June 2016

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 and George Clode MORE tourism bosses have voiced opposition to a 'leave' vote in this month's European Union referendum, while others warn uncertainty over 'Brexit' is already hitting bookings. Kurt Janson, Tourism Alliance policy director, said: "Feedback from the industry is that the uncertainty regarding the referendum is already having an impact on forward bookings in some European inbound markets." He said the Tourism Alliance remains neutral, but added: "An increasing number of our members are coming out in support of remaining within the EU, including outdoor industries; the business visits and events sector; major attractions; and inbound operators." The Tourism Alliance has published an analysis of Brexit pros and cons, which indicated Exclusive travel trade press sponsor NO. 1 FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL, TOURISM AND BUSINESS NEWS IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES June 2016 No. 449 the "availability of skilled workers for the tourism and hospitality industry would be severely impacted if freedom of movement for EU citizens was removed". The study highlights how the UK and EU tourism industries "are highly interdependent with very high levels of travel and expenditure in both directions". The ease of access to the UK for EU visitors is likely to fall, said the study, while "any significant reduction in access to EU countries, or associated increase in the cost of travelling to EU countries, will probably increase domestic tourism in the UK". A post-Brexit government could amend the Package Travel Directive and Tour Operators Margin Scheme to support UK businesses but EU funds for tourism would cease. The document also warns the UK is perceived poorly in terms of its welcome for overseas visitors and this is "likely to be reinforced if the UK leaves". Tourism South East (TSE) published the document on its website, plus research from Abta, to help members decide. Nigel Smith, TSE chief executive, said: "Much of the argument is about uncertainty but tourism as an industry is in a perpetual cycle of uncertainty – the weather, economy, austerity, terrorism, the four horseman of the apocalypse – but it has always been a very resilient industry." He noted the Tourism Alliance and Abta studies say the biggest risk of Brexit is the impact on freedom of movement for tourists and skilled workers. "For example, I was astonished to see that nearly 80% of workers in the hospitality industry in London are from overseas." he added. A vocal supporter of the 'remain' camp is UKinbound, which has continued to lobby a wave of enthusiasm but also creating thousands of good new jobs too." Communities minister Mark Francois said the £90 million fund will build on the £120 million the government has already pumped in, via the Coastal Communities Fund. Previous investments by the fund include £1.9 million to Blackpool City Council, to transform its illuminations, and £500,000 to Hastings Borough Council to improve the seafront and visitor attractions. The National Coastal Tourism PICTURES WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS – AND £100M... A £2.5 million publicity campaign is expected to generate more than 1.3 million additional overnight stays in 2016 with a £100 million boost to the UK economy. Run by VisitEngland with the national tourism organisations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the campaign features striking imagery from across the UK, including Glen Coe (pictured). See page 3 CHINA CHARM OFFENSIVE... VisitBritain has sealed a tourism promotion partnership with China's HNA Group, whose airlines will bring more than 92,000 Chinese visitors here in the next 12 months – boosting the UK economy by more than £230 million. This month sees Hainan Airlines start Beijing-Manchester flights, and Tianjin Airlines begin Gatwick-Chongqing flights. Last year, 270,000 visitors came from China, up 46% year-on-year, and spending leapt 18% to £586 million. EU referendum: more tourism bosses support 'remain' vote Rod Edwards against Brexit, highlighting how 46% of its members' inbound business hails from EU markets. The bosses of budget airlines Ryanair and easyJet also backed the prime minister and chancellor's view that the UK is better off in the EU. Michael O'Leary, Ryanair chief executive, said: "The single market has enabled Ryanair to lead the low-fare air travel revolution in Europe, as we bring millions of British citizens to Europe each year, and welcome millions of European visitors to Britain." Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, owner of Stansted, also backed staying in, as have Heathrow and Gatwick. He said: "London Stansted delivers more European visitors into London than any other airport, generating a significant economic boost to London's economy and UK PLC." THE government has made £90 million available for coastal areas over the next four years to help boost tourism, create jobs and provide training. Grants of between £50,000 and £4 million are available to organisations such as councils, development agencies, local enterprise partnerships, private companies and voluntary groups. Communities secretary Greg Clark said: "We're investing £90 million in exciting new business ideas across our much-loved seaside areas – bringing not just Government unveils £90m coastal fund Academy, in Bournemouth, was awarded £2 million to set up a Coastal Activity Park and train hundreds of coastal businesses across the country. Its annual report, Coastal Tourism 2016, shows that seaside tourism has regained its position as England's largest domestic sector for overnight holiday trips. Seaside tourism is worth £8 billion to the economy, with 13.7 million seaside trips, making up nearly one third of overnight holiday stays in England.

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