Silver Surfers – Rolling Out Tourism Growth on The Coast? THE OVER 55 age group will be the largest sector of the population by 2024, numbering more than 22 million. So-called empty nesters could offer the latest in a suite of opportunities identified by the National Coastal Tourism Academy’s (NCTA) to drive up off-peak tourism on the coast, according to its latest research. A survey of 1,800 adults aged 55 to 75 reveals that half of this group believes the English coast to be as wild and beautiful as any other coastline in the world, with most favouring a coastal harbour town or a rural seaside break. A primary motivation for many empty nesters is to escape or relax, but 65 per cent visit the seaside to walk or hike and 59 per cent to observe its nature or wildlife. Some threequarters of this group travel with a partner. “In the past ten years there has been a steady increase in the proportion of over 55s in paid work; in 2015, 56 per cent were still employed. This group is generally better off than the generation below, both in terms of salaries and investments. Furthermore, they’re happy to travel out of school holidays – 72 per cent avoid July and August – making them an ideal audience for coastal breaks,” said NCTA director Samantha Richardson. “This new report looks at the reasons empty nesters visit the coast, their perceptions and activities and how they plan their trip – use of social media, for example, has risen significantly, with 72 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 now using the internet on a daily basis. “However more needs to be done to attract this group. While half of the empty nesters surveyed believed the English coastline to be as good as any other in the world, only one third believes individual destinations have something unique to offer them and few think they’re becoming more appealing.” Empty Nesters: Coastal Holiday Pen Portraits Analysis of the travel behaviour, aspirations and lifestyle of this age group and their interest in visiting the coast off-peak
has led to the development of six profiles, key segments for coastal destinations to target. Each pen portrait provides a snapshot of the group’s general holiday behaviour, recommendations on how to attract them and what destinations should deliver and offer. Sixteen per cent of empty nesters are Coastal Enthusiasts who are always on the look-out for new things to do and places to see, they enjoy socialising and meeting new people. More affluent than average, they prefer premium or mid-tier accommodation and, importantly, 56 per cent are not deterred by poor weather in the off-peak season. Energetic Enjoyers comprise 14 per cent of respondents; very sociable and fun-loving, most of this group uses social media in everyday life. Key motivations for visiting the coast include taking part in an activity or sport or to attend an event or festival. This group is attracted to a destination that offers a wealth of amusements, attractions and activities. Natural Coasties account for 17 per cent of those surveyed; they like to revisit places and enjoy nature, gardens and beautiful scenery. They plan holidays online, prefer selfcatering accommodation and enjoy bird-watching, hiking, walking or visiting parks. A key target market, 54 per cent of this group had holidayed on the UK coast in the past two years. Thirteen per cent are Contented Coasters, happy with their pace of life, they like to repeat their visits and avoid crowds. They like quiet, familiar destinations and prefer to stay in B&Bs. They like to explore their hobbies and enjoy history and culture. Eighteen per cent are Aspirational Elusives; well-travelled and on the look-out for new experiences, they will pay more for the right product, 57 per cent like to stay in a premium hotel. Aspirational Elusives seek history and cultural events and activities. Twenty-two per cent of those surveyed are branded Sun Seekers; although this group likes to travel overseas for a holiday, more than one third had travelled to the UK coast in the past two years. The best way to attract this group is through online marketing and publicity.
Beer Lovers to Descend on Bournemouth THE CAMPAIGN for Real Ale (CAMRA) Members’ Weekend, AGM and Conference will bring more than a thousand CAMRA members from across the UK to Bournemouth from the 7-9th April.
The main events will be hosted at the Bournemouth International Centre, where discussions on how to widen the campaign in light of new trends and consumer behaviour will take place. CAMRA members will also look forward to spending time socialising at local pubs and breweries. Welcome socials are planned at local pubs, including a parallel young member’s event, organised trips and informal pub crawls along East Dorset’s best micro brewers and cider houses. A number of local brewers have opened their doors to CAMRA members with complimentary beer and food samples as part of the weekend’s festivities. Bournemouth has seen an explosion in micro brewing,
with the number of brewers doubling in just five years. One of the most recent openings is Micro Moose, which bucked national trends when it was converted from a coffee shop into a micro pub in September 2016. Nigel Jones, event organiser from CAMRA says: “Beer lovers from across the UK will be delighted to experience the rich variety of breweries and pubs in Bournemouth, which has seen real growth in recent years. We look forward to introducing our fellow CAMRA members to the area and have put together a number of pub guides and tours to showcase the best that East Dorset has to offer, which we hope will provide a welcome boost to local businesses.” The CAMRA Members’ Weekend, AGM and Conference is held in a different part of the country each year to attract as many members as possible and provide support to breweries all over Britain.
Caterer, Licensee & Hotelier
Over One in Three Has Had A Date Ruined By Restaurant Background Noise NATIONAL CHARITY, Action on Hearing Loss is calling on restaurants to give romance a chance this Valentine’s Day by providing a quieter dining experience. An online survey of 1200 members of the general public conducted by the charity found that nearly 40% have completely misheard their date or partner during a romantic meal because of loud background noise, resulting in awkward conversations ranging from confusion about who is paying the bill, if there is a next date and even failed marriage proposals. Potential romance deal breakers from people surveyed included: • ‘My partner said they wanted marriage, kids and a dog and I only heard the bit about the dog. It was awkward because he didn’t realise that I hadn’t heard the rest.’ • ‘I thought she said she loved me, but she said she loves Stew.’ • ‘He asked me to move in with him and I thought he had asked me to prove my love to him.’ • ‘I missed my partner saying I love you for the first time because of loud background noise.’ • ‘Was dumped by my partner but due to the noise I thought he was trying to propose.’ One respondent even ended up booking the wrong holiday: ‘We were talking about holidays and I booked where he
hated instead of where he wanted to go because I misheard him.’ Overall, over one in three people (38%) told the charity that they considered their date ruined because they had to repeat themselves while struggling to keep up with the flow of conversation due to high background noise. Nearly half (45%) of people said that background music being turned up too high is the noise that irritates them the most when they are eating out. This was a close second to the noises from other diners’ children (51%), and ahead of the noise of people talking on their mobile phone (33%). The charity’s Speak Easy campaign is calling on restaurants to take action on background noise. Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive, explained: ‘A romantic meal out is all about making a connection and having a special night, but our survey suggests that a third of people have had a bad date due to the high levels of background noise which can ruin a romantic occasion just because people can’t hear each other. ‘We would like more restaurants to engage with us on our Speak Easy campaign to provide a quieter dining experience where people don’t have to repeat themselves or raise their voices to be heard. Our research shows that it would encourage more people to dine out and become loyal customers.’
1,800 UK Hotel Companies at Risk Of Going Bust STAFF SHORTAGES and increased food and beverage costs amongst threats to the hotel sector 1,800 UK hotel companies have at least a 30% chance of going insolvent within the next three years, says Moore Stephens, the Top Ten accountancy firm. Moore Stephens says that the advantages of the fall in the value of sterling post-Brexit may not be able to overcome the other strong headwinds the sector faces. It explains that while a weaker pound may encourage more tourists to visit the UK, and tempt more Britons to take ‘staycations’, visitors are likely to focus on key tourist hotspots, leaving hotels in other less popular locations struggling. At the same time, food and beverage costs are set to increase as unfavourable exchange rates push up import prices, adding to already-rising overheads tightening profit margins. Moore Stephens says that the introduction of the living wage could lead to further financial strain for small hotels outside cities. Many hotel workers are over the age of 25, and so the living wage affects almost half of the hospitality workforce. Moore Stephens adds that internet comparison websites have helped to increase price transparency in the sector and often charge hotels a significant commission to be advertised on the site. This additional cost and pressure to price competitively can put further financial strain on smaller hotels, which often operate on tight profit margins. Competitors, Airbnb and similar apps have increased this
strain, providing lower price options in a wide range of locations, Moore Stephens says. Unlike hotels, Airbnb users do not need to charge VAT, and so can keep prices low. The popularity of budget hotel chains such as Premier Inn may have also had a negative effect on smaller hotel chains. Moore Stephens explains that tourists will often choose hotel chains due to low prices, and the familiarity and reliability of the facilities. Moore Stephens adds that uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the economy since the referendum vote has also placed some financial stress on hotel companies. A casualty of this uncertainty is the business travel sector, which has slowed down due to corporate budgets being squeezed. This has resulted in a substantial chunk of hotel custom being cut out. Jeremy Willmont, Head of Restructuring & Insolvency at Moore Stephens, says: “Greater costs across the board as a result of the Brexit vote and competition from Airbnb are putting some hotels at risk of insolvency. “The drop in the pound, and the increase in staycations since the Brexit vote has the potential to be a boon for the hotel industry, with more foreign tourists choosing to visit the UK. However, the benefits have yet to reach hotel companies right across the country. “Much of the hotel business in the UK comes from overseas tourists and those traveling for leisure. In order to combat any loss from the business sector, hotels should look to attract more custom from tourism, particularly those higher spending foreign tourists, such as Americans and Europeans.”
Welcome... to our New (and old) Readers! Yes, we have revised, cleansed and updated our distribution database to reach even more businesses! Who are we? CLH News (Caterer, Licensee & Hotelier News) is an established trade publication published by RBC Publishing Ltd. Now in our 17th year we primarily serve the independent sector of the hospitality industry, single outlet and independent small chains. What do we do? We aim to introduce to you companies, products, services and expert advice which will help you in the smooth running of your business. CLH News recognise that many independent and proprietor led pubs, hotels and restaurants do not have the luxury of the support of a corporate head office to deal with purchasing of new equipment and products, marketing, human resources, finance, legislation etc, and we have been introducing just that for the past 17 years. How much do we cost? Here’s the good news, nothing! We are free of charge to qualifying businesses. We only ask one thing; please should you respond to an advertiser either by phone email or online, please mention CLH News. We have always welcomed input and feedback so please drop us a line on any topic you feel wll be of interest, and if you have any industry questions please send them to us, if we don’t know the answer we will try to find someone who does!
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Issue #198 of CLH News - the leading monthly trade publication for the independent hotel, pub and restaurant sector of the hospitality indus...