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Contents

Editorial Campaigning can pull the industry together 2013 ended on a high note for the Society, with a successful President’s Debate and the election of a new Chairman. The subject of the Debate, reported on page 15, was ‘the pros and cons of the predicted continuing rise in the number of international tourists’. One of the speakers commented that the government has no policy on tourism and no policy on heritage – something he described as a “toxic mix”. With a general election only 18 months away the industry is working to get that situation changed.The ‘Campaign for Tourism’ aims to encourage each of the three main political parties to include references to tourism in the manifestos, and you can read about the motivations behind the campaign and its progress so far on page 4. Somebody doing plenty of campaigning to increase the level of tourism in Britain is Sandie Dawe (page 18).The methods used have changed over the years as new technology has altered the way customers can get hold of, use and interact with information, but the general premise remains the same: provide an excellent product backed up with a genuine welcome. How does the global tourism industry perform on the measure of human rights? At World Travel Market the Society held a seminar in association with Skal International to look at what level of recognition human rights receive from operators, ground handlers and the travelling public. It is a mixed position at the moment, but as Fiona Jeffery OBE reports on page 14 perhaps now is the time to apply some pressure on destinations and companies whose standards fall short. For the Society 2014 begins with our ‘Prospects’ event on January 16th.This will be a first for us as we use the internet to stream the event live, meaning you can watch proceedings in real-time without having to attend in person.There will be organised local events in Plymouth,York and Cumbria which can each be booked through www.tourismsociety.org; in Plymouth the occasion is being used to launch the Society’s new

Campaign for Tourism: Getting Tourism into the election manifestos Lord Lee, Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group on Tourism

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The Government View: Positive trends and big ambitions Helen Grant MP, Minister for Tourism

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Hospitality: Apart-hotels – the next revolution David Curtis-Brignell FTS,Tourism Business Consultant

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Small Hospitality Businesses: Steps for unlocking growth David Weston FTS, Chief Executive, the Bed & Breakfast Association

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Horse-riding for Leisure and Tourism: A niche market with rural benefits Dr Janet Cochrane MTS, Director, Ride Yorkshire

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Christmas Markets: An easy festive win, or too much of a good thing? Sean Taggart FTS, Group Chief Executive,The Albatross Group of Companies

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Outbound: Recession passes, fluctuations remain Noel Josephides FTS, Chairman, ABTA

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World Travel Market Report:Tourism and Human Rights – So what’s the Issue? Fiona Jeffery OBE FTS, UNWTO World Ethics Committee

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Event Report: President’s Debate – “What are the pros and cons of the predicted continued rise in international visitors?” Ylva French FTS,Ylva French Consultancy

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Sustainable Tourism: Better competition should be the target Richard Hammond, Chief Executive, Greentraveller Ltd

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An interview with… Sandie Dawe FTS , Chief Executive,VisitBritain

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Student View: From passion to profession – why I decided to study tourism Jana Ruckser, University of Westminster

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Social Media:Top tips to get ahead in tourism Bruce Martin MTS, Managing Director, Ginger Juice

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TMI Annual Convention 2013 – Different approaches for destination marketing and management Cathy Guthrie FTS FTMI, Hon. Secretary,TMI

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Tourism Consultants – Prospects for Consultants for the next 12-18 months Nancy McGrath MTS TCN, Director, Britton McGrath Associates Tourism Society Symposium 2014

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Membership News

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The Back Page: Chairman’s View Sandra Matthews-Marsh FTS MTMI

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Westcountry section. I hope to be able to offer other key events in this way during the year. Sandra Matthews-Marsh FTS MTMI was elected Chairman of the Tourism Society at the board meeting in December. She brings almost twenty-five years’ experience in the tourism industry to the role, including nine years as Chief Executive of Visit Kent where among other achievements she played a key role in securing significant European funding to support the work of the DMO. With our new vice-chairmen Hayley Beer MTS MTMI and Michael Jones FTS, Sandra has an excellent team and I am looking forward to working with them.

Gregory Yeoman MTS Executive Director gregory@tourismsociety.org

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E tb@scriptmedia.co.uk W www.scriptmedia.co.uk © Copyright 2013 The Tourism Society Tourism is the journal of the Tourism Society.The views expressed in Tourism are those of individual authors and not necessarily those of the Tourism Society. Whilst unsolicited material is welcomed, neither transparencies nor unpublished articles can be returned. The Tourism Society cannot be held Issue 156 Winter 2013

responsible for any services offered by advertisers in Tourism. All correspondence must be addressed to the Editor. Tourism is only available to members of the Tourism Society and on subscription, it is distributed quarterly to 1800 professionals working in national and regional tourist boards, local government, travel agencies, and tour operators, visitor attractions, accommodation and catering, entertainment, information services, guiding, consultancies and education and training.

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Campaign For Tourism

Getting Tourism into the election manifestos

Tourism contributed £134bn to the UK economy in 2012 Lord Lee of Trafford, Chairman of the All significant campaign. Party Parliamentary Group on Tourism The campaign was officially kicked off at and Chairman of the Association of the beginning of October 2013, by Lord Leading Visitor Attractions, talked to us Lee himself in the House of Lords asking about the Campaign for Tourism. the Government if they recognised the key importance of the tourism industry to John Lee, or Baron Lee of Trafford as he is UK PLC. officially styled, is the figurehead and founder of the Campaign for Tourism, a However, work on the campaign had started months earlier, as Lord Lee united industry-led and politically explains: motivated campaign, with one key message for the political leaders:Take “It has been clear to those of us with tourism seriously. Himself a former knowledge of the industry for some time Minister for Tourism, as a Conservative MP now, that government just doesn’t in the 1980s, and now a Liberal Peer understand the tourism industry. It’s the under a coalition government, Lord Lee is number one employer in more constituencies than any other industry and contributed ideally placed to take the reins of this

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some £134 billion to the UK economy last year alone. Indeed, one in every 12 jobs in this country is in the tourism sector. “It is leading the economic recovery. Despite this, successive governments have failed to capitalise on this giant of an industry. What we as a campaign want to achieve, is to see Tourism positively referenced in the campaign manifestos of all three political parties, for the General Election in 2015.” Initially at least, Lord Lee’s aim of an inclusion of tourism policy in the next major political manifestos, does not seem so great. On closer inspection, however, one begins to understand the size of the challenge.

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Over the last 12 years, there have been a total of 10 different Ministers for Tourism. In fact, Helen Grant, who is the latest politician to handle the tourism brief, is actually a Parliamentary Under-Secretary. As if an omen for the difficulty the campaign may have in getting tourism “taken seriously”, on the day the campaign launched (8th October 2013), the Prime Minister announced a re-shuffle. One of the first casualties: Hugh Robertson, (ex) Minister for Tourism. I asked Lord Lee about the practicalities of getting an industry comprised of some 200,000 businesses to unite behind one campaign. “Well, this of course has traditionally been government’s way of brushing aside the concerns of the industry: come back when you can agree on what it is you would like us to do. This is precisely why we have been very careful in asking for something that almost every tourism association and business can agree on and get behind. We’re asking government to take us seriously as an industry. There are many ways the government could do this.” The three particular issues that it is widely recognised would allow the UK tourism industry to flourish further are a reduction in VAT and Air Passenger Duty and making it easier and arguably cheaper to apply for Visas, for those visitors to the UK who require one. So who are the Campaign and what exactly are they doing? The campaign working group consists of members from organisations such as the Tourism Alliance, the British Hospitality Association and UK Inbound, and includes major private sector companies such as Merlin Entertainments. Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association, said: “For some inexplicable reason there is a perception that the tourism and hospitality industry is somehow less valuable than other industries. In fact, the tourism industry in the UK comprises over 200,000 businesses and ours is a major contributor to both the economy and to the creation and generation of new jobs. “ The Campaign for Tourism is a fine example of our industry working together, and our collective voice is stronger and our impact is greater when we work together.” The start of the Campaign was marked not only by Lord Lee’s question to the House of Lords, but also by a letter signed by 33 different Tourism Associations (including the Tourism Society), themselves representing countless individual tourism businesses, addressed to the leaders of each of the main parties and other senior political figures. The letter highlighted successive governments’ failure to act in the interests of tourism and asked the major political leaders outright what they would do for tourism now and after the election in 2015.

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Image© Foto-Ruhrgebiet – Fotolia.com

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Come 2015, will tourism mean votes? Then, the same letter was sent to every MP with a constituency in England. Responses came back from almost all of the initial recipients and have led to the arranging of a meeting with the No.10 Policy Unit. An encouraging watershed in the progress of the campaign. But what next? “The genesis of this campaign is really the sense of frustration that the industry chiefs in the tourism industry have at the lack of acknowledgement their industry receives from the political parties. Therefore, we will continue to challenge not only the political leaders but individual MPs and candidates in key tourism constituencies, as to what they are doing and will do for the tourism industry. We will of course continue to update the trade media with our progress.” As the General Election in 2015 draws ever closer, it is hoped that the attention given to this campaign will continue to

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grow and that the political parties will realise they need to fight for the industry’s vote at the next election. Tourism continues to employ approximately 2.1 million people in the UK, after all. At a time when economic recovery, growth and jobs are key to the UK, Lord Lee is keen to point out that one third of all new jobs in the last two years have been in the tourism and hospitality sector. Moreover, “This industry takes in people at all skill levels, from the aspiring apprentice to senior managers and Chief Executives.” The Campaign, its supporters and Lord Lee are clear: Especially in times like these, the political leaders cannot afford to ignore this industry. To find out more about the campaign, contact the Campaign Manager Edward Rugg on Edward.rugg@bha.org.uk or 0207 404 7744.

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The Government View

Positive trends and big ambitions Our country has a world-class tourism offer. I have been fortunate, growing up in the wonderful Cumbrian landscape, while now representing a constituency in beautiful Maidstone and the Weald in Kent – so I have a good understanding on the important role tourism has for local economies by supporting businesses and jobs across the country. Last November VisitBritain published the Deloitte report on the potential the tourism industry has in terms of job creation and growth for a sector that supports over 3 million jobs; that’s 9.6% of all UK jobs and 173,000 more than in 2010. The report outlined some welcome predictions for growth that come off the back of major events we have hosted over the last few years including the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Royal Wedding.They have all been memorable events, showcasing the very best of Britain to an international audience and in turn creating a huge boost for the tourism industry. It is expected for countries that host an Olympic Games to see a dip in visitor numbers the following year – but the UK bucked that trend with fantastic tourism numbers in 2013. Take October, for example, which saw 3 million visits to Britain with spend up 23% to £1.88million compared to the same month the previous year. These positive record figures show that our tourism strategy is working and we want to go further. It is why the Government is investing an additional £90 million in the GREAT campaign over the next two years, to attract even more overseas visitors to the UK. Like so many of us I got my first taste of the workplace in the tourism and hospitality industry.

I worked as a waitress in an Indian restaurant during university holidays. I certainly learnt many essential skills – in particular customer service, prioritisation of demands and working under pressure. But tourism isn’t just a ‘starter job’. The industry offers a career ladder which has for many people taken them from front line service to senior management. I met the British Hospitality Association soon after being given the tourism brief and was pleased to find out more on their commitment to creating jobs and supporting young people through their “Big Conversation” initiative. This alone has committed to creating 300,000 new jobs by 2020 and it is schemes like this which will help to realise the potential outlined in the Deloitte report. On the domestic side, last December VisitEngland published the ‘Domestic

“It’s important the industry continues to be innovative in its approach, adapting to and creating trends and it is no surprise that one of those trends is the increasing demand for immediate communication and the use of social media.”

Leisure Tourism Trends for the Next Decade’ report outlining key trends that will affect the future growth of the sector. It’s important the industry continues to be innovative in its approach, adapting to and creating trends and it is no surprise that one of those trends is the increasing demand for immediate communication and the use of social media. The report highlighted that tourism businesses will miss out if they fail to customise their offer to mobile platforms, make better use of apps and provide potential customers with the best virtual experience on offer to inspire a booking and subsequent word of mouth. Government and business must continue to work in close partnership with the industry to deliver a world-class offer – from hotels, to restaurants and museums. At the same time as we market this offer at home and abroad, we will also continuously review policies and procedure, to create the best environment where business can flourish. Working with VisitBritain,VisitEngland and the wider tourism industry I want to do all I can to help deliver further growth and build on the momentum achieved so far.

Helen Grant MP | Minister for Tourism

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Hospitality

Apart-hotels – the next revolution At a hotel conference in Manchester in October, two comments stood out among the many useful and statistic-full presentations. The first was in a breakout session by Jim Souter, CEO of Think Apartments: “The Serviced Apartment sector is the next revolution in hospitality.” The second was that Premier Inn is “moving into the mid-scale hotel market” – and they have created a new brand to deal with the more budget-conscious customer – Hub.The way that they will maintain a low price offering in future is with a room of just 11.4 square metres. The last ‘revolution’ in hospitality was the introduction of the budget brands in the late 1980s.Travel Inn,Travelodge and other chains started to appear on the UK’s roadsides, often alongside a pub or cafe to provide food for guests.Trusthouse Forte led the way on pricing with rooms at £19 and in those days it was possible to find availability at low prices. As they have evolved over the decades there has been a trend towards ‘traditional’ hotel yield management and a budget-airline mentality towards pricing. Premier Inn rooms are without doubt providing a different product to that envisaged in the early days of limited service and trimmings. In the same way that budget airlines will gradually become full-service-airline lookalikes with attitude, budget hotels will evolve into the mid-market or have to squeeze more rooms into the same space in order to maintain the economies and low pricing strategy. A sector report by Savills states, “Serviced apartments are finally evolving as a recognised sector in the UK.” The entrance of private equity funds and movement towards C1 (hotel) planning consent is prompting growth and a realisation by customers, corporate and individual, that apart-hotels offer more flexibility and value will lead to an increase in demand and supply. Those already acquainted with the serviced apartment sector know the benefits that guests enjoy by choosing an apart-hotel. More space, flexibility and

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Think Apartments accommodation in London lower prices because you aren’t paying for things you don’t need. Company procurement managers have cottoned on, not just for relocation purposes but for staff staying for one or more nights for business, exhibitions and trade fairs. Companies benefit from significant savings with no temptation to add things to the bill in the bar or restaurant! Serviced apartments offer customers quality accommodation without the costs associated with a traditional hotel, with no bars, mini-bars, room service, restaurants and other facilities which you pay for but do not necessarily need or enjoy. There is the flexibility and cost saving of self-catering – you choose what, when and where you eat and drink. Families enjoy a relaxed environment without the stress of taking the children into a hotel and save money with a multi-bedroom apartment instead of booking two or more hotel rooms. Occupancies for the sector are in excess of 90% (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers) and an operating profit typically 50+ percentage points of revenue. Operating

David Curtis-Brignell FTS | Tourism Business Consultant Issue 156 Winter 2013

profit can be 30% higher compared to a full service hotel. For owners and developers, design and build cost is significantly lower with no need to provide large public areas, expensive kitchens and associated plant. Apart-hotels are ‘future-proofed’ for investors and owners, with more chance to be converted (relatively easily) into a residential property (subject to planning). For the funder this has tremendous advantages, as well as seeing a much lower risk in falling values in a down-turn, but also benefitting from residential market up-lifts. In a down-turn a hotel has no other use. An apart-hotel can be sold as apartments with little conversion necessary. Decades after the emergence of budget hotels which introduced limited serviced accommodation at lower rates, they are no longer seen as a low price option, most notably in cities where prices often mirror 4-star hotel rates. So perhaps the time is ripe for a new revolution in hospitality.

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Small Hospitality Businesses

Steps for unlocking growth There are 249,000 tourism businesses in the UK, and over 80% are ‘micro businesses’ (employing fewer than 10 people). That 80% includes my own sector – B&Bs and guest houses – and others such as self-catering properties.Their common factor is being individual and ownermanaged. What are the prospects for such businesses, looking ahead over the next 12-18 months? Of course, it is very good news to see economic indicators turning green, and forecasts rising. But there are a number of persistent structural issues for our sector: Changing market expectations Consumer demand continues to move towards shorter stays and secondary holidays and in favour of ever more amenities and higher quality levels. En-suite bathrooms, for instance, long ago moved from a luxury to being a minimum expectation. In some traditional seaside resorts, there is still over-capacity in the ‘wrong’ sort of accommodation, and more such properties will continue to close. Meanwhile new high-quality boutique properties will continue to open. Competition from branded groups – especially budget brands The hotel consultant Melvin Gold says: “The number of branded hotel rooms, especially branded budget, is continuing its seemingly unstoppable rise”. Travelodge now has over 500 hotels (37,000 rooms), and in 2013 opened a further 14 hotels (1,742 rooms). Premier Inn opened 1,368 rooms this year, taking the total to 53,039. With a ‘secured pipeline’ of over 10,500 rooms, they say their 2016 target of 65,000 rooms is “in sight”. Andy Woodward of Farm Stay UK observed: “In Stratford there have been two Premier Inns and a Travelodge built in the last three years.That means there are 300 extra beds in town – and that’s at the expense of the B&B sector.” Melvin Gold estimates that “there are between 130,000 and 150,000 rooms in the B&B sector” – so once Premier Inn reaches is 2016 target, it may alone have about half the capacity of all the B&Bs in

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Bryn Woodlands B&B, Colwyn Bay Britain. Add in Travelodge, and the two chains together are equivalent to 70-80% of ‘B&B plc’. This must be a threat to smaller players, as it inevitably dilutes their share of the available market. Red tape and enforcement: an unlevel playing-field Regulations designed for larger enterprises are often an onerous burden on micro businesses, and rules are often enforced inconsistently, unfairly and disproportionately.The more compliant businesses are targeted for enforcement, whilst the utterly non-compliant (as for instance, homeowners letting spare bedrooms on a B&B basis through websites like Airbnb and Wimdu) are ignored because regulators find it inconvenient and costly to trace them. Red tape is a constant battleground for those of us representing bona fide micro businesses, without much good news – though here I should mention that the Home Office plans to lighten the burden of alcohol licensing, which would be welcome. A major area of unnecessary red tape is the Package Travel Regulations, which (a)

Issue 156 Winter 2013

require the business to be bonded or for customer’s funds to be held in a trust account, and (b) require the seller to be legally responsible for all components of the package.This currently applies, for instance, even to a B&B including a green fee at a local golf course. As a result, only 4.1% of tourism trips in the UK last year were taken as packages. This very low take-up was highlighted in the Government’s March 2011 Tourism Policy, which committed to forming “an industry taskforce to consider whether structural changes might unlock additional sources of value.” The Tourism Alliance calculates that the Package Travel Directive is currently imposing costs of £3.7bn per annum on the industry – an average cost per business of almost £15,000 per annum. To unlock growth in our sector, the Government should amend the definition of a ‘package’ and an ‘assisted travel arrangement’ so as to require the ‘carriage of passengers’ as a mandatory element. Failing that, the Government must argue for an exemption or an opt-out to exempt packages that consist of just accommodation and other tourist service. David Weston FTS | Chief Executive, the Bed and Breakfast Association

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Horse-riding for Leisure and Tourism

This article explores the demand for leisure riding as a form of tourism. It focusses on the vast segment of riders engaged in riding as a leisure activity, and on the small businesses which cater to them. As an academic researcher (formerly at Leeds Metropolitan University) and director of a horse tourism business as well as a horse-owner, I find the sector fascinating and have been investigating it from both academic and industry standpoints. The horse tourism and leisure sector encompasses everyone who rides regularly, from people who take lessons once a fortnight at a riding school to those whose entire free time centres around horse-related activities. As so often, the difference between ‘leisure’ and ‘tourism’ is indistinct.The sector includes pleasure rides, where people transport their horse for 1-2 hours to then follow a waymarked riding route of 3-4 hours, and holidays several days long. Horse holidays may consist of teenagers on a residential programme at an equestrian centre, riders exploring a different part of the country with their own horse, or people staying in good hunting country and hiring horses to ride out with different hunts during their stay. Equestrian tourism also covers people who go pony-trekking as one of a number of activities while on vacation or attend an equestrian event as a spectator. The economic impact of horse-related activities is substantial. Surveys by the British Horse Society and the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) estimate that there are 1.3 million regular riders in the UK and a million horses. Only 9% of these are used for professional purposes such as racing, with the vast majority owned for leisure riding. Overall, horse-care costs around £3,100 per year, according to BETA. One aspect of this is keeping a horse at livery (i.e. boarding), as many owners do not have enough land to sustain a horse.The demand has created a significant diversification opportunity for small farms, which either offer livery on a do-it-

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Credit – Paul Moon

A niche market with rural benefits

Yorkshire Wolds yourself basis or provide a full service of feeding, grooming, mucking out and even exercising the horses.This is good business: the DIY version costs around £20 per week, while full livery can cost from £75 per week up to £200 in more expensive parts of the UK.This therefore represents a useful source of revenue and employment for land-based entrepreneurs in rural or semi-rural areas. Many people have neither the time nor money to invest in horse-ownership and instead ride at equestrian centres.There is no national register of licensed riding centres, but research in Yorkshire has found 104 in the region with an average of 12 horses and ponies available for lessons; in addition, there is an unknown (but hopefully small) number of unlicensed outfits. Lessons cost from £8 for half-anhour in a group session upwards, with a two-hour hack (i.e. a ride in open country) costing £40-£60. Whether kept at home, a livery yard or a riding school, horses stimulate financial turnover through a range of support services: farriers, veterinary and other medical services, feed producers and merchants, tack shops, horse transport – and a glance at any ‘horsey’ magazine will

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reveal many more. BETA estimated an annual turnover for the equine industry in 2011 at £7.5 billion (including racing and major equestrian events). The physical health benefits of riding were established through research carried out by the University of Brighton, which calculated that over two-thirds of leisure riders achieved government guidelines for moderate exercise intensity and frequency, while psychological benefits were determined by researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University (including this author) who investigated riders’ sense of well-being. Interviewees commonly recounted feelings such as “it’s just you, your horse and the view” and “when you’re on a horse, it just lifts the mood”. Meanwhile, programmes which facilitate involvement in riding by disadvantaged groups such as inner-city children and unemployed or homeless people report benefits through improved social capital for participants, including growth of self-esteem, confidence and employment aspirations. Most leisure riding takes place from home, from the livery yard or at equestrian centres not far from the participant’s home, but there is also a significant

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Credit – Paul Moon

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East Riding of Yorkshire demand for holidays of a night or more away from home. A survey carried out by Leeds Metropolitan University in 2011 showed that 84% of horse-owners would consider taking their horse on holiday in the UK. Surveys consistently find that the majority of horse-owners are over 40 with no children in the household, forming a sizeable potential market for horse tourism. Facilities are provided by both public and private sectors, including a national network of bridleways and other tracks, and horse & rider accommodation (bed & breakfast or self-catering, or occasionally camping). Horse tourism accommodation includes safe grazing for equines and sometimes stabling.This seems straightforward – although it can present challenges. Horse ownership in the UK has undergone a process of ‘petification’ since the time when horses were mainly used as working animals, and owners are very particular about their needs. Some require just grazing while others demand grazing and stabling, and if

travelling in a party they may not want to put all their horses in the same field in case they injure each other. Accommodation owners therefore have to provide flexible facilities. Nevertheless, a recent survey of suppliers along the Pennine Bridleway found that overnight stays by horse-riders represented a useful boost to their income and used fields or farm buildings which would otherwise be underutilised. In some cases farmers have cited the nascent demand for horse tourism to gain planning permission for converting former farm buildings to leisure accommodation or stabling. Horse-related events are also known to generate substantial sums of money for rural providers.The major agricultural shows turn over millions of pounds, but even small events can be locally significant. For example, a 2013 pleasure ride in the Howardian Hills generated just under £2,500 for rural caterers, a local riding stables, a rosette manufacturer and for the organiser, Ride Yorkshire, which uses funds raised in this way to support riding for disadvantaged groups.

On a larger scale, a study of a leisureriding event in France with 1200 participants and an additional 8-10,000 spectators found that for every euro invested by the public sector in financing the event, 12 euros of spend was generated for rural providers of facilities. As an active participant in providing the soft infrastructure for leisure riding (mapped riding circuits, pleasure rides, horse holiday packages), I believe we are seeing a growth in demand for tried-andtested riding circuits which keep riders away from busy roads and free them from the anxiety of having to map-read. In answer to this demand, pleasure rides and organised holidays neutralise the unknown and offer the same freedom from perceived risk as other package holidays – but at the same time people require a good quality of service for themselves and their horses. The opportunities exist, therefore, for a significant expansion of this niche market. Some of the findings in this article reflect joint research with Dr Kate Dashper of Leeds Metropolitan University and Ride Yorkshire. Dr Janet Cochrane MTS | Director, Ride Yorkshire

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Christmas Markets

An easy festive win, or too much of a good thing? A huge range of reports and data consistently highlight the importance to the tourism industry of the phenomenon that is Christmas Markets, as hotels, tour operators, travel agents, transportation companies or many others look to drive sales through the slacker winter months. But how popular are they? A quick search through a leading industry website shows well over 200 Christmas Markets being held this month in the UK alone, a number unequalled since the days before Oliver Cromwell banned them back in the early 17th Century. Across Europe, the numbers are even more mind-boggling (Germany alone has over 1,500), giving the unequivocal impression that “wherever five or more market traders shall be gathered together in December they shall call themselves a Christmas Market.” The simple truth is that over the last 30 years the ‘pulling power’ of Christmas Markets has proved irresistible for many destinations as they have worked hard to extend the traditional Christmas visitor spend into the weeks before the festive break. According to the German Institute for Leisure & Tourism, some 85 million people visited a German Christmas Market in 2012, up from 50 million in 2001, whilst closer to home major cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Bath are all attracting hundreds of thousands of festive visitors each year. Bath alone attracted 350,000 visitors over 18 days in 2012 whilst the Birmingham Christmas Market, sponsored directly by the city of Frankfurt, brings true German authenticity to over 3 million visitors each year, generating well over £70m for the local economy. The economic argument driving the boom in Christmas Markets is extremely compelling. Nowadays it is hard to travel anywhere during December and not end up somewhere very close to a Market. But are we fast approaching saturation point from a tourism perspective, because if Christmas Markets are to be found everywhere then why travel anywhere at all? We may as well just pop out to our local one and be home for tea. So, from a tour operator’s perspective the value, quality and above all image of each

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Sean Taggart FTS | Group Chief Executive, The Albatross Group of Companies

Manchester Christmas Market Christmas Market is becoming increasingly important to attract customers and persuade them to travel beyond their own town or city.This allows the best Christmas Markets to shine and everybody else that still wants a share in five years’ time to up their game. Because one thing is certain: regardless of what the tourists and locals do, market traders won’t support any Christmas Market that does not deliver retail spend - and without high quality traders, there can be no market. Unsurprisingly value for money plays a key role in attracting visitors, and consumers are wise to the fact that it is not just about the cost of getting to a Christmas Market and possibly staying in a hotel close by. Increasingly it is also about the actual and perceived value for money provided at the market for itself. A recent comparative study for the Post Office of prices across Europe for everything from a

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cup of coffee through to a piece of cake and your overnight accommodation showed the most expensive market (Munich) cost an average of around 34% more than the cheapest (Budapest). Whatever the challenges, though, Christmas Markets still represent a huge opportunity for the travel industry, but with such a large and ever-increasing choice it means that all of us will have to become more diligent, focused and discerning in choosing which destinations and markets to promote to our customers over the coming years.There is no reason to think that Christmas Markets have had their day, but they have undoubtedly reached a level of maturity unequalled in over 400 years and that should certainly give us pause for thought as we contemplate their future place in our industry – lest any new age Cromwell should appear and put a stop to all our fun!

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Outbound

Recession passes, fluctuations remain

I don’t for a moment think that anyone expected 2013 to go as well as it has. There is no doubt that the traditional eurozone destinations like Greece, the Algarve, the Balearics and the Canary Islands benefited as a result of the problems in Egypt and Turkey. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that some destinations will always profit at the expense of others. Last year the problems in Greece no doubt benefited other destinations. It seems that every destination has its turn when it comes to a little suffering. However, in the same way as Greece bounced back this year, I am sure that Egypt will return to popularity in 2014 if the political problems subside; we all hope very much that they do. Tour operators and airlines often behave like lemmings. If a destination performs well one year, then you can be dead sure that operators and airlines alike will increase capacity for the following year. Flight prices to Mykonos and Santorini were very high in 2013 because only easyjet was flying there. In 2014, both Norwegian and British Airways have entered the fray. So, unless demand continues to increase, we are set to see lower flight prices to both destinations. Do not be surprised if there is a lot more discounting to the eurozone destinations as a result of the extra capacity.

Realistically, prices have gone up between 5% and 10% to the traditional eurozone destinations. Last year the pound was riding high.This year, even though it has strengthened over the last few months, it is still below the exchange rates operators were getting for 2013 costings. So, even if accommodation providers do not increase their rates for 2014, prices will still go up as a result of the lower value of the pound against the euro. There is so much uncertainty in the world at the moment.The value of currencies change on an hourly basis, as does the cost of fuel. One day a destination looks to be doing well, the next day political turmoil engulfs the area and all the bookings stop. And yet, amongst all this volatility, people are still travelling and surprisingly very few agents and tour operators have failed in the last year. We now seem to be moving out of the recession so, with any luck, we shall see a continuing increase in demand. The death of the travel agent has been forecast for as long as I can remember. Perhaps the ‘order takers’ amongst the agency community have disappeared, but there are many travel agents that are doing well. It is the agents that have specialised and have shifted their businesses away from the mass-market tour operators that have

maintained their margins. Of course, a lot has to do with where an agency is located and how wealthy the surrounding population is, too. The on-line players have made considerable inroads into the traditional tour operating market because they work on volume and tiny margins. However, I suspect that they cannot control quality in the same way as a legacy tour operator can.They source their accommodation from bed-banks and often it is the accommodation owner who uploads information directly onto the bed-bank’s site and not an impartial third party. The description is thus not always very accurate, and complaints often result. The fact is that there is room for everyone as long as what is offered represents good value for money, with service to match. Slowly the no-frills carriers are beginning to look and feel much more like the traditional carriers we knew 10 years ago and their prices are no longer low. Even Ryanair is beginning to soften; clients do not like being treated like cattle, although I might add that cattle are probably better treated than humans in some respects when travelling. As the recession fades, the priority will no longer be the cheapest but, in my view, the more comfortable and the more civilised. Noel Josephides FTS | Chairman, ABTA

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World Travel Market Report

Tourism and Human Rights – So what’s the Issue? Children are exploited, women suffer, families struggle with wretched poverty, often torn apart by man’s greed and heartlessness. Scenarios that are all too commonplace on our television screens... but you get used to it, anesthetised, immune to the pathos passing before our eyes. Which is why it was a privilege to witness what may be a new dawning for travel and tourism at this year's World Travel Market session ‘Tourism and Human Rights – Time to Act?’ A recognition that as one of the world's largest global industries, we have a duty to respond and change the kind of inhumanities that infiltrate and surround us. Some are of our making; others have a more tenuous link to the industry. Seven months ago a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,100 workers manufacturing garments for big brands like Primark, Mango and Benetton. Good names and reputations damaged in an instant, but sadly it’s just one of a string of similar tragedies. Like the garment industry, our travel brands are household names.They are relied on. Overwhelming confidence and expectation means that consumers believe we’ll do the right thing, in the right way. Because of our direct influence as a major economic driver for a destination, this also gives us an ability to persuade, negotiate, to add weight and authority to the argument for better, more sustainable and caring human rights. Whether it’s a child denied education because he’s forced to work 16 hours making carpets or a hotel worker whose earnings are so low he cannot afford to feed his family properly, or children sold or left in orphanages to attract donations from the susceptible volunteer tourist. This is outright exploitation and mistreatment and our industry needs to be vigilant about such activity when operating overseas. Increasingly consumers are more aware of these outrages and have no wish to be part of it. Sooner or later these abuses will be laid at our ‘door’ and we must demonstrate that we are prepared to

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Credit – Tourism Concern

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Not getting the picture on human rights tackle these injustices, not only with words but also direct action. Matters such as displacement caused by tourism development, poor working conditions, rights of indigenous people, water security, volunteering, exploitation of women and children, issues surrounding slum tourism, economic exclusion, all fall under the banner of recognising people’s basic human rights. In truth whether an operator, supplier, planner or member of the travelling public we all have a responsibility to observe, support and implement a code of ethics that reflects the rights and humanity of others. It’s something that should be built into the governance and due diligence of every company promoting tourism to destinations and who rely on the good will and service of local people. There are good role models out there. Kuoni Travel prove it can be done on a large scale with commitment from the top and a clear process involving local impact assessments, a supplier code of conduct and vigilant monitoring process.

Fiona Jeffery OBE FTS | UNWTO World Ethics Committee Issue 156 Winter 2013

Grass roots operator Crees, who specialises in volunteer programmes in the Amazon, shapes its operation in line with the needs of the local community – not the often unrealistic demands of their tourism partners – while Skål International, the tourism body representing 18,000 SME’s globally, is calling for its members to recognise the importance of human rights issues in their operations.The message is a stark one: if people don’t act, then ultimately they will be out of business. Accountability rests with us all and it’s good that there is an industry watchdog in Tourism Concern to highlight the risks and help develop better practices for the good of humanity and our industry. No one condones abuse, so the purpose of the Tourism Society debate was to raise the bar, make us more aware of the responsibilities we carry as tourism companies and ensure we learn how to protect against it more effectively. How often do we say “Tourism is a Force for Good”? Let’s ensure its stays that way.

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Event Report: President’s Debate

“What are the pros and cons of the predicted continued rise in international visitors?” The above question was the subject of December’s President’s Debate held at the Lithuanian Embassy in London. Lord Thurso MP chaired and four invited speakers presented their scenarios for the future. A lively debate followed, although I am not sure it reached any important conclusions - except that the rise in the number of visitors to the UK will continue inexorably but that some of our resources are finite. What we do about it, the seminal question, was left open – for a future debate, perhaps? Graham Pickett of Deloitte UK expressed cautious optimism about the UK economy, now growing, while the Eurozone is still struggling with potentially lethal debts. However, wage rises are still outstripped by inflation, dampening the domestic market. He quoted the recent Deloitte survey for VisitBritain which forecasts continued growth in international travel (at 6.1% p.a.). So no surprises there! Giles Price of Heathrow Airport also had some impressive statistics – £11 billion investment in the 70-year-old airport just over the last ten years, including the new Terminal 5 and the rebuilt Terminal 2 opening in June 2014.The airport now handles 71 million passengers a year, the majority of which (63%) are leisure travellers. But as we all know, the future of London’s airports has hit a political brick wall. More of that later… Loyd Grossman, speaking as Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, reminded the audience that heritage is what attracts around 50% of tourists to the UK. However, it is a fixed resource. Access and enjoyment can be improved, as at the new Stonehenge visitor centre, but too many people visiting the same small number of destinations results in problems – and it is not possible simply to build another Stonehenge to accommodate more visitors. Grossman cited Venice as an example of what happens when there are only 60,000 residents left and a daily influx of more than 60,000 visitors all heading for the same hot-spots. “We cannot stop the rise in tourism but we could try and

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Pay Per View? Should Park admission charges rise? distribute it better”, he said and called for a government tourism and heritage strategy. Quite a lot of support for that from the packed room! Jim Dixon of the Peak District National Park outlined a number of ways in which the environment was threatened by the rising tide of tourists. “Sustainable tourism can work for the good in protecting wild animals, for example, but must be enforced”, he said. He also mentioned Egypt, now deserted by tourists and consequently suffering funding cuts, leading to looting and destruction.Turning to the climate, new technologies are being developed to make planes more efficient in terms of both fuel use and passenger capacities – transporting more people can become less polluting The panel then faced questions from the floor, starting with the management of visitor access. Would pricing alone be a fair and appropriate way to achieve this? Providing more information to customers about their destinations and also operators was important, but price also played a part. Having paid for the airfare

and hotel why should people not pay a fair price for entering national parks? People should understand that “free” just meant someone else was paying, usually the tax payer, as for free national museums in the UK. Encouraging people to visit lessfrequented locations required imaginative marketing and combining heritage; in Kent, a new initiative links churches with local pubs. Loyd Grossman certainly approved. The final question was appropriately about the future of Heathrow. Giles Price confirmed that Heathrow was now operating at 99 per cent capacity; some airlines were already re-routing to continental airports. Middle Eastern airports were also setting up competing hubs. Price confirmed that phase 1 of the report into the future of London’s airports report is due at the end of 2013, phase 2 with final recommendations by 2015, and with consultations, protests, planning permission etc any new runway or any new London airport would not be up and running till 2030. So there is the real check on growth! Ylva French FTS | Ylva French Consultancy

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Issue 156 Winter 2013

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Sustainable Tourism

Better competition should be the target Two issues are likely to dominate sustainable tourism in the coming 18 months: carbon reduction and local economic development.These two overlapping issues are just as likely to be on the agenda of urban transport planners, local destination management organisations and networking forums of rural tourism businesses as they are of national government ministries and in the boardrooms of the giants of the outbound tourism industry. A typical example of how these issues impact on the future of tourism – both at home and abroad – was provided by Richard Benyon (former Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries) speaking in June at the annual conference of the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, many of whose members are at the interface of land management, biodiversity conservation and tourism. During the conference Benyon signed a Sustainable Tourism Accord between VisitEngland, Defra and the NAAONB, explaining that the origin of the Accord was the Autumn 2011 Rural Economy Growth Review. There’s nothing new about tourism being used as an engine of growth, particularly in rural areas, but aligning it to a low carbon economy could mean that a more sustainable tourism industry has greater traction with local and national government. Particularly as carbon reduction is increasingly being coupled with growth cuts across many government departments. During his tenure as Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport, Norman Baker talked repeatedly about the “twin objectives” of the DfT’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund: “supporting the local economy and facilitating economic development, while reducing carbon emissions”. Over at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport the principles of Wise Growth enshrined in VisitEngland’s Strategic Framework for Tourism are clear in its vision to “grow tourism responsibly in a finite world, creating resilience and prosperity for all, balancing the growth aspirations of the Strategic Framework with the principles of sustainability.”

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Image© Diana Jarvis/Greentraveller

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The North Pennines: typical of AONBs at the interface of land management, biodiversity conservation and tourism Within this vision specific attention is industry chiefs, academics and NGOs to drawn to sustainable transport and discuss how tourists, travel companies and destination management: “There are many destination managers could work together opportunities to improve the experience to promote carbon emission reductions of a destination through innovative and ensure the preservation of holiday sustainable transport projects. Examples of destinations. One of the biggest barriers current projects include the promotion of to managing sustainable tourism car-free days, which are linked to walking pinpointed at this event was the lack of and cycling itineraries and integrated into globally recognised tools to measure its public transport provision. Forwardimpact in destinations. Without this, the thinking businesses are already designing industry argued, it’s difficult for them to assess their efficacy and implement the their own incentives and car-free most appropriate programmes for programmes, working with destination sustainability. managers to bring them to market.” Perhaps we will see development of these It’s not just in rural areas where we’ll see kinds of tools in the future. In the more of this coupling of carbon reduction meantime Graham Miller hopes that with local economic development. destinations will start to recognise the Graham Miller, Professor of Sustainability benefits of sustainability not just for in Business at the University of Surrey, has sustainability’s sake but because it can been working with over 100 urban and provide a competitive advantage. “Rather rural destinations in Europe that have signed up to a ‘European Tourism Indicator than it being seen as the end point, System for the Sustainable Management of sustainable tourism should be seen as a means to an end, and the end is actually Destinations’. In addition, 74 British competitiveness”. destinations, from Amber Valley to Worthing, have signed up to his system in With this in mind all eyes will be on order to compare their progress on Bristol in the lead-up to its year as sustainability. European Green Capital in 2015 to see how the city gains a competitive edge In August, I attended a round-table event through its green credentials. at the Guardian for outbound travel

Richard Hammond | Chief Executive, Greentraveller Ltd Issue 156 Winter 2013

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An interview with...

Sandie Dawe Sandie Dawe FTS joined VisitBritain in 1991 and became Chief Executive in 2009, just in time for the build up to arguably Britain’s greatest ever cultural event. Gregory Yeoman found out how approaches to nation marketing have changed and what lies ahead. GY:Tourism qualifications were not available when you were studying. What career did you imagine you might have ended up following when you completed your education? SD: I enjoyed languages and English more than science subjects and was interested in journalism and the media. I had no idea that careers in marketing or PR existed: my first job was with the BBC World Service and after that I temped at Good Relations PR agency. In hindsight, my degree in English Literature and German was very good preparation for a communications-focussed career. GY:What prompted your move from publishing to travel marketing? SD: It was a move within the same discipline (PR/Press office) but a different sector. At the time I had no idea that people went on holiday in England! I knew nothing about the country, having grown up overseas and gone to boarding school – and then university – in Scotland. Tourism was growing, there was a huge amount of investment and quality improvement – it was an exciting time. Growing up overseas gave me an international outlook and a keen interest in travel, so moving into the travel industry was in many ways a natural next step. GY:What do you enjoy most about working at VB? SD: Being at the very heart of national endeavours and events of national importance. It’s exciting to be a part of that. Of course it isn’t always about celebrations and we deal with crises too, but I find being at the centre of what is

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going in your own country inspiring and affirming. GY:Who do you admire most in business? SD:There are two types of people I admire in business, both are true to their values: those who have been extremely successful and give something back, like Mo Ibrahim, and those who manage to stay grounded and maintain a good sense of humour, like Carolyn McCall. I haven’t met her but she’s been hugely successful at easyJet and she sounds fun. GY:What was your favourite moment from 2012? SD: Am I allowed two? On the eve of the 2012 Games we had a final staff briefing. Everyone turned up in their GREAT Britain t-shirts – a unified team, excited and apprehensive, ready to work their socks off. It was a proud moment because I knew we had prepared well, stuck to our strategy and done everything possible to be ready. My other favourite moment was during the Olympic Opening Ceremony itself. There was so much riding on it, so many people watching from around the world, that when that moment finally came and the story of Britain really came through in

Issue 156 Winter 2013

the ceremony, I felt both joy and relief that yes, we are absolutely going to give the world an amazing Olympic Games. GY: Looking ahead over the next 18 months, what are the key events you will be aligning VB’s activities with? SD: Research shows that the Royal Wedding, the Olympics and the resulting global spotlight has enhanced Britain’s image. More people are saying that they intend to travel to Britain. So our job now is to close the deal. And we’re doing that through the GREAT campaign and our tactical activity with partners.The showcase continues, too, as Britain is hosting a number of signature events over the next 18 months, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. GY:What has been the biggest change to the way BTA/VB has operated/worked during your career? SD:The organisation is much more datadriven in its market selection and marketing, and more sophisticated in its evaluation.The other massive change has been the digital environment. At one point BTA used to produce millions of items of

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print and deal with hundreds of thousands of personal and telephone enquiries. Now our delivery is virtually all online. New technology has also transformed our internal communications – as a distributed international organisation this has had a huge impact. GY: How has the approach to national marketing changed in the last 5 years, not just in the UK but elsewhere as well? There’s been a shift from ‘brand’ towards content and distribution: with the immediacy and transparency of social media it’s possible to engage with the consumer.They tell you what they think, so it’s about engaging in storytelling rather than simply projecting out a fixed image. GY:To what extent does VB work in tandem with government teams such as the Home Office Border Force to coordinate aims and ensure a unified message? SD: We have strong partnerships with the FCO, UKTI and UK Visas and Immigration on the GREAT campaign and work hard to ensure there is a joined-up narrative around the world. Staff from UKVI participated in our recent China business mission, talking face-to-face with Chinese buyers and UK suppliers, explaining the changes to the visa regime. It went down very well. GY:Where does the priority lie at the moment – attracting tourists from new source markets or maintaining existing ones? SD: It’s not either/or, it’s both. Our 2012 Golden Legacy Strategy sets out an ambition of welcoming 40 million tourists by 2020.To get there we need tourists from new source markets as well as existing ones. So we need to maintain our nearby big volume markets like France and Germany, re-energise the high-spending US market and secure fast growth from the BRICs. GY: Britain is experiencing a record-breaking year for visitors and spending. Do you think active management is the key to avoiding potential overcrowding at attractions and destinations, or do you lean towards market forces sorting everything out? SD: Popular attractions work on these issues and put systems in place, such as timed tickets and advanced booking. We support our regional partners on their place-making agendas. However, in many parts of the country hotel occupancy is only at 50% to 60% and airports have capacity, so we are working hard to generate more visitors through these regional gateways, and at all times of the year.

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Digital marketing has shifted how VB GY: In this electronic age, how important are overseas offices? SD: Our overseas offices are fundamental in what they deliver in terms of market intelligence, contacts and insights.The fact that we employ people from these countries who really know their market is our USP and hugely valuable to the industry, which benefits from their market insight. GY: Following on from that, why do you think overseas destinations feel it necessary to have a physical presence in the UK? SD:The UK is the fourth most valuable source market for global tourism in the world, so it’s natural that overseas destinations will want to be in the running for a portion of our outbound spend. (Source: UNWTO) GY:VisitEngland is now able to undertake marketing overseas – doesn't this confuse the issue? Wasn't it simpler when BTA did overseas, and national and regional boards looked after domestic marketing? SD:VisitBritain is in the unique position of

Issue 156 Winter 2013

interacts with customers having a 50-year track record of international marketing and of staff in market. All the ‘Visits’ do some international marketing and we have regular business planning and operational meetings to ensure we co-ordinate with and complement each other. GY: If you could get one piece of legislation through to the benefit of the visitor economy what would it be? SD: A degree of hypothecation on air passenger duty to fund the international marketing of UK would be positive – or, failing that, a free cup of tea and a slice of shortbread for all incoming visitors! GY: If you could make one improvement to the UK tourism product what would it be? SD: Unfortunately the British are not good at languages. We’re fortunate that English is so widely spoken but I would love for us to return the favour and for people working in the industry to have better foreign language abilities. What a wonderful global welcome that would be for our visitors.

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Student View

From passion to profession – why I decided to study tourism In September 2011 I started my three year BA (Hons) Tourism and Planning course at the University of Westminster in London. I chose this course because it seemed to be very practical while imparting all the theoretical knowledge needed to successfully work in the industry. My choice proved to be a good one, as my course has recently been recognised by the Tourism Management Institute (TMI) for its excellence. The classes are interesting and versatile, ranging from urban, cultural & heritage tourism and sustainable tourism to events planning, destination management and marketing – to name just a few. Our campus is located in Central London, near Baker Street, and has recently been refurbished – both the building and the equipment – making it modern and appealing. All lecturers are from the industry and incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Every year has also included a field trip – the first year to a heritage destination (Nottingham), the second year to a seaside resort (Bournemouth) and the third year to a Mediterranean destination (Malta), which is a lot of fun, combining pleasure with studying. The decision to study tourism was easy for me: my great passion in life is travelling. Apart from my native country Germany, I have lived and worked in Australia, the USA and Uzbekistan, and travelled to and around 25 countries, and counting. I have particularly enjoyed independent backpacking, but also staying with my numerous friends around the globe. There is no better way to discover the essence of a place than through living with the locals, and this has enabled me to experience several countries from a different perspective and ‘off the beaten track’. The biggest influence on my choice of studies however was certainly the fact that I had experienced several sustainable/ ecotourism projects managed by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) while living in

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Jana Ruckser | BA (Hons) Tourism and Planning, University of Westminster

Village life in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan. One of the projects was based in Khiva, a UNESCO world heritage site: the development workers helped local restaurants to operate their businesses in a sustainable way. This included teaching staff about hygiene standards or just to make the restaurant look more appealing to tourists. An example was decoration in the local style using beautiful, hand-carved wooden furniture instead of cheap-looking plastic chairs and tables. The other project involved staying with a local family in the remote Nuratau mountains.This project not only opened my eyes to the ‘real world’ – people living in clay houses without tap water – but also showed me that a little help and support from a development aid organisation can go a long way for a local, deprived family, and even their entire community. In fact, I visited this project twice, and over the course of a few years the living conditions of local people had already improved thanks to the project – for

Issue 156 Winter 2013

example, they had built a little house with a toilet (granted, the cistern still had to be filled with river water) which was a big step up from the previous hole in the ground with two wooden planks to stand on… Time in university has passed unbelievably quickly, and now in my last year I strongly feel I am well prepared for returning to the working world to pursue a career in the industry I am passionate about. My part-time customer service role in sales with the German railway has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical knowledge gained at university. Some additional volunteering, and now my membership with the Tourism Society, have enabled me to attend informative events and to start networking in the industry. During my studies I have also discovered my interest in marketing and dedicated my dissertation project to this subject. After graduation, I am hoping to pursue a career in destination marketing, hopefully being able to combine this with my interest in sustainable tourism, for example by working with a DMO.

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Social Media

Top tips to get ahead in tourism Getting that first break in tourism can be tough. Okay so you’ve got a killer CV, a punchy cover letter and, of course, qualifications – but now what? More than ever, your social media activity can be the difference between landing your dream tourism job and missing out. Here are some hot tips on harnessing the power of social media to help you get ahead. Social search In the olden times (year 2000), it was all about online jobs boards.Things have shifted now. According to a recent survey, 94% of 1,500 hiring companies said they were already using social media for recruitment.Twitter recently announced that over half a million jobs are posted on its platform each month! Social media is a great resource for job searches.Twitter now enables you to run searches based on location, too, so you can keep an eye on any local opportunities. As well as searching for jobs on social media, you should also post regularly to show your availability with a link to your online CV (but avoid spamming employers with begging tweets). Be gutsy No-one wants to hire a wall-flower. Hiring managers love to see candidates with a bit of oomph about them. Social media can be a treasure-trove of information which you can use to your advantage. Look at the latest posts from the company and the hiring manager. Make reference to the latest news in your cover letter or at interview.This shows you have that vital oomph which hiring managers want to see. It also helps you understand what makes the hiring manager tick. Show your passion I have seen hundreds of CVs from tourism graduates who fail to show they love travel. Often the most valuable part of a CV is tucked away right at the end i.e. “I also enjoy travelling”.Your love of travel should be plain to see, don’t hide it away!

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Use social media to prove your love of travel by starting a blog about places you have visited. Wordpress.com is highly recommended for blogging. It’s free and very easy to use. Pinterest is an enormously successful image-based social channel, bursting with travel images. Why not curate a ‘Pinboard’ of all the places you’ve been or would love to visit. Better still, if you are applying to, say, a USA specialist operator, take an hour to curate a board on Pinterest about the USA. It can only help your application. Linkedin A Linkedin profile is a ‘must have’; it’s such a powerful tool for job seekers. Here are some hot tips:  Join Groups such as ‘The UK Travel Industry’ or ‘The Tourism Society’. Both are free to join and have thousands of members. Membership enables you to request to connect with fellow group members.This a great way to build your network and boost your profile.  When you do request to connect, write a personal message.  Be active often e.g. like a post, follow a company, comment, post or update your profile.You’ll appear in people’s news feed more often.

Twitter Twitter is a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest news in travel.You can also easily follow key industry people, get to hear about free networking events and, most importantly, new jobs. Twitter also allows you to engage directly with travel industry people. Again, show some oomph and reach out to people, show you’re keen – you never know where that connection might lead you. Look out for Twitter chats like #TTOT or #traveltuesday, where you can engage with like-minded people and make connections. Social sins Whilst social media can help you, it can also be your undoing. Make sure anything in the public domain is appropriate as hiring managers WILL check you out online. Check your privacy settings on Facebook! Also, make sure you are not applying to jobs with an email address like drunkgirl1993@hotmail.com. Believe me, I’ve seen so many inappropriate email addresses, Facebook profiles & twitter handles! Good luck.

Bruce Martin MTS | Managing Director, Ginger Juice Issue 156 Winter 2013

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TMI Annual Convention 2013

Different approaches for destination marketing and management Over one and a half days of plenaries and workshops in the historic city of Durham, topped and tailed by study visits to the Bowes Museum and Beamish, delegates were encouraged to think outside the box and do things differently. Two themes emerged: the destination management organisation (DMO) as facilitator within a destination and between product providers and consumers whether on or offline, and the ongoing importance of sharing good quality data to make the case for tourism and enhance the visitor experience. Across the Convention sessions, it became clear that Durham was an apt venue, as Visit County Durham and their partners have indeed been doing things differently. Presentations on different aspects of the host city underlined the central role of the DMO as partnership facilitator and enabler, and the changing nature of visitor information on and off line. Melanie Sensicle showed how Visit County Durham (VCD), faced with a £1 million cut in funding on the demise of the RDA, closed all its Tourist Information Centres – used by only 3% of visitors - and replaced them with a network of information points and terminals. This has transformed visitor information services, putting VCD at the heart of a partnership which is providing visitors with information where they really want it: in attractions, heritage and interpretation centres, at gateways into the destination. Key to the partnerships was awareness of, understanding and accommodating as far as possible different partner needs; this shone through in workshops on the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Lumiere events.VCD has clearly been the lynchpin enabling these partnerships to deliver highly successful events. It was equally clear from Craig Wilson’s workshop on the Visitor Management Plan that this requires considerable investment in time, with constant shuttling between existing and potential partners. The first morning focussed on policies and principles, with an emphasis on the

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Convention delegates exploring Beamish Open Air Museum importance of using data to support tourism’s case. Kurt Janson,Tourism Alliance (TA), rated the government’s performance on tourism thus far at 5/10. From a strong start, tourism had dropped worryingly down the agenda, although since then, tourism has found its way back into the Minister’s title.The industry’s continuous lobbying on VAT and APD was seen by Government as whinging; Kurt suggested counteracting this by getting the facts and figures to make the case and concentrating on other causes in the meantime. For example,TA is working with DCMS and BIS on the current EU review of the Package Travel Directive, to redefine a package as travel plus one other element.

Issue 156 Winter 2013

This would encourage accommodation and attraction or event operators to develop joint promotions without the current disincentive of onerous bonds or responsibility for all elements of the package and presented an opportunity for DMOs, the obvious hubs around which such initiatives could coalesce. Sean White reviewed the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Tourism Intelligence Unit’s (TIU) progress over the past five years before listing future developments, including work on indirect impacts, analysis at local authority level, better co-ordination with policy, but his most pressing concern was securing longterm funding.The Unit could stay part of the ONS but divide its time and resources

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Durham Cathedral from the River Wear between tourism and other work and differently, the Museum aims to move Sean asked delegates to ponder whether from 65% to 70% self-sufficiency by 2015. the TIU’s work and the analysis they Unsurprisingly, digital technology continues provided was important to the sector or to be a major topic, particularly in the way not? it underpins other developments. A lively In another take on partnership, Brian workshop on new low commission Human suggested that planning policy models for destinations started a debate offered a statutory opportunity to resolve which will undoubtedly continue over the the complexities of tourism and reinforce coming months as destination managers the importance of tourism. try to reduce hotel dependency on online travel agents (OTAs) who charge high Showing how Winchester, Cambridge and commission rates without investing back Norwich had addressed tourism into the destination. It seems a sizeable development issues through working with minority of visitors are beginning to rebel local planning, he suggested that the against the homogenisation of the destination management plan is a key destination experience, encouraging element of the evidence base to underpin consumers to book direct and not just in policies to support wise growth and development to benefit the visitor and the the UK: a French initiative, www.fairbooking.fr, is tackling the same visitor economy. issues.There is an opportunity here for Michele Grant from Blue Sail challenged DMOs at local, regional or national level delegates to think differently about their to facilitate alternatives. destination and its assets, and how they Michael Borge, CEO of tellUs, recently connected with their visitors. Looking at merged with New Mind, suggested the different types of heritage assets, DMO has an important role as facilitator particularly in non-heritage cities, she for online meetings between product suggested destinations can learn from provider and consumer, i.e. by attracting heritage attractions how to relate heritage the consumer to the destination website to a more contemporary agenda, citing and then through to the product page. the Enchanting Palace at Kensington Palace, where front line staff became With so many sources of information storytellers rather than supervisors. around, the challenge was for DMO websites to stay at the top of search Delegates on the study visit to Bowes results. His solution? Scandinavian case Museum heard how this designated studies where the DMO product database collection has experienced growth in is feeding as many other websites as numbers and breadth of visitors through possible and the DMO staff are using pursuing an exhibition programme social media and free listings to generate designed to reach beyond their core content. demographic. At the same time, working with a specialist art PR agency raises the Digital developments are opening up new Museum’s profile so they can partner with opportunities in other markets, too. Nick other major collections. Doing things Barratt from Ancestral Tourism

Partnership explained how the increase in online information available for researching family history was leading to increased numbers of visits, as more people wanted to visit places connected with their personal histories. For example, ten years after it first put transcriptions of gravestones online, together with photographs and local history stories, the Ryde Social History Network online archive and associated physical buildings and records are a key part of the Ryde tourism offer. Marketing opportunities in 2014 and beyond include the Rugby World Cup and the GREAT campaign, but it was the potential market among overseas students which monopolised the Q&A session on Friday morning. For example, the Chinese very often visit university towns not just during their studies but with ‘recce’ visits beforehand. Liverpool is now tracking overseas students’ activity during their stays and Durham international alumni were influential in attracting overseas visitors to the Lindisfarne Gospels. There are challenges too: reliance on London airports, developing links from UK regional airports to non-UK hubs; showing visitors how easy it is to travel around the UK and working with train operators to give overseas visitors better offers. So what will destination managers be thinking about in 2014? Judging from these debates, finding different ways to encourage on and offline partnerships, leading through shuttle diplomacy and, as ever, doing more with less for the economic and social benefit of their destination. Dr Cathy Guthrie FTS FTMI | Honorary Secretary,Tourism Management Institute

www.tourismsociety.org

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Tourism Consultants

Prospects for Consultants for the next 12-18 months As a consultant, planning ahead has always been something of a dark art, and never more so than now. It is unusual for consultants to have retainers with clients these days, so the majority live project-toproject, looking to achieve the right balance of servicing existing clients and prospecting for new ones. So what’s changed as a result of the recession and does it make that yearly planning exercise more or less difficult? As the industry has consolidated, either by merger, acquisition or reorganisation, there have been inevitable casualties from redundancies. Previously one could assume that organisations would do anything to keep their best people; nowadays that’s not necessarily true. And so, there have been a number of ‘accidental consultants’; people who’ve perhaps been in a few or even just one company for many years and who decide to ‘do a bit of consultancy’ whilst looking for the right opportunity or deciding what to do with what remains of their career. This is not necessarily a bad thing; such individuals have a wealth of experience and, coming from the client side, are able to empathise with organisations’ needs. The challenge for them is to start to think as a consultant and not continue to behave as a client. Client-side experience is definitely a bonus – something that we at Britton McGrath Associates have always tried to use to our clients’ advantage – but a consultant needs to deliver on the client’s brief, not the brief they would have written were they the client! Likewise, the consultant needs to have the ability to see the big picture and not get bogged down in the day-to-day detail that they would have when operating themselves. A real positive coming out of the ‘accidental consultant’ phenomenon, however, is the ability of individuals who

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have joined forces with existing consultancies on an Associate basis to inject specialist expertise into relevant projects, often to great benefit… in fact, in some instances all too effectively. We have had at least one case where our ‘industry associate’ has been taken on permanently by the client for whom they consulted on our behalf. But if our client has a permanent in-house position to fill we would far rather it was with a known and trusted entity, even if that means losing a valuable asset! On the demand side, we’ve noticed an upturn in briefs being issued in line with the industry’s generally strong performance. However, the difference is that all but the tiniest project is being competitively tendered despite most having ‘challenging’ budgets! There is always a consultant out there who can offer more days for less money and who has apparently limitless resource to handle any project. Most clients though, whilst needing to demonstrate good value for money for their stakeholders, are looking for quality and not just quantity.

“We believe the need for consultants is as strong as ever. Clients value objectivity, additional resources, breadth of industry knowledge and specialised skills as much as ever.”

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Nancy McGrath MTS TCN | Director, Britton McGrath Associates Issue 156 Winter 2013

We have certainly found that a record of satisfied clients coupled with a solid list of credentials in our specialised areas has stood us in good stead when it comes to pitching. Membership of professional bodies also counts for something. We’ve found this to be true from the client perspective both in terms of providing a route for them to find relevant consultants and, in some instances, acting as an intermediary. As consultants, we have found membership of professional bodies helpful for networking and teaming up with other complementary consultancy firms and individuals. So, where does this all leave us in terms of looking forward to 2014? We believe the need for consultants is as strong as ever. Clients value objectivity, additional resources, breadth of industry knowledge and specialised skills as much as ever. To be successful, however, the consultant, whether accidental or deliberate, needs to be flexible, to recognise the needs of the individual client and/or project and adapt their offer accordingly. In some cases this means having the confidence to pass the brief to someone more suited or team-up with a complementary agency in order to deliver against the brief.

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Corporate Member

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Events Calendar January 2014 16th Prospects for 2014, London 16th Prospects for 2014, Plymouth (via live feed + local panel) 16th Prospects for 2014,York (via live feed) February 13th Heritage and Ritual Tourism, TS Yorkshire 25th/26th Bringing New Finance to the Tourism Sector, London

13th Second Tourism Society session at Best of Britain & Ireland 21st Tourism Society Yorkshire Spring Lunch 27th Annual Dinner, House of Commons 28th Fellows’ Day June 2nd and 3rd Tourism Society Symposium, Liverpool

March 12th Tourism Question Time, Best of Britain & Ireland

Watch out for our regular e-mails giving updates about events, venues and speakers. More information can be found on the Society’s website at www.tourismsociety.org/page/12/tourism-societyevents.htm


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The Tourism Society

Symposium 2014 June 2nd and 3rd – save the date!

After the successes in Beaulieu and Cardiff recently it is a tall order to improve our annual conference each year. For 2014, though, it looks as though we will stage one of the best yet – if not the best. That sounds like a hostage to fortune, but having visited the host city for next year’s conference (actually a symposium) recently and met representatives from the local Convention Bureau, the enthusiasm is infectious. If you have not guessed it yet from the photo, the 2014 symposium will be taking place in Liverpool. As a port, Liverpool dominated world trade, with 40% of global trade passing through its docks by the early 19th Century.The tall ships have long gone, but the regeneration of the docks has kept the area alive as a commercial zone incorporating arts, retail and attractions, including the Maritime Museum with its Titanic exhibition and the dramaticlooking Museum of Liverpool. The once-bustling wharves will form the backdrop to the event, with the Rum Wharehouse on the quay of Stanley Dock as the venue.The overall theme will be ‘The role of tourism and cultureled regeneration in creating economic

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success’, and it is difficult to think of a better city in which to discuss this topic. The date for the symposium will be Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd June 2014. This has been chosen specifically so that ours is the first tourism-themed event of the International Festival for Business (IFB) that is taking place in Liverpool throughout June and July. With support from the Prime Minister and central government, the IFB will act as a catalyst for UK businesses, bringing together 250,000 entrepreneurs and business professionals from at home and abroad. It will be an opportunity for the UK to promote its business skills, heritage and expertise in the way that it has been promoting its cultural and sporting heritage recently to very positive effect. By aligning our symposium with the Festival, the Tourism Society is putting itself right at the heart of the conversation about the importance of tourism as a generator of business, growth, employment and professional development. And with the business world focussing on Liverpool it will be an excellent opportunity to focus attention on the

Issue 156 Winter 2013

visitor economy and its many facets. The content for the symposium is being planned to create real insight into the issues.The Tourism Society Think Tank, under Chairman Ken Robinson CBE, will be preparing a summary report especially for the event, to incorporate the results of a consultation exercise in the early part of 2014. “The Tourism Society has the opportunity of presenting a paper to delegates that will consider the value that cultural events bring to their venues,” Ken Robinson commented, adding, “The objective is to analyse the short-term and more durable tourism benefits that major cultural events can bring to a city and the wider community, in relation to the required investment. The evidence shows that a profitable outcome cannot be taken for granted.” More details about speakers, symposium sessions and study tours will be announced soon. In the meantime, please mark the date in your diary. With the combination of subject matter, venue and aligning with the International Festival for Business, this should be our most successful symposium yet – we look forward to seeing you there.

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Membership News Welcome to the following new Society members. Madalena Guenzi, Catholic University of Milan; Waseem Abuaglain, Fatma Restaurant; Bruce Martin, Ginger Juice; Ian Derrick, GVA RGA; Anna Boyd-Smith, Hampshire County Council; Amanda Pender, Islands’ Partnership; Elisa Martelli, Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK; Janet Uttley, IWM North; Sarah Balet, Leeds Metropolitan University; Vince Mutty and Helen O’Rourke, Made; Katrina Michel, Marketing Cheshire; Jerad Bachar, Nasaafir LLC; Lynne Richards, Newport City Council; Alexis Guntrip, Northumberland Tourism; Suzanne Halil and Nitisha Bhogal, Oman Ministry of Tourism; Sarah Gilbertson, Result Coach Ltd; Tim Sale, Sale Travel Services; Paul McCafferty, Scottish Enterprise; Mhairi Adam, Self-Employed Lecturer; Clark M. Jarra, Starbucks Coffee Switzerland AG; Jackie Grech,The British Hospitality Association; Jana Ruckser,The Tourism Company; Petko Georgiev,The Tourism Company; Auliana Poon,Tourism Intelligence International; Gelena Asis-Dimpas, University of San Jose Recoletos; Daniel Eagar,Visit Peak District & Derbyshire DMO; Lisa Wyld, Irena Massarella, Jeffrey Shaw, Maurice Kennedy and Birte Schmitz, Westminster Kingsway College; Mark Balaam, Anke Winchenbach,

Jacob Myrick, Rosanna Morris, Jiaxin Zhu, Bethany Sear, Emma Simpson, Maniba Sharique, Frankie Johnson, Bridie Stevens, Ben Naylor, Charlotte Williamson, Cody Upright, Aysha Rowe, Annoushka Ramdeen, Jamie Woodward, Georgina Rose Ridley, Huichao Sun, Bruce Liu, Jamie Munro, Marija Markova, Bethany Rooke, Harry Marcham, Shauna Byrne, Sophie West, Nicola Drew, Marta Wisniewska, Marissa Allen, Cai Peiying, Yuen Ting Katrina Lai, Ning Yang, Jiahuan Yu, Yzhan Zhai, Lisa Theverkauf, Nikita Crane, Elizabeth Redford, Anja Blockhaus, William Swift, Tudosie Mircea-George, Klaudia Antoniak, Aaliyah Harrison, Jasmine Evgeniadi, Hollie Hamnett, Lydia Groom, Jessica Clark,

Benjamin Ashley, Connor Goodwin, Charlotte Cummings, Alice Burke, Megan Hunter, Jenny Cheong, Nour el Houda Azzi, Elena Perousse, Jianzhang Chen, Cora Norman, Emanuel Maxim, Norhidayah Binti Yahaya, Nur Aqilah Binti Mohamad, Hussain Alshamrani – all Sheffield Hallam University. Abdullah Alshli, Nour Binladin, Taylor Blumenberg, Valeria Cattolico, Cathrin Czerwinka, Desislava Mihaylova Davidova, Sarah Geraci, Juan Antonio Gomes Garcia, Marine Genty, Maria Belen Guzman Santoro, William Hernandez, Serene Jamil, Azer Karimov, Angelica Kissi, Pinar Koksal, Tasneem Huseini Kudrati, Shara Mason, Kerrianne Massetti, Mary-Elizabeth O’Neill, Stephen Rugumambaju, Klao Siksamat, Tunyamyporn Somritutai, Thanita Tangkathach, Valeria Trofymenko, Constance Irene Winner – all University of Westminster.

University Business School. In the last ten years one of Ron's most fulfilling roles was as vice-chairman and principal fund raiser in Europe for Christel House, an international charity set up by Christel DeHaan in 1998 to educate children from deprived backgrounds in centres in South Africa, India, Mexico,Venezuela and the US. Malcolm Wood FTS

He was a trustee and chairman of the Family Holiday Association, chairman of the Kingston Hospital NHS Trust and founder member of the Tourism Alliance. He graduated from London School of Economics and Political Science. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Ian since he joined ABTA and during my term as Chairman he attended many Society events including the fellow’s visit to London’s Olympic site. The tributes paid across the industry all convey the feelings that I and many board members share that his professionalism, leadership, kindness, support and sense of humour will be missed; however, the legacy of solid business practice that he has left to so many organisations will continue. Ian leaves behind him his wife Gail and two daughters and our thoughts are with them. Alison Cryer FTS MTMI TCN

I Full business and contact details can be found on the Society’s website.

Obituaries Ron Haylock Ron Haylock, who died in late 2013 aged 68, enjoyed a hugely successful career in travel and tourism. He was one of the most respected leaders in the industry with diverse business, philanthropic, educational and cultural achievements and interests. He cut his teeth in student travel and as early as 1974 was appointed CEO of Inghams. Over the next ten years he rose to become international director in Zurich of Hotelplan, the parent company. In 1984 he was appointed European MD of Resort Condominiums International (RCI) beginning an enormously successful business partnership and enduring personal friendship with Christel DeHaan, the company’s founder. Ron was instrumental with DeHaan in establishing tourism and travel as a strong area of research, teaching and learning at the Nottingham

www.tourismsociety.org

Ian Reynolds Ian Reynolds FTS and former ABTA Chief Executive sadly died after a short illness in October. He served as the head of ABTA for 11 years until 2005 and joined the Tourism Society in 1998. He had previously spent 26 years working for IBM as General Manager. Ian became chairman of insurance company Citybond Holdings a few months after leaving ABTA.

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The Back Page Chairman’s view with Sandra Matthews-Marsh FTS MTMI Want to work in tourism? Become a great navigator and expect the unexpected… I thought it might be very hard to top an uplifting 2012, but when I look back on 2013 I think of four particular highlights in my own life which were not even on the radar a year ago – proving that life can be really fun if you are open to new challenges and possibilities. I became a Granny to Isabelle in the summer; I joined The Historic Dockyard at Chatham as a Trustee; my colleagues and I at Visit Kent celebrated our 10th Anniversary and I was honoured to be asked to become the Chairman of the Tourism Society.The baby,The Dockyard, The 10th birthday and The Historic Society with over one thousand fantastically talented members! So, feeling buoyant for 2014 I have to confess I quite like January. I always start the year with a birthday, and a spring clean of my desk and also of my mind and ideas. I’ve given up making resolutions (can never keep them) and instead think hard about what I can do to be a little bit more effective and happier than in the year before. Towards the end of 2013 Helen Grant the new Tourism Minister also gained a new challenge and in her first days of office described the role as her “dream job”. She had good reason as she also launched two incredibly powerful studies, one by Deloitte with VisitBritain and one by Trajectory for VisitEngland. Both proved, beyond a shadow of doubt, that tourism is the most vibrant and productive industrial sector in the UK. Hot off the press the Deloitte report was shared to audiences in the same fortnight at VisitBritain’s launch, at the Tourism Society’s President’s Debate and at VisitEngland’s excellent Visitor Economy Forum. So what’s the bottom line? Firstly, it shows what a clear and evidence-based grip we now how have on our industry’s potential; we understand our audiences better and have clear sign posts. It’s now up to us, as professionals, to respond and seize the moment. If you have not read the studies, I would urge you to do so.Those of us at the coal-face working with businesses

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every day know that this optimism is wellfounded. But to deliver we need to redouble our energies to provide better quality, an improved welcome, and to be more savvy when talking to and looking after our customers. Bland, vanilla and ordinary are unacceptable – exciting, fun, quality, and sustainable are the new normal. So as the good ship Tourism Society begins its navigation into another year, we invite you to get involved. Offering professional development, stimulating debate and networking, advice and support, ideas and creativity – as the new Chairman, supported by new ViceChairmen, Hayley Beer and Mike Jones, we really look forward to meeting you this year. The Society’s excellent 2013 event calendar included a great conference hosted by Tourism Society Wales, and we launched a new website.The professional sections of the Society (TMI and TCN) and the regional Chapters have seen growth in membership. David Curtis-Brignell has been the Captain

of the ship over the last 18 months and we are grateful to him and Greg Yeoman and the office team for navigating us through so safely. David has been a fantastic mentor during my 18 months as Vice-Chairman and I am delighted that he will continue to be closely involved on the Executive Committee and working with the Board and our fantastic President Lord Thurso MP. Exciting plans for 2014 include the Annual Dinner at the House of Commons on March 27th, the Tourism Society Scotland Seminar focussing on the independence debate in September, and the Tourism Society Symposium to be hosted in a brand new hotel and conference venue in Liverpool as part of the Governmentbacked International Festival of Business on June 2nd and 3rd. So, as you navigate the different channels of your busy life I hope you will make time to get more involved in The Tourism Society.Your involvement makes the Society what it is and we in turn will strive to reflect the vibrant, changing and creative sector that we represent.

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