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VisitEngland star ratings to appear on TripAdvisor

VisitEngland has teamed up with TripAdvisor in a deal that sees the tourism body’s official star ratings now displayed on the TripAdvisor pages of participating accommodation providers nationwide. Hotels, B&Bs and other lodgings across

England will be able to demonstrate the qual- ity of their service through the scheme, with VisitEngland joining organisations such as the AA as providers of official star ratings for TripAdvisor. Tis partnership forms part of VisitEngland’s strategy to help tourism busi- nesses engage with digital platforms. “Our star ratings appearing on TripAdvisor

is a fantastic benefit to VisitEngland’s scheme, demonstrating the importance of star ratings in helping potential customers to choose their accommodation with confidence,” said VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford. Details:

Scottish hopes high for TV series

VisitScotland hopes its recent tourism boom can be prolonged a major new television series set in the country, which is being billed as Scotland’s answer to smash hit Game of Trones. Te much-anticipated adapta-

tion of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books was treated to a glittering red carpet premiere in California last month, and VisitScotland believes the series could turn the country into a magnet for fans of the show, building on the large fanbase of the bestselling novels. The runaway success of the Game of Trones TV series, shot in Northern Ireland, led to a significant tourism boost for the country, which was quick to produce a complementary marketing campaign. To capitalise on the following of the Outlander

books and the starring role that Scotland plays in the TV series, which was filmed almost entirely on location, VisitScotland will be undertaking a num- ber of PR campaigns over the coming months to encourage potential visitors to enjoy an Outlander- style adventure in the Scottish countryside. This activity began by inviting a group of

leading American travel writers to premiere screenings of Outlander in San Diego and New

Game of Trones provided a huge boost to tourism in Northern Ireland

York to highlight the real Scottish places and historical events behind the stories. In addi- tion, the national tourism organisation secured a spot on the red carpet in San Diego to inter- view the stars about filming in Scotland to create a short film which will support future promo- tions. “While in America, I have personally seen queues for Diana Gabaldon book-sign- ings disappear round the block. Te television series is potentially huge for Scotland and could well be our answer to Game of Trones,” said chair of VisitScotland Mike Cantlay. Details:

Chinese visitors to the UK have doubled since 2005 Middle Eastern tourists spend big in UK

Revealed: What Chinese visitors want from a UK hotel

Chinese tourists have shed some light on the type of hotels they value in the UK, with visitors numbers from the Middle Kingdom having practically doubled since 2005. According to results published by, Chinese tourists have rated Birmingham’s three-star Holiday Inn Express as the best place to stay in the country – handing the offering a rating of 9.6 out of 10. Other hotels making up the top five UK

hotels according to Chinese visitors were Old Town Chambers, Edinburgh, Bath Paradise House, Bath, Broadlands Guest House, Windermere and Tower Guest House, York. Te Chinese tourists’ first choice – the £49

per night Holiday Inn – was praised for a number of different qualities, including the size of its bath, complimentary breakfast, pillows and proximity to attractions.” “In line with industry trends, we have

experienced a 50 per cent increase in UK bookings by Chinese tourists in the first quar- ter of 2014 compared to the same timeframe in 2013,” said Jason Grist of Details:


Visitors from the Middle East are Britain’s most zealous interna- tional shoppers, with clothes or shoes at the top of their shopping list, according to a new report. Questions about spending hab-

its, compiled by VisitBritain, were put to more than 50,000 people who were asked to identify the items they had purchased on a trip to Britain from a pre-defined list. Te organisation’s subsequent report What inbound visitors shop for in Britain shows that it’s not just high-end goods that international guests are finding attractive to buy. While the most commonly purchased item was

London’s West End is one of the top destinations for tourist shopping

‘clothes or shoes’ (41 per cent), this was followed by ‘food or drink’ (24 per cent) and then holiday ‘souvenirs’ (16 per cent). Of the Middle Eastern visitors, Kuwaitis were shown to be the biggest spenders, with the average visit from that country delivering £4,000 to the UK economy. By comparison, the average French visitor will

spend an average of £343. Scotland was shown to be the UK’s culinary capital for tourists, with 40 per cent of visitors buying British food or drink to take

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home with them – shortbread and whisky proving popular. “Britain offers a great shopping experi- ence. We have wonderful shops whatever the price range, a unique sense of style and authentic British brands,” said VisitBritain director of strategy and communications Patricia Yates. “By inspiring our guests to shop, we can spread the economic benefits of tourism across the whole country, further adding to the export earnings deliv- ered by Britain’s fiſth largest industry: tourism.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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