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 www.travelgbi.com By Samantha Mayling SURVEYS and sales trends point to a bumper summer for domestic tourism, as consumer confidence rises and staycations remain popular. Financial experts say households have more disposable cash, much of which is being spent on holidays and days out – a trend seen by associations and operators. Popular TV shows such as Poldark, Broadchurch and Wolf Hall have put the West Country in the limelight. London tourism bosses also anticipate their most successful year, thanks to openings such as Shrek's Adventure! London in July. Surging support for staycations was shown by UK property rental company holidaycottages.co.uk, whose research found 42% of respondents believe holiday standards in the UK have risen over the past five to 10 years. More than a third (35%) find holidays at home less stressful, as they avoid airports and luggage allowance worries. Holidaycottages.co.uk director James Morris said: "It's encouraging to see Brits supporting tourism in the UK. Such support indicates that we are set for a strong summer." A tourism survey from accountants Larking Gowen – polling firms across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex – reported that 66% of businesses saw turnover rise last year and 68% forecast growth in 2015. TNS's Trends in GB Tourism study found 39% of Brits are "very likely to take a domestic holiday" this year, with the South West, Southern England and Scotland likely to benefit most. The positive outlook is mirrored in the wider economy – the Consumer Tracker from business advisors Deloitte found confidence around household Exclusive travel trade press sponsor disposable income was at its highest in more than three years during the first quarter of 2015. Travel and leisure particularly benefited from the rise in disposable income, with improved net spending in these categories: going out (cinema, theatre, concerts etc), hotels and restaurants; and holidays (long breaks). Graham Pickett, Deloitte head of travel, hospitality and leisure, said: "Consumers' financial positions are strengthening, and with falling prices for essentials like food, energy and petrol, people are spending more on what they enjoy." The Visa Europe: UK Expenditure Index also suggested households were using a disposable income windfall to fund holidays and trips to galleries. The increased confidence has buoyed bookings for spring, and encouraged upbeat forecasts for summer. Tourist boards such as Visit Devon and VisitNorwich reported strong Easter bookings, as did the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Bernard Donoghue, ALVA director, said: "Our members are largely viewed as 'must visit' great value-for-money attractions so I think we can be optimistic." Mike Bugsgang, chief executive of the Group Travel Organisers Association, added: "The age profile of consumers booking trips organised by GTOA members tends to be 55-plus and this sector has recently benefited from the government's relaxation of pension regulations. "The findings of the Deloitte report reflect the upturn of interest our members are receiving regarding tours taking place in the latter part of this year and 2016." l Bernard Donoghue Big Interview, page 8 A WArm WeLcome: Hundreds of national and international tour operators were given a rousing welcome to Aberdeen for VisitScotland's 2015 expo. NorthLink Ferries brought the Jarl Squad Vikings from Shetland – led by The Guizer Jarl – to illustrate the culture of Shetland and Scotland at the country's biggest travel trade show. Cash-happy Britons 'to spend more on domestic holidays' NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES www.travelgbi.com May 2015 No. 437 Trade welcomes manifesto tourism pledges INDUSTRY associations have welcomed the recognition in election manifestos of the importance of tourism. The Conservative manifesto references "the value of the tourism industry to the UK economy"; the Greens and Plaid Cymru pledged to cut tourism VAT; Liberal Democrats committed to strengthening the Hospitality and Tourism Council; and Ukip called for a the parties' manifestos have recognised the importance of tourism. We look forward to working together with the new government to develop the best possible support for this valuable industry." The Tourism Alliance worked with the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, BHA and Merlin Entertainments to get tourism into manifestos, as the sector was neglected in 2010. Kurt Janson, Tourism Alliance director, said: "The manifestos show a growing understanding of the barriers to tourism growth such as taxation, aviation capacity and visa processing and aim to address these issues." l UKinbound launches 'Tourism ABC' – calling on politicians to "Acknowledge, Build and Commit" to tourism, page 4. dedicated Minister of State for Heritage and Tourism. The British Hospitality Association commented: "The only glaring absence is the Labour party who have all but failed to reference tourism in their manifesto, beyond a token reference to promoting access to green spaces." Deirdre Wells, UKinbound chief executive, added: "It is really heartening to see that Photo: David Cheskin

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