Tuesday January 20, 2015
21st January 2015
The UK's poor weather is a brand that should be embraced by the tourism industry!
This is just one of the few interesting observations that came out of this year’s Tourism Society Prospects event held in London on January 20th. The event is the traditional curtain-raiser on the Society’s calendar and this year was streamed live to five different Tourism Society regional chapter meetings across the UK: Edinburgh, Leeds, Plymouth, Cardiff and Greenwich.
The panel was chaired by Patricia Yates FTS, Strategy and Communications Director at VisitBritain, and speakers highlighted factors that they believed would impact on travel and tourism over the coming year. Carl Castledine (Managing Director, Away Resorts) considered the effect the drop in oil prices would have on domestic trips, encouraging people to travel farther around the UK; he had no encouraging news on price reductions from ferry companies, though. David Edwards FTS (Head of Research and Forecasting, VisitBritain) did report that IATA was forecasting a 5.1% drop in air fares for 2015 – encouraging news when taken with the predicted large increase in longhaul flights to the UK regions.
Commenting on security, Nicola Shaw (Chief Executive, HS1) identified measures that had been taken by public services to protect travellers. She also had advice on how best tourism businesses should schedule approaches to Train Operating Companies in order to develop relationships. Matthew Costin, Managing Director, On the Move Division, BDRC Continental, ended the presentations on a high speaking positively about the organic nature of the hotel industry. He emphasised that international leisure is the key long-term source of hotel demand growth and that meetings and conference volumes have recovered to pre-2008/2009 levels. The development of new brands within established groups to keep attracting customers was also highlighted as a trend.
A lively networking session took place after the presentations, reflecting the interesting and relevant content of the speakers’ presentations.
Tourism Society Executive Director Gregory Yeoman FTS said, “The healthy attendance from the different regions at this annual Tourism Society event showed once again how keen tourism professionals are to hear from their peers and share their expertise on how the different sectors can expect to perform over the coming year. There was a frank mix of positive and negative outlooks, but overall the industry continues to look resilient.”
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For further information, please contact:
Blanche Fitzgerald on 0207 269 9693
Notes to editors:
David Edwards, Head of Research & Forecasting, VisitBritain
Nicola Shaw, CEO, HS1
Carl Castledine, Managing Director, Away Resorts
Matt Costin, Managing Director, On the Move Division, BDRC Continental
Chairman: Patricia Yates, Strategy and Communications Director, VisitBritain