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TOURISM

What does the coalition bring?

New policy decisions will have a far-reaching impact

KURT JANSON is policy director at Tourism Alliance

T

news & jobs at www.leisureopportunities.co.uk

BAA reveals impact of ash chaos

Glasgow Airport 'worst hit' as Scottish airports bear brunt of disruption

By Tom Walker

Scottish airports were among the worst affected by flight disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud during April, according to figures from operator BAA. Passenger numbers for the group's three

Scottish airports declined by more than 28 per cent as flights were cancelled due to a six-day lockdown of UK airspace. Glasgow Airport was the worst affected

he coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats is only six pages long,

but it has a surprising number of issues that impact upon the tourism industry. While there is good news in the

decision to scrap the ID card scheme and the next generation of biometric visas, the strong emphasis that the agreement makes on environmental issues holds bad news for aviation. The development of a third runway at

Heathrow, a mainstay of Labour policy, will be cancelled. This is compounded by an agreement not to allow additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted. A second change in aviation policy

will be altering the basis upon which Air Passenger Duty is levied. Instead of being levied on a per person basis, it will now be levied on a per plane basis. As an alternative, there has been an

agreement to push forward on the establishment of a high-speed rail network. While this is laudable, a high speed rail system and improved links to the European high-speed rail network is not going to be a viable solution for people travelling from many European countries let alone long-haul visitors. However, the most significant impact

may well come in plans to significantly reduce public spending. There will be an emergency budget around the end of June at which £6bn of cuts will be announced for 2010/11. The consensus is that this is just the

start, with the public funding of tourism development under severe pressure for the foreseeable future.

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BAA airport, posting a drop of more than 29 per cent compared with March. Ab- erdeen (26 per cent) and Edinburgh (28.3 per cent) also reported sharp falls. Compared with the same period for

2009, passenger traffic for the six BAA- operated airports in the UK declined by nearly 23 per cent to 6.9 million people. Meanwhile, Irish tourism minister Mary

Hanafin has held a meeting with a number of industry representatives to discuss how

Glasgow was one of the worst hit airports

to address the impact of the ash cloud on air travel and inbound tourism. National tourism agency Fáilte Ireland is

currently working with the Irish govern- ment to draw up a customer care charter that aims to increase confidence among both operators and visitors.

Beach awards to help boost Welsh tourism?

By Pete Hayman

An increase in the number of Welsh beaches that have been handed Blue Flag status could boost the tourism industry, according to Keep Wales Tidy (KWT). The organisation revealed 45 Welsh

beaches and five marinas have met the award's 30 Blue Flag criteria. KWT chief executive Lesley Jones said:

Swansea Marina received Blue Flag Status

"With a record number of beaches and marinas achieving Blue Flag status we are well positioned to announce that a trip to our coast will be a quality experience."

New tourism campaign launched in Southend

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is backing a new tourism campaign to attract more visitors to the seaside town. The 'On Sea' campaign builds on the

town's name and includes advertising and marketing material titled 'Dine On Sea', 'Smiles On Sea' and 'Events On Sea'. The first phase of publicity material using the branding is being distributed

Read Leisure Opportunities online www.leisureopportunities.com/digital

to rail stations, through local accommo- dation providers and information points. The campaign is a joint project by the

council, University of Essex, South Essex College, Essex Police and Southend Together, a local strategic partnership. This year sees the completion of a

range of infrastructure changes in the town in a bid to boost the tourism offer.

© Cybertrek 2010

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