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The consultation everyone should reply to

KURT JANSON is policy director of Tourism Alliance

Scottish landmarks need repairs

Scotland’s historic build- ings are in need of more than £170m worth of repairs and improvements, with at least 1,700 sites across the country requiring urgent conservation, a leaked report from Historic Scotland has revealed. Historic Scotland, which


he Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has opened a public consultation on changes to the Package Travel Directive

that the European Commission is propos- ing in order to clarify and enhance consumer protection in the increasingly complex world of travel sales. While the consultation is directed at

tour operators, there is one part that all tourism-related businesses should look at – the definition of a “package”. At the moment a package is defined

as any two of three things – transport, accommodation and other tourism ser- vices. Other tourism services is a very broad category which includes any rec- reational or leisure product such as a ticket to an event or attraction, admis- sion to a gym or spa, a meal at a café or a round of golf. So if you want to work with a local

hotel to provide a value-added product for visitors you are providing a package and are bound by the directive. This means that, among other things,

to sell this type of package, a hotel either has to be bonded or have a trust fund in place to hold customers’ money and is legally responsible for all parts of the product. So, if you are the hotel and the customer trips at the theatre, gets hit by a golf ball or has a dumbbell fall on them, you get sued rather than the company that provided the other tourism service. Understandably, this means that many

hotels are disinclined to provide value- add products, which is detrimental to both the suppliers of other tourism ser- vices and to customers who miss out on getting a good deal. The good news is that the govern-

ment believes that this type of product should be excluded from the directive. However, before it goes to the European Commission, it needs the industry here to support its position. If you only reply to one consultation this year, make it this one.


maintains 345 landmarks including castles, abbeys, monuments and muse- ums, has warned investment in infrastructure has been inadequate and that both Edinburgh and Stirling cas- tles have management issues. Written in February, the

Historic Scotland maintains 345 landmarks across the country

document had not been shown to the public until recently, with Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish culture minister, making no mention of the study in her parliamentary statements. The report predicts that £42m will be required over the next 20 years to conserve

historic landmarks, with a further £63m required for new states. An extra £67m is needed for investment

in visitor presentation and tourism, with the combined amount required “over and above” current budgets. Details:

Harry Potter and Downton Abbey boosting tourism According to a report from Visit Britain, vis-

British film and television exports are providing a boost to tourism, with the likes of Harry Potter and Downton Abbey bringing significant addi- tional revenue to local economies, with almost one in three UK tourists visiting a historic landmark thanks to a productions’ worldwide successes.

itors spend a total of around £6.5bn a year, on this kind of tourism, with attendance numbers in locations such as Alnwick Castle where the Harry Potter series was filmed more than doubling over the past year.

Green tourism conference coming to Bristol

Te UK’s first international con- ference on sustainable tourism will be held on 8 November 2013, at the Bristol Science Centre. Te Green Tourism Conference,

the highlight of Green Tourism Week, will showcase some of the most successful, progressive prac- tices adopted by the travel and hospitality industries. Te conference will feature del-

egates from across the UK and abroad, with a number of key- note speakers covering the latest developments and trends, while the conference will also place a significant effort on encouraging networking and exchanging ideas. Te World Tourism Organisation (WTO)

recently stated that increased awareness and consumer demand for sustainability is thought to be worth at least 11 per cent of the

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Te conference will be held at the Bristol Science Centre

global consumer tourism spend. Industry interest in sustainability is thought

to have increased because of a need for energy savings and a desire to reduce costs in both the travel and hospitality sectors. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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