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The real work must now get underway

kurt janson is policy director at Tourism Alliance

London 2012 to improve appeal

New research by VisitBritain suggests London 2012 will improve the UK’s appeal, aſter 80 per cent of tourists last year felt at least “very wel- come” during their stay. Te tourism agency spon-


ſter all the pre-Olympic concerns relating to processing arrivals at the ports-of-entry, finding enough security staff for the

venues and whether there would be travel chaos in London, the Olympics have been delivered without a hitch. Better than this, there’s been praise in

the overseas press that the 2012 Olympics were the best ever – not just in their deliv- ery, but in terms of the welcome and support received by overseas athletes and visitors. No one who visited any of the Olympics ven- ues could possibly have come away without being impressed by the celebratory atmo- sphere that enveloped the Games. However, this feel-good factor has a limited shelf life - it needs to be exploited before it wears- off. Tis is doubly important in the overseas markets were the return to reality for people will be a lot quicker than in the UK. It was therefore extremely pleasing that

secretary of state Jeremy Hunt announced that the government would send an addi- tional £2m on a domestic marketing campaign and a further £8m on the “Great” campaign in China in order to boost the tourism and investment legacy associated with hosting the Games. Tis is a significant vote of confidence in the tourism industry’s ability to provide additional revenue and employment for the UK. Yet, at the same time that the government

announced that £8m is to be spent to attract investment and visitors from China, we get two other conflicting pieces of news. First a statement from the PM saying that the gov- ernment will stand by its decision not to increase capacity at Heathrow with a third runway. With Heathrow operating at 99 per cent capacity who knows how the additional visitors are going to get to the UK. Te second was a leaked letter from the

Home Office saying it’s not prepared to undertake improvements to the visa appli- cation process in China that the tourism industry needs to stimulate demand. So now the hard hard work begins -

getting a joined-up approach to tourism development from government before the feel-good factor wears-off.


sored a question as part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s poll of nearly 9,000 departing tourists, undertaken over the last three years. In that time, VisitBritain

reported a “steady improve- ment” in how welcome the visitors felt and in how likely those people were to recom- mend the UK as a destination. English-speaking markets such as the US,

Te UK is expected to attract more inbound visits from abroad in 2013

Canada and Australia were among feeling most welcome, with 40 per cent of Americans say- ing they felt “extremely welcome”. Attractions (22 per cent) and restaurants (21 per cent) are most likely to be the first point

described as most welcoming, with pubs and bars at 13 per cent. VisitBritain director of strategy and com-

munications Patricia Yates said: “Enhancing the world’s perceptions of a British welcome will help us attract more visitors.” Read more:

Emerald Isle Classic game worth 100m euro to Ireland

Irish transport, tourism and sport minister Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the Emerald Isle Classic taking place this weekend in Dublin is worth EUR100m (£79m) to the economy. Te American Football game between Notre Dame and the US Naval Academy is being held

at the Aviva Stadium and is expected to attract 35,000 spectators from the US. Varadkar said: “Te largest ever group of US

sport fans for a stand-alone sporting event out- side the US will travel to the game.” Read more:

VisitScotland launches autumn campaign

VisitScotland is looking to capitalise on a “last minute surge” in potential domes- tic visitors this autumn aſter announcing details of a £3m seasonal marketing push. According to the national

tourism agency, there is evi- dence to suggest that UK residents had delayed their holidays as a result of London 2012 and poor weather. VisitScotland said that

research undertaken by Travelsupermarket had shown 3 million Brits could now be looking to holiday later than usual aſter delaying plans. Te new campaign forms part of its Surprise

Up to 3 million Britons are looking to holiday later than usual this year VisitScotland chair Mike Cantlay said:

Yourself programme and encourages domestic tourists to holiday at home, while generating an £80m boost for Scotland’s economy.

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

“While poor weather has dampened Scottish soil, it hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm.” Read more:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2012

image: bikeworldtravel/

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