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Reading the Runestones

What can the 2009 tourism figures tell us about 2010?

KURT JANSON is policy director of Tourism Alliance


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New culture aim for Manchester

City council unveils vision to provide year-long opportunities for residents

By Pete Hayman

Manchester City Council (MCC) has outlined its new plan to ensure the city continues to provide a year-round cultural offer that will attract more overseas visitors and create more opportunities for local residents. The Cultural Ambition plan aims to build

on the city's Cultural Strategy, which was first published in 2002 and set out objectives to develop the tourism destina- tion potential of Manchester. MCC's new vision is centred around five

he final figures for tourism in 2009 are out – and they are interesting. Overall domestic visitor numbers

were up by 7 per cent to 126m, while spend was up just 4 per cent to £21.8bn. It seems that due to the recession,

more people stayed at home and spent less on their holidays. The overall figure, however, masks what happened in the various market segments. There were an additional 8.7m holidays taken in the UK last year which provided almost £1.3bn in additional revenue to seaside and rural destinations. However, this large increase in holiday travel was dragged back by business tourism which suffered a poor year with trips down 1 per cent and expenditure down 3 per cent. So that's what happened but what

does it tell us going into 2010? Firstly, expenditure on business tourism increased by 21 per cent in November and by 28 per cent in December, indicating that business confidence is on the increase and the economy is starting to recover. Secondly, overseas travel, which decreased by 15 per cent in 2009, remained at that level over the last few months of 2009. This indicates that the confidence in the business sector has not yet flowed through to employees. So while there had been concerns

expressed that the boom in domestic holidays in 2009 would be a one-off and that people would resume their overseas holidays in 2010, there appears little prospect of this happening. It seems, then, that the chances of

another increase in domestic tourism of at least 10 per cent are high.


themes to enhance the city's cultural provision, such as increasing access in local communities, offering more employment opportunities and the expansion of the digital and creative economy in Manchester. A Cultural Commissioning Fund will help

to deliver the Cultural Ambition and is set to be funded through both the private and public sectors after being approved by the

The Urbis centre is set to house the National Football Museum from next year

council. MCC's executive member for culture and leisure, Mike Amesbury, said:

"We have a responsibility to ensure that the exceptional talent in the city is both discovered and nurtured and is encouraged to stay in Manchester."

VB to provide marketing platform for 2012

By Tom Walker

UK-based tourism businesses looking to benefit from the London 2012 Games are being offered a free marketing tool to help with their efforts. VisitBritain, in partnership with London

The new website for UK tourism businesses

Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, has launched a new website ( as a platform for businesses to stay up to date with campaigns relating to the Games. The site will also act as a source of information for tourism businesses.

€9m funding for Waterford tourism development

Plans for the The Viking Triangle - A

Irish tourism minister Mary Hanafin has announced that nearly €9m (£8.1m) has been earmarked for the Viking Triangle scheme in Waterford. Funding has been provisionally

allocated under Fáilte Ireland's Tourism Capital Investment Programme, which will go towards the development of museums and other ticketed attractions.

Read Leisure Opportunities online

Thousand Years of History in a Thousand Paces heritage-based attraction forms part of a wider project to boost the city's tourism appeal. The Viking Triangle – bordered by the

River Suir, the Mall and Cathedral Square – contains examples of architecture from each historic period since 914 AD.

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