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Issue 42 September/October 2011 £2.75

Artworks in global promotion By Christina Eccles VISITBRITAIN has unveiled the second phase of its global You’re Invited campaign, with 10 unique artworks leaving London for a worldwide tour promoting Britain all over the world. 3D street artists Joe and Max were commissioned to create the interactive artworks for VisitBritain, which allow members of the public to insert themselves virtually into some of Britain’s most iconic landmarks. The artworks will be displayed in 10 key locations around the world, with those who have their photo taken on the canvas entering into a competition that will include a pair of British Airways Club World return flights to the UK. Chief executive Sandie Dawe said: “Great Britain 3D is the first ever global tour of 3D art with the sole purpose of promoting a destination to an overseas audience. This is a fun, engaging and effective way of taking some of Britain’s most famous icons right into the heart of cities around the world. “This marks an important new

phase of our ‘You’re Invited’ campaign that is an open invitation to the world to come and join us before, during and after 2012. “Working in partnership with the industry, our aim over the next four years is to secure £2b of extra spending by overseas visitors across Britain. That will see a whole range of great deals and new products launched to encourage those considering a visit to Britain that now is the time to do so and turn their plans into actions.” Tourism Minister John Penrose added: “The tourism industry is leading the way in growing our economy, but the best is yet to come. “VisitBritain’s ‘You’re Invited’ campaign is a brilliant way of promoting our country to overseas visitors, and I’m really pleased that the Abbey Road zebra crossing – which I recently gave ‘listed building’ status to – is one of the iconic images chosen. The Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will put us centre stage next year, but it’s good to remind visitors of all the other amazing things that Britain has to offer.”  Pictur e, Page 3

Theme parks are ‘too dear’ say 54%

A host of Hollywood stars descended on a War wickshir e ar t galler y to film scenes for new movie Gambit. Actors including Camer on Diaz (pictur ed), Oscar winner Colin Fir th and BAFTA winner Alan Rickman used Compton Ver ney as the backdr op for the film, which is due to be released next year. Compton Ver ney’s dir ector Dr Steven Parissien said: “We ar e delighted to have been chosen as a location for this film. It has been a gr eat experience for us and a pleasur e to work with such a pr estigious and pr ofessional team.”  For mor e fr om The Hear t of England, see our dedicated featur e on Page 25

OVER half of Brits believe theme parks are too expensive, according to research from Gocompare.com 54 per cent of those surveyed said a trip to a theme park has become a very expensive holiday treat and less than one in 20 thought they offered good value for money. Aside from the cost of getting through the entrance gate, families are also feeling stung by the high cost of food and drink once they're inside – and 61 per cent of Brits feel the prices charged by theme park restaurants, cafés and drinks stalls are a rip off. Gocompare.com's head of travel Jeremy Cryer said: "Our research shows that most visitors to theme parks come away with a less than glowing view of their day out. Expensive tickets, overpriced food, and hours spent queuing for rides seem to be how most Brits remember their day out. "Alton Towers emerged as the UK's favourite theme park but operators clearly have some work to do when it comes to customer satisfaction."


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Hotel visits the past with leaflet By Christina Eccles

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pictur e: cinemafestival/Shutterstock.com

‘Brad watch’ leads to boom in city visitors BRAD Pitt’s recent visit to Glasgow has sparked a boom in visitor numbers hoping to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood star. The actor and his partner Angelina Jolie visited the city ahead of commencing filming there for a new blockbuster World War Z – and hotel visitors seem to be following suit. According to discount hotels specialist LateRooms.com, the Scottish city is growing in popularity, with hotel rooms being booked up in advance, causing a leap of almost 20 per cent in bookings compared

to this time last year. LateRooms.com’s offline marketing manager Lynda Matthews said: “Glasgow has no shortage of fantastic accommodation, and we are proud to offer some spectacular discounts for people to come and ‘Brad watch’. “The city is a beautiful part of Scotland with a great range of restaurants, sights to see and culture to absorb. We hope LateRooms.com customers will enjoy their stay there as much as Angelina and Brad!”

A SCOTTISH hotel has been given a glimpse into its past after being handed a publicity leaflet published more than 45 years ago to promote it. The publication, for Raemoir House Hotel, was unearthed by a woman from Brighton who found the brochure in a box of oddments bought at an auction, and hints at an era prior to 1966 when Britain's railway system was dismantled. Neil Rae, who owns the hotel with wife Julie, said: “We can't put an exact date on the pamphlet other than it must have been before the dismantling of some of Britain's rail network under the direction of Dr. Richard Beeching, the chairman of British Rail in those days. “We know that because the leaflet states that a taxi or the hotel shooting brake, the old-fashioned name for an estate car, would be available to collect guests from

Banchory Station and ferry them to the hotel.” Julie added: “The other intriguing fact to emerge was that visitors' servants were charged at around 30 shillings a day and that meals ranged from six shillings and six pence, around £5 today, for breakfast, to seventeen shillings and six pence (£12) for dinner. “There were charges, too, for guests to garage their vehicles and from three shillings (£2) a day, the hotel would house your dog. “The leaflet offers us a fascinating insight into the life of a country house hotel in those days and, remarkably, it boasted that the premises was centrally heated.” The couple, who bought Raemoir last September, have already seen it win the Scottish Country House Hotel of the Year for 2011, appoint four Grampian Chefs of the Year and be awarded three Star and two Rosette status by the AA.

Northerners ‘most likely to holiday in the UK’ NORTHERNERS are the biggest contributors to the UK holiday market, according to statistics which reveal the North has the highest percentage of people choosing to holiday at home this year. 47 per cent of Northerners are taking their holidays in the UK this year, ahead of people living in Wales (41 per cent) and just 28 per cent of people living in Greater London. Londoners were found to be the most likely to travel abroad for their holidays this year (72 per cent) compared to just 53 per cent of Northerners, making them the least likely to holiday abroad. The online survey by SMS (Survey and Marketing Services), asked UK residents about their holiday plans for this year and next, and found Northerners are also most likely to be taking a holiday in general this year whether at home or abroad,

along with people living in Greater London. Head of quantitative research at SMS Lesley Wright said: “The research shows that Northerners value a work/life balance and will ensure that they save money and make time for a holiday, whether it’s abroad or at home in the UK. “With travel costs continuing to rise, and more limited flight destinations and choice of airports compared to those found in the South, certain holidaymakers in the North are being priced out of a foreign holiday abroad this year. Travel patterns are also changing with the traditional two week holiday no longer the case. Many people are choosing to spread annual leave and the results show a variety of holiday durations indicating that people are preferring more shorter breaks across the year, as opposed to just the one annual fortnightly getaway.”

More regional flights take off EASTERN Airways is introducing more regional flights from Leeds Bradford International Airport to Aberdeen and Bristol. The Humberside-based airline, the UK’s second largest regional carrier, will increase Leeds Bradford services from to two three each weekday to both Aberdeen 4

and Bristol from October 3. Eastern Airways’ commercial director Kay Ryan said: “We’re providing Yorkshire business travellers with greater choice and flexibility by offering more flights to Aberdeen and Bristol. Passengers will be able to maximise day visits, saving valuable time.”


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Enter tainment news in C e n t r estage star t i n g o n Page 17 Liverpool

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Christmas

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Contacts EDITORIAL

People fr o m a l l o v e r t h e w o r l d h a v e b e e n i n v i t e d t o v i s i t B r i t a i n a s p a r t o f t h e n a t i o n a l t o u r i s m a g e n c y ’ s l a t e s t g l o b a l c a m p a i g n . 3 D a r t w o r k s d e t a i l i n g B r i t a i n ’ s i c o n i c l a n d m a r k s h a v e l e f t L o n d o n , en r o u t e t o t h e i r new homes in cities such as Singapor e , S t o c k h o l m a n d M i l a n w h e r e t h e y w i l l b e u s e d t o p r o m o t e w h a t t h e countr y has to of fer. V isit Britain chief executive Sandie Dawe launched the campaign with par tners including BA, Hilton, P&O and RadEd.

Research reveals new opportunities for Kent businesses TOURISM accommodation in Kent and Medway could be missing out on opportunities in the growing visitor, friends and relatives market, according to research by Visit Kent. According to existing national data, the VFR market in Kent generates just short of 2.3m trips each year – 88 per cent from the UK and 12 per cent from overseas. It also accounts for more than half of all trips to the county – a far more significant proportion of the tourism market than found in many other areas of the UK. Previously, traditional research into this market focused exclusively on the spending by visitors during their stay, calculating its value in Kent at approximately £202m. But this approach only took into consideration the spending of visitors and not their hosts during

their day trip, overnight stay or longer holiday. Visit Kent’s new research, reviewing national data and conducting extensive online surveys and focus groups, has now revealed the spending by hosts on entertaining their guests at pubs and restaurants, visiting attractions and other forms of entertainment may well equal or even exceed visitor spending. Research manager Tracey Parker said: “It has been incredibly illuminating and suggests that there are many marketing opportunities that businesses may be missing by not promoting themselves directly to local residents. “For example, our online surveys and focus groups have shown that many people would actually prefer to stay in serviced accommodation

while visiting and not be a burden on their hosts or because space is limited. “This could open the door for more hotels and B&Bs to link up with local people to raise awareness of where guests could stay in their area. “But they would also have to take into account that perceived value, discounts and special offers are key in this market. “On our VFR satisfaction surveys, Kent scored highly for the overall experience, scenery and hospitality venues but scored lower on value for money. “Drilling down into the responses and statistics suggests that accommodation providers and attractions presenting special deals for local people entertaining guests could do really well.”

Andr ew Har r od group editor 01226 734639 ah@whpl.net Christina Eccles reporter 01226 734463 ce@whpl.net Dominic Musgrave reporter 01226 734407 dm@whpl.net

PRODUCTION Judith Halkerston – group deputy editor – jhalkerston@whpl.net Stewar t Holt – studio manager – sth@whpl.net Laura Blackbur n – graphic designer lb@whpl.net A D V E R TISING A n d r ew Loades assistant product manager 01226 734482 Tony Bar r y sales and marketing director 01226 734605/01226 734333 C I R C U L ATION Kelly Tar f f 01226 734695 kt@whpl.net Fax: 01226 734477

W eb: w w w.destination.uk.com

Going interactive CITYJET has become the first airline in the UK to launch an interactive concierge service via its Twitter feed. The tool, available on Twitter @cityjet, will aim to help all passengers with their travel-related queries as well as being on hand to book hotel rooms and restaurants or organise taxi pick ups. It will initially run as a trial service for two hours a day to gauge customer feedback and uptake.

Scottish Surprise Yourself campaign success A MARKETING campaign encouraging people to surprise themselves in Scotland has captured the public’s imagination, new figures have shown. VisitScotland’s Surprise Yourself activity, which targets the UK and Ireland market and is fronted by a series of TV adverts voiced by television historian Neil Oliver, has outperformed many of its previous campaigns. The advert, which features iconic Scottish imagery such as Edinburgh Castle and Eilean Donan Castle, as well as more “surprising” elements of Scottish life, such as Belhaven Fire Festival and a seaplane taking

off in Glasgow and landing on Mull, was first screened throughout the UK in March. From a total of nearly 2,000 respondents to VisitScotland’s brand tracking questionnaire, eight out of ten people thought the message from the advert was relevant to them, while four in ten said it told them something they did not know about Scotland. The three versions of the advert encouraged people to enjoy holidays or short breaks in Scotland, with a quarter of the respondents saying they were “highly motivated” to consider a future break in the country. Respondents considered the new

adverts more emotionally engaging than previous VisitScotland campaigns, with a score of nearly seven out of ten. Overall, Surprise Yourself, which includes a website and, for the first time in a VisitScotland campaign, money-off vouchers, also outperforms previous campaigns in terms of advertising awareness. The spontaneous advertising awareness figure post launch showed 43 per cent of respondents claimed to have seen some advertising for Scotland. This is the highest level to date, beating the 42 per cent scored by VisitScotland’s Autumn Moments in

September 2010. Chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “We are delighted that our Surprise Yourself campaign has proved so successful in terms of engaging potential visitors. The campaign is in response to extensive consumer research which showed that, although people loved the previous ‘Senses’ advert, it didn’t make them want to book immediately. We know that people want to visit Scotland – this is about persuading them to book now, and these brand tracker results are a good indication that Surprise Yourself is having the desired effect.”

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Holme is where the vineyard is A HUSBAND and wife team have created Yorkshire’s next big tourist attraction in the heart of the Holme Valley. When Ian and Rebecca Sheveling first launched Holmfirth Vineyard, they had no intention of even opening it up to the public. But increasing interest from locals led to them introducing vineyard tours, which proved so popular the pair have now opened a new visitor centre – including a winery and restaurant serving locally sourced produce – with spectacular views

across the area. Ian explained: “Originally it was going to be more of a hobby and we were going to make wine to sell it. “But people kept asking what we were doing and we decided to do our first tour in 2009. We ended up doing three tours a day for four days and it was heaving.” Another successful weekend of tours later that year confirmed there was a gap in the market for this type of attraction and they decided to think more seriously about

turning it into a business. This set the ball rolling for the visitor centre, which opened in May this year, and so far business is booming – with tours every weekend since fully booked. Rebecca added: “The response has been fantastic and we are getting people coming from all over. The local council is also right behind us as they believe it’s a great tourist attraction. “People are coming to see us and then going into Holmfirth. And we

are trying to push that wealth around so everyone benefits.” Following the success of the restaurant, Ian and Rebecca have decided to expand the business even further and are currently building seven five star eco friendly lodges, which are due to open next year. The lodges, which will also include treatment rooms, Jacuzzi and saunas, will allow the couple to extend their offering into full wine tasting weekends and capitalise on the short breaks market.

Christmas on the water THE Christmas Showboat will be operating Monday to Saturday evening throughout December. Guests will be welcomed onboard with a drink and as they cruise down to the Thames Barrier they will enjoy a four-course meal with wine. On the way back to Westminster Pier, there will be a live entertainment and plenty of time for dancing. The price of £75 includes half a bottle of wine per person. The Christmas Day Lunch Cruise offers a carefree way of celebrating the special day. During the two and three quarter hour cruise along the Thames guests can enjoy an aperitif followed by a sumptuous four course meal complete with all the Christmas trimmings. The price of this cruise is £105 per person. All the New Year's Eve cruises offer a grandstand position at Westminster from which to hear Big Ben striking midnight. Guests will

be welcomed onboard the New Year's Eve Buffet and Dance Cruise with a glass of sparkling wine and enjoy a tasty buffet followed by dancing before celebrating the arrival of 2012. On the New Year's Eve Gala Dinner and Dance Cruise, passengers will have a chance to celebrate in style with a five course sit-down dinner with wine followed by dancing and a glass of champagne as midnight strikes. Prices start from £150 per person. The Galaxy and Stargazer New Year's Eve Cruises offer two more economical options. On these two and a half hour evening cruises, guests will be able to enjoy the stunning views of London between Tower and Westminster piers. A goody bag packed full of food and drink is included in the price, which is £99 and £69 per person respectively.

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Travellers ‘thinking twice’ over train costs THE SOARING cost of train travel is discouraging Brits from taking short breaks in the UK, research has claimed. A study by car sharing website BlablaCar found 78 per cent of people think UK rail fares for journeys over 100 miles are too expensive – with 66 per cent saying the cost is putting them off booking a short break. Co founder of BlablaCar Nicolas Brusson said: “The high cost of rail travel means that people are thinking twice before taking short breaks in the UK. “With fares set to rise significantly, this is predicted to have an even bigger effect on UK tourism in the next year. “Petrol prices are also having an impact on our purse strings. It is becoming more and more necessary for people to consider alternative, more cost efficient, ways of reducing their travel costs.” The One Poll survey of 2,000 people also revealed 72 per cent would go on more weekend breaks if the cost of travel was lower. And to highlight the cost of travelling by train, BlablaCar compared the prices on popular weekend rail routes compared with carpooling – discovering prices offered on its site work out on average 63 per cent cheaper than those offered by train operators.

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N ATIONAL Museum Wales has published a new br o c h u r e to showcase its of fering to g r oups. The br o c h u r e c o n t a i n s i n f o r m a t i o n about all the individual sites and their collections as well as special of fers and savings for gr oup visits booked in advance. Head of marketing June Francois said: “Gr o u p v i s i t s c a n e n j o y a g r eat day out at our museums – as well as enjoying the magnificent c o l l e c t i o n s a n d a f u l l p r ogramme of events and activities, ther e ar e also gr eat of fers at our shops and food and drink establishments. “Gr o u p v i s i t s a r e v e r y w e l c o m e t o all our museums and we do ask for them to book in advance dir e c t with each museum so we can ensur e they have the most out of their visit and have an enjoyable experience.”

More visitors to attractions VISITOR numbers to attractions across the West Midlands increased by two per cent in 2010, figures from VisitEngland have revealed. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery remained in the list of top 20 free attractions nationwide, enjoying a significant increase of 13.2 per cent between 2009 and 2010, whilst consistent visitor numbers to Ironbridge’s Visitor Centre ensured the Shropshire attraction retained a place in the top 20 paid for attractions. Operations and policy director at Marketing Birmingham Tim Manson said: “VisitEngland’s report follows the news earlier this year that visitor numbers to Birmingham rose significantly between 2009-2010. “The economic climate has resulted in more people seeking out free or low cost entertainment opportunities closer to home. “Birmingham attracts a diverse mix of visitors and offers leisure opportunities to suit all tastes and budgets – from free museums and art galleries to larger attractions, the city caters for a vast array of local, national and international visitors. We are continually working with our partners to raise awareness of the city’s offering to visitors – the Food Fest in October will include approximately 100 fringe events, many of which will be taking place at existing attractions around the city.” The region’s paid for attractions also fared well, with Ironbridge Visitor Centre retaining the number one spot in the West Midlands visitor numbers rating. Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust chief executive Steve Miller said: “2010 was a record year for the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, with

well over half a million visits across our ten museums situated throughout the World Heritage Site. “With a combination of excellent coverage on television, a new £12m development at Blists Hill Victorian Town and a succession of prestigious awards, we were able to make the best of a

buoyant regional market.” Visit England’s annual attractions report, based on a survey of 1,802 England visitor attractions that provided visit figures for 2009 and 2010, showed an average increase of three per cent nationwide, mainly driven by destinations offering free admission.


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Henry VIII continues to hold court daily at Hampton Court, where groups enter a living Tudor world and can participate in life at Henry’s palace from special Tudor cookery weekends to everyday court life. From 31 October 2011, the ever-popular Ghost Tours return. Each tour visits a variety of haunted sites where visitors walk nervously through the half-light and hear about its own ghostly story. Will your group have the courage to walk down the infamous haunted gallery where Queen Catherine Howard’s ghost has been seen on many occasions screaming for Henry’s mercy? Outside, explore the glorious formal gardens of William III and Mary II before you disappear into the maze where whispers of the past will accompany every step to the centre of this topiary puzzle. While all this is happening, the palace will be on tenterhooks awaiting the impending birth of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s first child. Will it be a boy? Will it survive? Will there be joy or sorrow? Join the court and be the first to hear the eagerly anticipated news!

If you’re feeling hungry after exploring the palace, the Tudor cooks will also be on hand to satisfy the requirements of the court with typical Tudor delicacies in the great kitchens or, for those seeking tranquillity, a stroll through the gardens will build up an appetite for a snack or lunch in the Tiltyard Café, where arrangements for groups can also be made. For your groups opportunity to meet Henry VIII’s wives or take part in any of the Tudor events, call our contact centre on 0844 482 7770 or e-mail groupsandtraveltrade@hrp.org.uk. Please quote “Destination UK September” when contacting us.


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DESTINATIONLIVERPOOL

Thousands head for flower show MORE than 16,000 visitors flocked to this year’s Knowsley Flower Show – the North West’s largest free horticultural event. Eventgoers enjoyed displays of colourful fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as entertainment from a daring dog display team and seaside-themed fun for children. Foodies could also enjoy a farmers’ market and food marquee, while a panel of judges had the hard task of picking winners from over 500 entries in a range of categories. Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for leisure, community and culture coun Eddie Connor said: “The Knowsley Flower Show is a really important date in our calendar, and over the years the event has grown considerably in number – and no wonder, it rightly deserves its reputation as a really fantastic day out. “There are so many activities for families but it is also an event which gardening enthusiasts from right across the region look forward to attending. “The standard of entries this year was extremely high as always, congratulations to all the winners and to everyone who took part.”

Liverpool spreads word on London underground TMP has launched a host of marketing initiatives, costing more than £350,000, designed to boost the number of short break visitors to Liverpool City Region. Activity includes an advertising campaign on the London Underground and in national media titles, an online campaign, an events guide and visitor publications, plus specific initiatives to attract midweek visitors. TMP chief executive Lorraine Rogers said: “This host of marketing initiatives plays to the unique strengths of our visitor economy – strong architectural and cultural heritage, music, the arts and sport. It is has been

timed to attract even greater numbers of visitors to the City Region for short breaks over the summer and autumn. By working with many of our key members and partners, we are able to coordinate and deliver successful, high-profile initiatives to drive extra business to the destination. Economic growth is the key focus for TMP and it’s our aim to maintain our commitment to promoting the visitor economy, given the potential to create new jobs and attract wealth in the City Region.” Director of tourism at the Northwest Regional Development Agency Nick Brooks-Sykes added: “This is a really exciting time for

tourism in Liverpool – the city’s visitor economy continues to grow with the opening of many new attractions, exhibitions and places to stay. “It is absolutely appropriate for TMP to rally together the support of the tourism industry to collectively promote the city to a national and international audience. This activity will encourage more people to come to Liverpool, boosting the visitor economy. The fantastic new visitor guide showcases the best Liverpool has to offer and it provides the inspiration and information that will make people want to visit the City Region.”


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Liverpool is voted UK’s friendliest city READERS of leading leisure magazine Condé Nast Traveller have voted Liverpool as the UK’s Friendliest City for the second year running. The award was handed out at the Condé Nast Traveller 14th Annual Readers’ Travel Awards, which took place at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London. The awards also saw Liverpool retain its position as the fourth favourite UK city for the second successive year, ranking only behind London, Edinburgh and Bath. TMP chief executive Lorraine Rogers said: “This is a fantastic acknowledgment for Liverpool. Anecdotally Liverpool is often known for its friendly welcome and the warmth of its people – but for this to be officially recognised by readers of one of the leading and most discerning travel magazines for the second year running is a major accolade for the destination. “This is a tribute to the taxi drivers, tour guides, hoteliers and everyone who works in the visitor economy. “We have a great range of world class venues, attractions and hotels which appeal to leisure and business visitors and this asset combined with the warmth of the people and the welcome we give visitors which encourages them to spread the word about what a great time they’ve had. “The people of Liverpool are one of our important assets and this award is a very special endorsement.”

Museum welcomes quarter of a million visitors in first four weeks MORE than 250,000 people visited the new Museum of Liverpool in just four weeks of it opening. On average, 8,300 people a day have come through the doors of the free attraction,

which tells the story of the city and its people. Director Janet Dugdale said: ”The visitor figures are staggering. We are thrilled with the success of the new museum.

“To get a quarter of a million people through the doors in the first month is fantastic. There is a real buzz of excitement in the museum and it’s so nice to see so many people enjoying themselves.”


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A food festival with added yuletide charm this December TAKE a turn around the snow-dusted village and make your way into Port Sunlight’s very own winter wonderland this December 3 and 4 at Hulme Hall. Filled to the brim with festive delights, the fayre will capture the Christmas cheer in even the most decided of Scrooges. Peruse over 100 local producer stalls to fill those Christmas stockings and watch chef demonstrations that will have you roasting chestnuts to perfection while the little elves enjoy our fairground rides. Whether it’s gift hunting you’re

after, a chance to relax and enjoy good food and drink or a day out with the family, Port Sunlight has everything you need for the perfect Christmas day in 2011.

Ideal venue for group visits THE Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton is now regarded as one of Merseyside’s premier entertainment venues, the ideal place for a group visit. The brand new high tech theatre has an artistic programme which includes large scale musicals, challenging drama, live music (from rock to opera) comedy and a spectacular family pantomime. Highlights of the current season include

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Bill Kenwright’s production of Blood Brothers, Bill Wyman, Puccini’s opera Madam Butterfly and the pantomime Aladdin starring Kelsey-Beth Crossley (Scarlett from Emmerdale) and Andrew Agnew (PC Plum from Balamory). Pre show meals are served in the Floral’s Panoramic Lounge, an open airy space with breath taking views of the Mersey Estuary, or in the large conference centre with facilities to

cater for groups of any size. With free parking for coaches and considerable local accommodation this is the perfect venue for a day trip or longer.

In association with:

Maritime festival returns to Mersey ONE of the UK’s biggest maritime festivals is returning to Liverpool later this month. River Festival – On the Waterfront will be a week long celebration in the city, kicking off with the inaugural visit from the new Queen Elizabeth cruise liner. Another highlight of the event will be a free concert by MOBO award winning singer Beverley Knight, which takes place at Pier Head, and the city’s famous waterfront will also come alive with aerobatic displays, street theatre, a bistro village and rustic farmers market. Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, coun Wendy Simon said: “The Mersey River Festival was always hugely popular, and attracted hundreds of thousands of people every year. “Since the last festival took place in 2005, our iconic waterfront has been transformed and is now looking more majestic than ever and the river festival will be a great occasion to showcase it to visitors from all over the world. “This year’s event will be just as popular as it has something to suit all tastes, from soul music to

sailing! In July, the opening of the Museum of Liverpool and the Reflection on the Waterfront event attracted tens of thousands of people to the Pier Head and I’m sure we’ll see just as many people out celebrating the return of this much-loved festival.”


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Biennial festival built on newly-commissioned works

The ACC Liverpool has hosted the live X Factor auditions for the first t i m e . T h e X F a c t o r t e a m t o o k o v e r t h e E c h o A r ena for the r e c o r d i n g o f t h e l i v e a u d i t i o n s a n d t h e B T C o n v e n t i o n C e n t r e was utilised for holding r ooms, dr essing r ooms and behind the scenes ar eas.

New Liverpool app passes 10,000 download mark A NEW app which helps visitors to Liverpool find their way around has passed the 10,000 download mark less than a month after its release. The Liverpool Tourism Guide App has been ranked number 16 in the world in the travel apps category on the App Store, receiving an average four star rating from customers. Creator of the app and founder and director of App Tours UK, Larry Murphy said: “I’m very pleased to

have built up a great momentum in terms of downloads. With downloads from all continents taking us into the top 20 in the world and great feedback, I am very proud. “The fact that so many people are now using our guide to access first class information and direct themselves around our city just makes the experience of releasing the app even more rewarding.”

LIVERPOOL Biennial is the largest and one of the most exciting contemporary visual arts events in the UK, with 628,000 visitors and 834,000 visits in 2010. Since its inception in 1999, the Biennial exhibition at the heart of the Biennial has always been shown in multiple gallery and non-gallery spaces across the city. In 2012 the festival runs from September 15 – November 25 offering a concentration of quality contemporary art unprecedented in the UK, built on newly commissioned works from the world’s most challenging and ambitious artists. It commissions and presents art of international quality and for each festival, dozens of international artists are invited to create new works in locations throughout Liverpool, hundreds of the best British artists compete for accolade through the John Moores prize for contemporary painting and New Contemporaries exhibitions and tens of international artists are part of the exhibitions that will form City States. Additional exhibitions, presented through a thriving independent scene, mean that for 10 weeks every two years Liverpool is the focus for contemporary art in Britain. Liverpool – recently voted the UK’s friendliest city for the second time

Do Ho Suh, Bridging Home, 2010 I m a g e c o u r tesy of Liverpool Biennial 2010 P i c t u r e: Thier r y B a l by Condé Nast Traveller – is a city with an edge – sharp and creative – and has a reputation for pushing the boundaries.

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DESTINATIONLIVERPOOL

Rock ‘n’ roll panto hits the Playhouse GET your spandex, glitter and party pants on as the legendary rock ‘n’ roll panto will shake, rattle and roll at the Liverpool Playhouse. It’s sure to be a ball as well – literally – with Cinderella: Mop! In the Name of Love, at the Williamson Square venue from Saturday December 3 2011 to Saturday January 21 2012. The rock ‘n’ roll panto is always a great night out for all the family. With music, dancing and lots of

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cheeky laughs there’s something for everyone. Unlike any other panto around, the multi-talented cast sing, dance, entertain, play music and are sure to make Cinderella the best rock ’n’ roll ball in town. If you’re planning a work party or group outing, the Playhouse offers very attractive ticket discounts for groups of over 10 people with flexible booking terms and no booking fees.

Liverpool has celebrated the 100th bir thday of its legendar y L i v e r Building with a spectacular 3D event. The light show was the climax of a week of celebrations in the city and animated the building and newly-opened Museum of Liverpool with an 800-year chr onicle of Liverpool’s histor y. The pr oject was the UK debut for Czech Republic company The Macula who have pr e v i o u s l y w o w e d c r owds in Dubai and Prague with ar c h i t e c t u r a l p r ojections. P i c t u r e: Liverpool City Council


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Record visitor numbers A RECORD number of visitors have flocked to Liverpool in the first half of this year, figures have revealed. According to the region’s tourist board, TMP, July 2011 was a record month with 222,000 hotel rooms sold across the city region –12,000 more than the previous highest recorded month of October 2010. The jump is being attributed to a number of factors including recent new hotel openings for Hotel Indigo Liverpool and Travelodge in New Brighton; an exciting events programme featuring the opening of the new Museum of Liverpool and a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool, plus investment in a national

advertising campaign to promote the destination TMP chief executive Lorraine Rogers said: “These figures are encouraging news for the visitor economy, especially during this challenging economic climate – and are a very strong indication that we are not only maintaining our momentum but moving in the right direction and becoming one of the top international destinations to visit. “It’s a challenging time for businesses in terms of margins and yields but the underlying trend shows that the destination’s appeal is growing at an impressive rate.”

In association with:

Photography copyright: Elvis Pr esley Enterprises

The Beatles and the King LIVERPOOL’S leading visitor attraction, The Beatles Story, and Elvis Presley Enterprises have joined forces to curate a new globally significant exhibition that will explore how The Fab Four were inspired by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Elvis and Us will be unveiled on October 5 and will run for two years at Beatles Story Pier Head, Liverpool. This exclusive exhibition will include rare artefacts from both the Graceland archives, many of which have never before been exhibited publicly. Elvis and Us will allow visitors to experience the power of both Elvis and The Beatles along with their

explosive impact on music and popular culture – from hit albums that still top the charts to movies, books, and plays, both Elvis and The Beatles are celebrated around the world. The Beatles Story is one of the UK’s leading attractions, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. Now in its 22nd year, it is one of Britain’s best-loved experiences, winning countless tourism awards. In recent years, The Beatles Story has tripled in size to include a themed Starbucks coffee house, a fantastic discovery zone – an interactive children’s area – and the Fab 4D cinema.

Explore River Mersey’s rich past ... and present BRING your group and hop aboard one of our daily River Explorer Cruises for stunning views, fascinating history and unlimited sea air. An iconic Mersey Ferry will take your group on a 50-minute journey with a commentary that lets visitors explore the River Mersey’s rich past ... and present. Mersey Ferries’ Manchester Ship Canal Cruises are also extremely

popular for group day trips. Cruises run between Liverpool and Salford Quays from April to October. You can drop your group at one end of the canal and pick up six hours later at the other end. Mersey Ferries new Group Guide is now available which features example itineraries and suggestions for incorporating Mersey Ferries as part of a trip to Liverpool or the North West.

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DESTINATIONCHRISTMAS

B a t h ’ s popular Christmas Market has been extended for the second y e a r r unning to meet demand fr om visitors. The event, or ganised by B a t h t o u r i s m P l u s , w i l l t a k e p l a c e f r om November 24 to December 11, set between the world-r enowned Roman Baths and striking backdr op of Bath Abbey. The Christmas Market showcases a range of handmade and local pr o d u c t s i n o v e r 1 2 0 t r a d i t i o n a l w o o d e n c h a l e t s and last year’ s e v e n t a t t r a c t e d a b o u t 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 v i s i t o r s o v e r 1 8 d a y s .

Por tsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower has launched a new Christmas and New Year of fer for gr oups. Fr om December 1 to Febr uar y 29, the attraction will be of fering a 25 per cent discount fr om the usual gr oup admission char g e s , a s w e l l a s a f r e e p a r k i n g v o u c h e r f o r a n y p a r t i e s travelling by coach.

Robin Hood heads for Stratford The Hear t O f R o b i n H o o d , Royal Shakespear e Theatr e, Stratfor d-Upon-Avon November 18 2011 – Januar y 7 2012 A SPECTACULAR new production of a great English legend is coming to Stratfordupon-Avon from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The notorious Robin Hood and his band of outlaws steal from the rich, creating a fearsome reputation amongst those who dare to travel through the mighty forest of Sherwood. But they do not share their spoils with the poor and are unloved by the people, who must also pay unfair taxes to the evil Illustration: Pier r e Doucin at DÉBUT AR T Prince John as he plots to Avon. As well as theatre, you can steal his brother’s crown. enjoy the breathtaking views of In this time of chaos and fear, it is Shakespeare’s home town from the down to Marion to boldly protect the top of the tower, discover theatrical poor and convince Robin that he secrets on a theatre tour or explore must listen to his heart if they are the free exhibitions. The theatre to save the country. also boasts a great venue for group Written by RSC associate director dining in the stunning Rooftop David Farr and directed by Gisli Örn Restaurant and Bar, serving modern Gardarsson, the artistic team British food in unique surroundings. behind Metamorphosis, currently Groups ticket discounts are touring worldwide. available for parties of eight or The RSC offers groups a range of options when visiting Stratford-uponmore.

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DESTINATIONCHRISTMAS

Record-breaking 14th year for The Snowman CHRISTMAS just wouldn’t be Christmas in London without a trip to see The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre, Sadler’s Wells’ home in the West End. Now in its record-breaking 14th year, The Snowman continues to delight children everywhere with its magical mix of stagecraft, dance and live music.

Breakfast with Santa

When a young boy’s snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve, the two set off on a night-time quest for adventure. On their travels, they meet dancing penguins, reindeer and, of course, Father Christmas! Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! is one of the most popular dance productions ever staged in the UK, and is the perfect treat as it heads to Sadler’s Wells for the Christmas season. This delicious theatrical feast has family-sized helpings of Matthew Bourne’s trademark wit, pathos and magical fantasy. Nutcracker! follows Clara’s bittersweet journey from a

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P i c t u r e by Bill Cooper hilariously bleak Christmas Eve at Dr Dross’ Orphanage, through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland to the scrumptious candy kingdom of Sweetieland.

FESTIVE visitors to Colchester Zoo will be able to enjoy a magical breakfast with Santa experience, complete with a gift for children and exclusive pre entry into the zoo. At the beginning of the experience, Santa’s elves will take all of the children to his house where he will show everyone around his enchanted grotto before introducing the children to his assistants – real live reindeer. The morning will also include breakfast for kids and parents – and the rest of the day can be spent enjoying the zoo.


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DESTINATIONCENTRESTAGE

Experience this unforgettable, award-winning musical and discover that you’ve not been told the whole story about the land of Oz …

‘A wicked and wonderful vision of Oz’

Evening Standar d

BASED on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire that reimagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked first dazzled Broadway in October 2003. Now Stephen Schwartz’s powerful songs, a visually stunning production and a story full of surprises, wit and emotion has been described

as 'One of the biggest hits of our age' (The Observer), captivating audiences in London and all around the world. Voted by audiences as “Most Popular Show” (2010 Olivier Audience Award) and “Best West End Show” (2011 and 2010 Whatsonstage.com Awards), Wicked’s London production recently celebrated its landmark 2000th performance and has grossed in excess of £135m at the UK box office since its West End premiere in 2006. ‘The hit musical with brains, hear t and courage’ (The Sunday Telegraph) now prepares to fly into its sixth spellbinding year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.

Superbreak offers quirky marketing opportunity SUPERBREAK is urging agents to get behind its London theatre breaks to see the smash hit musical Wicked, just as the show gets ready to celebrate its fifth birthday on September 27 before flying into its sixth spellbinding year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. With half-term and Halloween on the way, a break in a London hotel with tickets to see the show is the perfect way to entertain young people of all ages. With Wicked now booking through until October 27 2012, agents have an even greater opportunity to generate sales and boost revenues. And there’s more: any customers who head down to London can combine an overnight stay with Wicked Day on Sunday October 30, the show's annual free event for all the family that celebrates all things Wicked in order to raise funds for The Woodland Trust's national treeplanting campaign, "More Trees More Good". Featuring a host of Wicked and Halloween-themed events, Wicked Day offers activities suitable for all ages including live performances from cast members, face-painting plus very special Wicked workshops. National sales manager at Superbreak Graham Balmforth said: 18 “This show is hugely popular and as

National sales manager Graham Balmfor t h we approach its fifth birthday and Halloween, agents have a real opportunity to do some quirky marketing and push our great value theatre break packages. The ultimate break, customers can come to London to see the show and spend the day doing all things Wicked on October 30 – magical.” Prices for a Superbreak theatre break to see Wicked lead in at £103 pp including one night’s b/b accommodation in a three star hotel and a ticket to the show.

Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh is joining the cast of Shr ek The Musical, taking over the r ole of Princess Fiona fr om Amanda Holden. K i m b e r l e y ’ s first per for mance will be on October 5 when she will join the other stars of the show, including Nigel Lindsay as Shr e k , R i c h a r d Blackwood as Donkey and Nigel Har man as Lor d Far quaad. P i c t u r e by Helen Maybanks

Legendar y enter tainer Rolf Har ris is to per for m a special one of f show to coincide with the 100th bir t h d a y o f L o n d o n ’ s V ictoria Palace Theatr e. Rolf will appear at the venue on December 18 for one night only, giving the audience an oppor tunity to hear his classic songs with backing fr om a live band.


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West End star Jodie to present tourism awards WEST End star Jodie Prenger will present and perform at the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards, taking place at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach Resort on September 22. Blackpool-born Jodie shot to fame on the BBC TV programme I’d Do Anything, winning the coveted role of Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Oliver! She has also performed in the UK tour of Spamalot and has made regular TV,

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radio and concert appearances. Cabinet member for tourism and culture at Blackpool Council coun Graham Cain said: “We are delighted to announce that local girl Jodie Prenger will be hosting this year’s Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards. Lancashire lass Jodie is a fantastic performer and a great ambassador for the town, and I'm sure she will make a wonderful and entertaining host for the awards.”

The Royal Shakespear e Company’s world pr emier e pr oduction of Matilda The Musical is transfer ring to London’s Cambridge Theatr e, pr eviewing fr om Tuesday October 18. Roald Dahl’s magical stor y a b o u t a g i r l w i t h e x t r a o r dinar y p o w e r s h a s b e e n a f a v o u r i t e n o v e l f o r millions of people acr o s s t h e w o r l d sin c e i t wa s p ub l i she d i n 1988 . The show pr eviously played to sold-out audiences at the RSC’ s Cour t y a r d Theatr e in Stratfor d-upon-Avon for 12 weeks fr om November 2010 to Januar y 2011.


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DESTINATIONLONDON

Geoff ready to guide guests on tour ... GUESTS at a London hotel can now explore the history of the City of London by taking a walking tour with a qualified local guide. Visitors to the Mint Hotel Tower of London can walk around the area with guide Geoff Boyd, who promises to show them buildings and locations that reflect life in the City over the past 2,000 years and talk about the historical figures who helped shape it. Highlights of the 90-minute tour include All Hallows by the Tower – the oldest church in the City of London, Leadenhall Market which is used as a location in the Harry Potter films and London’s first coffee house. The hotel’s general manager Patrick O’Connell said: “Mint Hotel Tower of London is always looking to provide special extra touches for our guests and these new walking tours are a perfect example of that. “Geoff is a well-known, wellrespected City of London guide and he really brings the history of the local area alive.”

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Unrivalled year to mark Queen’s Diamond Jubilee HISTORIC Royal Palaces has a line up of never before seen exhibitions in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year. It’s an unrivalled year of activities, exhibitions and events to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne. Kensington Palace has undergone a £12m refurbishment and will reopen on March 26 with a permanent exhibition called Victoria Revealed. Set within the palace and in the very rooms where Queen Victoria lived, visitors can see her personal collection of dresses, diaries, painting and wedding gifts. The Crown Jewels will be newly displayed from Easter at the Tower of London Henry VIII’s Tudor crown has been re-created and will be on show in the new Crown and Dynasty exhibition at Hampton Court Palace

Kew Palace opens its Georgian kitchens for the first time in over 200 years with hosted tours of the kitchens available to visitors of the palace. In addition to these permanent exhibitions, Historic Royal Palaces have announced two temporary exhibitions for 2012 only. Jubilee – a view from the crowd at Kensington Palace from May 24 will explore the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. At Hampton Court Palace, The Wild, The Beautiful and The Damned, explores the love story of Charles II, James II, William III and Mary II and Anne, commonly known as the Baroque period. Historic Royal Palaces will be at the World Travel Market in November, stand no UK1 103 and we look forward to assisting you with your Diamond Jubilee Year plans.


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Royal Beasts return to the Tower of London Groups will get even more value for their visit from spring 2011 when the incredible story of the Tower of London’s menagerie will be revealed as it is brought to life through a selection of specially commissioned animal sculptures installed around the Fortress. Wild and exotic animals were kept at the Tower for the entertainment and curiosity of the royal household and visitors for over 600 years. Kings and queens kept these extraordinary creatures as symbols of power. Visitors can discover the amazing tales of how animals were fed, watered and housed, and compare how animals and prisoners were kept at the Tower. The experience will include displays along the recently restored

and opened north wall walk and Brick Tower where numerous interesting exhibits will be included. The Tower of London is the world’s most famous Fortress and Britain’s most visited paid for historic site. Home to see the priceless Crown Jewels and legendary ravens that strut in the grounds, the Tower also has a stunning new permanent exhibition showcasing 500 years of royal arms and armour Fit for a King: making this a truly unique visit and great value for money. For help and advice in organising group visits to any of the historic royal palaces, contact the Groups and Travel Trade Team on +44 (0) 20 3166 6311 or e-mail groupsand traveltrade@hrp.org.uk. Please quote “Destination UK September” when contacting us.


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DESTINATIONNEWS

Tourism can benefit from Games’ legacy By Christina Eccles

Traditional British seaside r esor ts ar e making a comeback, accor ding to figur es.

Seaside holidays making a comeback THE great British seaside holiday is making a comeback, according to figures from LateRooms.com, which reveal bookings for traditional locations are up. Old favourites such as Blackpool, Bognor Regis and Scarborough have seen huge rises in hotel bookings this summer, the website has claimed, overtaking more recently popular destinations such as Brighton, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.

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Blackpool is now one of the top seaside destinations in the UK on the site, with Scarborough and Great Yarmouth also seeing surges in bookings yearon-year. Offline marketing manager Lynda Matthews said: “It’s great to see that British holidaymakers are looking to return to the British seaside and enjoy the traditional attractions of the pier and candyfloss on a donkey again.”

WITH less than one year to go to London 2012, VisitBritain has emphasised the important role tourism can play in the Olympic Games’ legacy. With a potential global television audience of around 4b people tuning in to coverage of the event next summer, the national tourism agency claims London 2012 will be an ideal opportunity to help put Britain on the destination wish list for visitors around the world. Chief executive Sandie Dawe said: “London 2012 is an event with global reach that will allow us to highlight the diversity of what visitors can experience across Britain – our history and heritage, our countryside and natural beauty, our culture, fashion, sports, food and drink, and of course the warmth of our welcome. “Around the world VisitBritain will

be joining in the celebrations with events in key tourism markets such as the USA, India, Russia and the UAE. “This is going to be a unique Games, juxtaposing old and new. Some of our best known sporting venues such as Wimbledon, Wembley, Lords, Hampden Park and the Millennium Stadium will host events, while iconic landscapes, buildings and parks – the Jurassic Coast at Weymouth, Greenwich, Windsor and Eton, Hyde Park and Horse Guards Parade will form the backdrop to the sporting competition. "We believe that hosting the 2012 Games will have a positive impact on how we are perceived by overseas visitors and VisitBritain is committed to ensuring the tourism benefits are felt right across the country – before, during and after the main event.”


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DESTINATIONHEART OF ENGLAND

Spa role for Philip A HOTEL in Stratford-upon-Avon has a new spa manager, Philip Wakefield. Philip has joined the team at the Menzies Welcombe Hotel Spa and Golf Club, which is set in 157 acres of parkland and boasts facilities including a swimming pool, state of the art gym and all weather, floodlit tennis courts. Philip said: “I’m very excited to have joined the team at the Welcombe Spa and am looking forward to the new challenges and working within a chain of top class four star hotels and a Spa that offers some of the best, high class facilities in the area.”

Adrian and Pat Fowler of Fowlers Cheese with their cheese car ving of the Thr ockmor ton coat of ar ms. Pictur e: National Trust/Sarah Kinnersley.

Pictur e cour tesy of Paul Coltas

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Cheesy times at attraction VISITORS to a Warwickshire attraction have been encouraged to try their hand at carving cheese, as part of a celebration of National Cheese Week. The competition at National Trust property Coughton Court forms part of the attraction’s cheese and pickle festival, which will showcase local produce and makers and is supported by Aga and local cheese makers, Fowlers Cheese. Visitor experience officer Sarah Kinnersley said: “We are very excited about the event and delighted to be working with a local

family of cheese makers, who are now incredibly on their 14th generation. It’s such an unusual challenge, I am hoping that everyone will be inspired to create a work of art in cheese and enter it into our competition. “I am reliably informed that all you need is a small block of hard cheese and then all the family can have a go! The carved cheeses will be judged on the final day of our Cheese and Pickle Festival, so there’s plenty of time to get thinking up a brilliant design and start practising.”

Musical double for theatre THE New Alexandra Theatre is painting the town pink this autumn with two of the best feel-good musicals around. West End star Claire Sweeney comes to the Alex this October in the award-winning smash hit Legally Blonde, then it’s the all-time classic musical Grease for the Christmas

season with skating star Robin Cousins in the role of ‘Teen Angel’. Taking us into the beginning of next year, the brand new tour of South Pacific arrives, followed by the chaotic Knights of the Round Table in the hilarious Monty Python musical Spamalot.

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DESTINATIONNEWS

Website showcases best of area A NEW website has been created to showcase the best of what the Peak District and Derbyshire has to offer tourists. Visit Peak District and Derbyshire and web experts NVG have joined forces to create a clearer, more interactive internet portal – with a new link straight to national tourist board VisitEngland’s website and key international markets in 40 countries worldwide. Improvements include:  An improved ‘where to stay’ landing page.  More video content to bring the area to life.  A new heritage and history page, including videos from the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.  A virtual library, where tourists can browse guides and booklets online and order selected ones by post.  More links to other tourist organisations, holiday, operator and travel websites, so visitors

can access all the details they need quickly and easily. Chief executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire David James said: “The main aim of our revamped website is to persuade people all over the world that the Peak District and Derbyshire is a fabulous place to spend a holiday – so there’s much more emphasis on stunning images and video footage. “Instead of bombarding people with too much information, it is designed to capture their attention and then direct them quickly and seamlessly to all the details they need to plan a stress-free and enjoyable break. “The new web pages have a fresher, contemporary feel to make browsing a pleasure, and we’ll be adding new content and sections as time goes on to continue to capitalise on our main assets – including themed short breaks in film and TV locations and romantic and city breaks in Derby and Sheffield.”

P i c t u r e shows David James and Penelope, V iscountess Cobham, chair man of V isitEngland, log in to the of ficial tourist boar d’s newlook website in fr ont of one of the ar ea’s most distinctive buildings, the Grade I Cr e s c e n t i n B u x t o n

Chefs back Birmingham Food Fest By Christina Eccles

Over 20 sculptur es by Sean Henr y ar e on display to visitors at Salisbur y C a t h e d r a l until the end of October. Conflux: A Union of t h e S a c r ed and the Anonymous is the lar g e s t e x h i b i t i o n t o d a t e o f h i s w o r k a n d the figur es ar e positioned alongside the c a t h e d r a l ’ s e a r l i e r s c u l p t u r es both inside and outside the building.

A HOST of award-winning chefs have backed Birmingham’s Food Fest, which takes place in the city in October. Great British Menu reigning champion and winner of Gordon Ramsay’s F Word Aktar Islam of Lasan Restaurant and Michelin star award winner Richard Turner, chef patron of Turners of Harborne, are supporting Visit Birmingham’s festival, which includes over 100 food-related events. Director of marketing services at Visit Birmingham Emma Gray said: “Working with hundreds of partners throughout Birmingham we are building a truly unique festival that reflects the many different tastes in the city. “The festival will bring together key cultural attractions, a wide range of restaurants, independent eateries and local producers to showcase Birmingham’s authentic food and drink offering, along with its wider visitor appeal.”

A h o t e l g r oup has designed thr e e n e w c o c k t a i l s which pay homage to some of today’ s b i g g e s t style icons. To mark London Fashion Week, Park Plaza Hotels and Resor ts has cr e a t e d d r i n k s inspir e d b y L a d y G a g a , G w e n S t e f a n i ( p i c t u r e d ) and Rihanna, which ar e available thr o u g h o u t September at all six of its hotels in the Capital.

Come to Spookyshire for a devil of a good time ... TOURISM bosses in the Peak D i s t r i c t a n d D e r b y s h i r e have announced details of the ar ea’s annual autumn festival of fun. For the autumn season, the r e g i o n w i l l b e r enamed Spookyshir e t o r eflect the events on of fer to visitors over Halloween and bonfir e night. 26 Attractions will include a

for tnight-long Scar efest at Alton Towers Resor t and a b e w i t c h i n g G a r den of Light in C h e s t e r field’ s a w a r d - w i n n i n g Queen’ s Park. Head of marketing and deputy chief executive of V isit Peak D i s t r i c t a n d D e r b y s h i r e David T h o r nton said: “ T h e l i v e l y a n d v a r i e d p r ogramme of events planned for this year’ s

S p o o k y s h i r e fes tival of fers a gr e a t e x c u s e t o s p r ead mir t h a n d mayhem acr oss the ar ea, as c h i l d r en and adults alike get involved in some fiendishly exciting celebrations. “The first week-long festival two years ago pr oved so popular that last year we decided to pr olong the fun thr o u g h o u t O c t o b e r – a n d w h i l e the main focus for this year’ s event

w i l l b e d u r i n g t h e h a l f - t e r m school holiday, this time we ar e l o o k i n g f o r w a r d to an equally successful event thr oughout the autumn. “By extending it to include an e v e n w i d e r s p e c t r um of events, we aim to appeal to both people who live in the ar ea and visitors fr om elsewher e p l a n n i n g a n e x c i t i n g shor t br eak.”


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DESTINATIONGROUP LEISURE PREVIEW

Exhibitors’ list

Group Leisure & Travel Trade Show – not to be missed ORGANISERS of the Group Leisure and Travel Trade Show (GLTT) are encouraging group travel organisers, coach operators and the wider travel trade to visit this important industry event this September at the NEC, by pre-registering now. Britain’s biggest event for group travel is now in its 15th successive year and continues to receive strong support with both exhibitor and visitor pre-registration figures up on this time last year. The GLTT takes place over the two days of September 21 and 22, in Hall 11 of the NEC Birmingham. Admittance is free of charge and all visitors can now pre-register for fast track entry by visiting www.leisureshow.com or using the pre-registration ticket included in this edition of Destination UK. Although entry is also free on the day, preregistered attendees to the show also automatically qualify to be entered into a prize draw to win £600 holiday vouchers, sponsored by Newmarket Travel Service. Visitors must be pre-registered to qualify. Emma Cash of YPL Exhibitions said: “The GLTT provides the very latest information, stimulates ideas and provides solutions for group travel in the UK, Europe and further afield and is an important two days of face to face networking for group travel professionals, coach operators and travel trade executives. We have around 250 exhibiting companies ranging from destination specialists, accommodation providers, coach operators, tour operators, attractions, theatres and tourist boards to name just a few. The GLTT is cost-effective and relevant and for those serious about the group travel market; it should not be missed.” As well as a wide ranging selection of exhibitors, visitors will also find a coach display area and the Premier Lounge.

The exhibition also provides visitors with a free bacon butty breakfast on arrival for the first part of the day and also offers free coach transport from various locations within the UK. Free car parking for bona-fide group travel organisers, coach operators and travel trade executives is available however visitors must pre-register before September 16 to qualify, saving the £8.00 NEC parking fee. Coach operators who bring their own groups can also receive free coach parking if they pre-book with the organisers. More information on the coach routes and free parking offers can be found on www.leisureshow.com

Exhibitors and stand numbers: Advantage Now – 322 A k k e r on Hotels – 207 Amster dam Canal Cr uises – 327 Aristel Hotels – 324 Ascot Racecourse – 613 Attingham Park – 250 A w a y R e s o r ts – 225 Azamara Cr uises – 441 Bambur g h C a s t l e – 3 6 3 Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd –218 B e a c h c r oft Hotel – 215 B e k o n s c o t M o d e l V illage and Railway – 701 Best Wester n Hotels – 533 Best Wester n South East Cluster – 215 The Big Sleep Hotel Gr oup – 253 B l a c k C o u n t r y Living Museum – 347 Blenheim Palace – 705 Blue Funnel – 313 Bour ne Hall Hotel – Tr a v e l R o w Bour nemouth Tourism – 525 B o w e n G r oup T r a v e l – c o a c h space B r end Hotels – 315 Brightwater Holidays – 321 Britannia Hotels – 243 Buckinghamshir e Railway Centr e – 529 B u r n Hall Hotel – 205 V isit Cambridgeshir e – Travel Row Cedar Cour t Hotel Gr oup – 719 Celebrity Cr uises – 441 Cheddar Gor ge – 713 Choice Hotels Eur ope – 527 City Sightseeing – 717 Classic Britain – 325 Classic Lodges – 341 Collette Worldwide Holidays – 409 Condor Fer ries – 201 Cotswolds Attraction Gr oup – 437 C o t s w o l d C o u n t r y – 437 C o t s w o l d W ildlife Park and Gar dens – 437 Coventr y Transpor t Museum – 345 C r i c h Tramway Museum – 415 Cr oisiEur ope – 305 Cr uise for Gr oups – 441 Cunar d – 441 Daish’s Holidays – 407 Dar tmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company – 539 David Ur quhar t ( Travel) Ltd – 317 D B P r omotions/Disney on Ice – 430 De Ver e Hotels – 359 Destination Bristol – 311 Destination Skipton – 229 Destination UK – 517 Dir e c t T r a v e l l e r – 3 3 9 Dove Cottage and Wor dswor th Museum – 233 D u d l e y C a n a l Tr ust – Tr a v e l R o w Dunwood Travel – coach space Durley Dean Hotel – 531 e a s y - b r eaks.com – 217 The Eden Pr o j e c t – Tr a v e l R o w Ef fe Travel – 535 Encor e T ickets – 247 English Heritage – 239 E u r ocamp – 301 Exbur y Gar dens – 711 E x p l o r e the Lake District, Cumbria – 233 F i e l d w a y A d v e r tising – 202 Fleetwood Market – 202 Fletcher Hotels – 309 Four Pillars – 361 F r ench Attractions – 209 Gar dens to V isit – 251 Gloucester Antiques Centr e – 435 Gloucester Quays – 435 G l o u c e s t e r s h i r e A i r p o r t – 437 Go W inder mer e – 433 G o n d o l a - T h e N a t i o n a l T r ust – 233 T h e G r een Hotel – 319a Gr osvenor Hotel – 107 Gr oup Leisur e magazine – 537 Gr oup Line – 405 GTOA – 211 Har r y Shaw Gr oup Travel – Coach Space Hear tlands Cor nwall – 515 The Heights Hotel – 505 H e n r i W illig – 327 Heritage in Britain – 239 Heritage Railway Association – Travel Row The Hepwor t h Wakefield – Travel Row Holland Classics – 327 Holiday on Ice – 509 Hur t i g r uten – 441 In Flanders Fields Museum – 227 India Tourist Of fice – 343 InterChoice Holidays – 801 Isles of Scilly – 523 Israel Tourist Of fice – 337 J a c T ravel – 353

Jersey Tourism – 201 Jet2.com – 231 Johnsons Coaches – 101 just for gr oups! – 521 Katarina Line – 715 Kensington Specialities and Christmas Connections – 503 Keukenhof Gar dens – 327 Lake District National Park – 433 Lakeland Motor Museum – 433 Lakes Aquarium – 433 Lakeside and Hather t h w a i t e Railway – 433 Leeds and Pennine Yorkshir e – 411 Longleat – 713 T h e L u x u r y C r uise Company – 609 Mackenzie Hotels – 413 Majestic Tours – 307 M a r t y n L e i s u r e Resor ts and Hotels – 425 Memorial de Caen – 209 M e r cier – 209 Mersey Fer ries – 329 Methodist Heritage – 541 Montpar nasse 56 – 209 MSC Cr uises – 441 T h e N a t i o n a l T r ust – 239 Newmarket Racecourses – 403 N e w m a r k e t T ravel Ser v i c e – 6 2 1 Nor folk Lavender – 249 Nor man Allen Gr oup Travel – 511 Nor ther n Print Distribution Kendal – 400 Nor wegian Cr uise Line – 417 The Olde Water mill Dickensian Shopping V i l l a g e – T r a v e l R o w Orbis Insurance – 721 O x f o r d Castle – 705 The Oxfor dshir e Cotswolds – 437 Page and Moy – 623 Par c Asterix – 209 Park Inn – 513 Petchey Leisur e – 427 P&O Cr uises – 441 P o r t S u n l i g h t T r ust – 331 Potters Leisur e – 625 Princess Cr uises – 441 R a m a d a J a r vis – 419 Ramblers Worldwide Holidays – 213 Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway – 233 Rendezvous Hotel – 229 Richar dson’ s Gr oup – 507 The River Cr uise Line – 501 Riviera Hotels Tor quay – Travel Row R o n d o T ravel – 605 Rouncy Media – 703 R o y a l B o t a n i c G a r dens - Kew – 239 Royal Caribbean Cr uises – 441 Ruthin Castle Hotel – 103 Saga Holidays – 439 ScotRail – 245 Seat Live T i c k e t i n g S e r vices – 423 Sever n Valley Railway – 349 Shakespear e’s England – 352 Shearings Holidays – 223 Shr ewsbur y Flower Show – 219 Simonehoeve Cheese an d Clogs– 309 S o l e n t W ight Lines – 313 S o u t h Q u a y T ravel and Leisur e – 335 South Lakeland Holidays – 519 S t M e l l i o n I n t e r national Resor t – Travel Row Steve Reed Tourism – 326 Success Tours – 601 Switzerland Tourism – Travel Row TakeMeToo – 309 T h e T i c k e t F a c t o r y – 431 Theatr e Workout – 432 Thursfor d C h r i s t m a s S p e c t a c u l a r – 323 Top Attractions – 237 Torbay Hospitality Association – 540 Tourism South East – 711 Travelspher e – 623 Tr easur e Park – Travel Row Ullswater Steamers – 233 University of York – 303 T h e V i n d o l a n d a T r ust – 363 visitBlackpool – 221 V isit Hull and East Yorkshir e – 333 V isitLiverpool – 235 V isit Oxfor dshir e – 705 V isit York – 411 W ar ner Leisur e Hotels – 401 W ar wick Castle – 352 W aterper r y Gar dens – 705 W est Somerset Railway – 351 White Hotel Gr oup – 241 W inder mer e Lake Cr uises – 433 W oods Coaches – 615 The Wor dswor th Tr ust – 233 The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction – 433 York Confer ences – 303

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Anyone for tea trail? WELCOME to Yorkshire has unveiled a new tea trail which highlights the best places in the county to stop for a traditional English cuppa. The trail features a taste of Yorkshire's tearoom offering and where to enjoy some of the best brews around – from historic halls and hotels to heritage railways and attractions. The guide, complete with map, also features the county's famed tea companies and producers and includes tea-based recipes from Yorkshire's Michelin star chefs. Chief executive Gary Verity said: "Afternoon tea in the great county is as popular now as it ever was, and our businesses and attractions have excelled themselves in proudly providing some of the finest around. "We have some of the best tea to be enjoyed in the best places and this trail is not only a celebration of that, but also a guide."

 Pictur ed: Pickering Bed and Br eakfast 17 Bur gate is one of the stop of fs on the tea trail.

Twitter Trip is a city first An operations dir ector with over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industr y has taken up a new r ole at an expanding hotel gr oup. Melanie Tweddle will be responsible for five venues thr oughout the UK after being appointed r egional operations dir ector at Legacy Hotels and Resor ts. She will oversee The Legacy Falcon Hotel in Stratfor dupon-Avon, The Legacy Rose and Cr own in Salisbur y, The Legacy Plymouth Inter national Hotel in Plymouth and The Legacy White Har t Hotel and The Legacy Boship Far m Hotel in East Sussex.

Tim Anderson, Master chef winner 2011 at Guildhall Market. A gr oup of new ar rivals have been enter taining visitors at Blackpool Zoo. It’s been a year of monkey magic at the attraction, with an amazing 11 primate bir ths and a brand new species all r ecently ar riving. PR and marketing co-or dinator Jude Rothwell said: “It has been a hugely exciting time with the bir th of so many babies. “Blackpool Zoo has a ver y long and successful histor y of br eeding primates and this year is cer tainly no exception.”

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BATH Tourism Plus has organised the city’s first Twitter Trip to generate online interest and boost its profile on social networking sites. Nine journalists and bloggers, as well as this year’s Masterchef winner Tim Anderson, visited Bath and explored the city according to ‘tweets’ they received throughout the day. The participants sampled local produce, dined in cafes and restaurants and discovered shops and attractions – in total visiting almost 60 different local businesses throughout the day. The event reached an audience of 200,000 Twitter followers and successfully generated over 1,000 tweets with recommendations on places to explore in the city. As well as activity on Twitter, the concept also attracted much attention in the media with the local TV news and radio stations running stories about the TwiTrip.

New loyalty scheme THE Apex Hotels group has created a new corporate loyalty scheme for its Scottish hotels. Corporate guests can register via the group’s website to earn one point for every £1 spent. Points can then be redeemed against items such as iPads, music and retail vouchers. Marketing director Lorna Lee said: “It gives us a competitive edge and provides a tangible benefit to our guests, many who have just redeemed their points for the latest iPad2. Ease of access, functionality and choice is key in providing our guests with a worthwhile loyalty programme.”


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I predict the riot ... has little impact on UK tourism industry By Andrew Burnham MTS COVERAGE of the recent UK riots travelled around the globe but, with the Olympics under a year away, what impact will the images have on the tourism industry? To get an idea, we analysed the latest data, spoke to our clients and examined the impact of other riots to better understand the potential impact. All the data and commentary we studied suggested there was little impact. Our clients reported occasional concern, but not cancellations, a sentiment backed by the European Tour Operator Association, (ETOA) which reported a cancellation rate of just 0.17 per cent. The ETOA said a ‘sick dog’ or a ‘flooded bathroom’ could be as much to blame for the cancellations as the riots and there is evidence that a number of the cancellations had already rebooked. Experts suggested a number of factors for such a low rate. Two of

the most intriguing were: no famous landmarks were pictured suggesting to inbound tourists that the riots occurred in anonymous locations and the perceived low-key police response was, unlike domestically, viewed positively abroad as no people were damaged, “just” buildings. With the immediate impact minimal, are there any longer term implications for the sector? While the images of destruction have seemingly not dented inbound trade, the reporting of the riots in important source destinations such as Germany, France and the US have all focused on the sociological aspects of the riots. Whether you agree with the robust sentencing strategy or not, tackling the issue

head on is sound in terms of reputation management by drawing a line under the trouble, discouraging future troublemakers and moving on. Researching other disturbances in Paris 2005, LA 1992, Vancouver 2011 and even Thailand 2010 highlighted that while the immediate impact was dramatic, within three to six months of the riots, inbound tourism had rebounded to previous levels. In conclusion, the evidence is encouraging in that both short and long term impact is marginal. That said, there are, unfortunately, plenty of tourism companies already on a knife edge where even a 90 day dip can tip the balance and once any short-term impact has passed, the current economic climate remains challenging. MacIntyre Hudson advises a number of clients in such a position and have been assisting them with a variety of issues around improving operational efficiencies and cashflow.

Andrew Burnham  Andrew Burnham MTS is principal and head of travel and tourism, MacIntyre Hudson LLP and a member of the Tourism Society

We need to follow Ireland ... By Kurt Janson ON May 10 2011, the Irish finance minister Michael Noonan gave probably one of the most important speeches in his career. It was a speech to the Irish parliament outlining what the new Government was going to do to rebuild the Irish economy. A not inconsiderable task considering that Ireland had had to seek an IMF/EU loan of 85bn Euros (this is half the value of the entire Irish economy), had seen its economy contract by over 10 per cent, and unemployment grow to just under 15 per cent. To all intents and purposes the economy was a basket case that made the UKeconomy look the picture of health. What was needed was bold incisive measures that would grasp the nettle and provide growth and employment, and provide it as soon as possible. It therefore came as no real surprise that one of the sectors that he identified as being able to provide that growth was tourism and in his speech he announced three measures to boost Ireland’s tourism earnings. These were; 1. Remove Air Passenger Duty in order to reduce the cost of travel to Ireland 2. Decrease VAT for the accommodation, attractions and 30

restaurants from 13.5 per cent to nine per cent. 3. Remove the need for overseas visitors who need a visa to enter the UK to acquire a separate visa to visit Ireland A fourth measure, not included in the speech itself, was that despite the “austerity budget” that aimed to cut 4bn euros of Government spending (the equivalent would be the UK Government cutting public expenditure by £50bn) the marketing budget for Visit Ireland was maintained more or less at its previous high level. The result, when compared to the ongoing cuts in funding for VisitBritain is that Ireland is spending more on marketing in the UK this year than VisitBritain has for its entire overseas marketing campaign across the 26 countries in which it operates. The main point to note here is that despite the IMF/EU bailout, the 115bn euro public debt and the need to slash public spending, the Government has recognised that expenditure on tourism is part of the answer, not part of the problem. Although, of course, it is only part of the answer if the measures taken to boost tourism are effective. So there was significant interest when the tourism figures for the second quarter of 2011 were announced last week. These figures certainly suggest

that the bold measures announce by Michael Noonan are starting to bear fruit. Total tourism numbers were up a not inconsiderable 15 per cent. If this carries on for the rest of the year, it will bring in an additional 450m euros for the Irish economy and generate over 8000 new jobs. Using CBI figures on the cost of unemployment, creating this many new jobs will provide the Irish Government with a net benefit of around 135m euros. At the market by market level, this increase in tourism figures is particularly impressive. For example, the number of visitors from the UK rose by almost eight per cent while outbound tourism from the UK decreased by two per cent. Even more impressive were the 17 per cent increase in tourism from the USA and the 21 per cent increase in tourism from Europe. Compare this to UK inbound tourism figures for the same period – visitors from America are up 12 per cent and from Europe are up six per cent – and it suggests that the measure taken by the Irish Government have led to Ireland outperforming the UK. The more disturbing point is that Ireland is comfortably outperforming the UK during a period where the pound and the US dollar are both at historic lows against the euro. If there is one time when we

Kur t Janson should be outperforming other countries in the European and American markets it is now. These figures certainly don’t bode well for when the pound starts to appreciate in value again. They also suggest that there needs to be a fundamental review of the UK’s competitiveness in the global tourism market and that we need measures as bold as those taken by Michael Noonan if tourism is going provide revenue and jobs for the UK economy.


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Destination Uk October 2011  

Promoting UK tourism to the worlds travel trade