Jonathan's June Tourism Industry Round-up
Today marks mid-Summer, the longest day of the year however, it has felt like a long few weeks as the UK has seen some challenging times domestically. Despite this, history shows us that the country will bounce back stronger than ever before.
April tourism figures good news for UK
It was another record breaking month for inbound tourism to the UK, with 3.7 million visitors arriving in April this year. The latest figures from VisitBritain have revealed a 19% increase on the same time last year, and have delivered the highest April tourism numbers ever recorded.
Overseas visitors spent a record £2 billion in April, as the total number of inbound visits to the UK rose to a record of 11.8 million for the January-April period.
Whilst news is great for the tourism sector, the news is less good for British travellers and holidaymakers. The continued fragility of the pound has seen travel costs soar, with some exchange rates reported as high as €0.98 for £1.
Latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that bookings for international arrivals to the UK during the summer are currently tracking 12% ahead of the same period last year.
Early introduction of the ULEZ
The introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been proposed to be brought forward 17 months earlier than originally planned, with a commencement date of April 2019.
The ULEZ is an area within which all cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will need to meet exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards) or pay a daily charge to travel.
The impact of the earlier introduction of the scheme is set to cause difficulties for coach operators whose vehicles are not yet Euro 6 compliant. The CTA has voiced concerns that simply not enough Euro 6 vehicles will be in service by 2019 for all businesses to be compliant. There is also no device currently available that would allow older vehicles to be made compliant. The Association expressed further concerns that as a result, attractions, theatres, and hotels in Central London could be hit by fewer coach and group bookings.
Changes to Data Protection Regulation
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to become law in the UK in May 2018, replacing the current laws. Most of the changes are in relation to the use of personal data for marketing purposes. Once the new laws come into play, it will be harder for companies to obtain consent to using personal data for marketing purposes, due to a new definition of consent as follows:
"Consent of the data subject means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her."
This means companies will be required to obtain consent through a clear, affirmative action, i.e. express consent only. Indirect approaches such as pre-ticked boxes, or failure to opt out will no longer constitute consent. The consent must also be verifiable, meaning companies will be required to keep a record of how and when consent was given.
UK remains 5th most competitive destination worldwide
The latest Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report has just been released by the World Economic Forum featuring the latest iteration of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI). The TTCI benchmarks the competitiveness of 136 economies, measuring "the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism sector".
Europe & Eurasia remained the most competitive region with 6 countries within the top 10 rankings including Spain ranking first, followed by France, Germany, Japan and the UK in fifth place.
made Co-founder & Managing Director
After graduating in Theatre Studies from the University of Surrey, Jonathan worked briefly for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) at their iconic Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham (working as a Design Assistant on hit television programmes such as BBC One's 'Howards' Way', ‘Telly Addicts' (a game show hosted by Noel Edmonds) and BBC One’s sitcom '2point4 Children’). He also worked for Nickelodeon an American cable and satellite television network that is owned by the Viacom Media Networks.
Next he held the posts of Publicity Assistant at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Box Office Finance Clerk at the National Exhibition Centre before moving on to the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre to take up the position of Direct Marketing Officer.
In 1994, he joined the recently formed marketing agency AKA (Adam Kenwright Associates), followed by a stretch as the Press Officer at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith.
After a further spell at advertising agency HARDSELL, he was appointed the youngest-ever Marketing Manager at West End ticketing agency Applause, leaving to join the full service agency McCABES.
After 6 years at McCABES he was invited to join Dewynters to create a Tourism Marketing Division. Dewynters offer innovative media, marketing, sales and creative solutions for the global entertainment industry. He co-founded made in 2010.
Jonathan sits on the British Tourism Industry Group at VisitBritain (VisitBritain is a non-departmental Public Body funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and co-chairs the Americas Interest Group (AIG).
Jonathan (who was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the age of 7) is now a proud supporter of the British Dyslexia Association. A UK national organisation, offering a wide range of information for parents of children with Dyslexia, Dyslexic adults and their teachers. He is also the UK & Ireland IGLTA Ambassador (IGLTA is the leading global organisation dedicated to LGBT tourism and an Affiliate Member of UNWTO the World Tourism Organisation a specialised agency of the United Nations).
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