Sharing expertise in the groups market
“The most important thing I have learnt over the years is that it’s all about relationships”
Expert individuals making an ever-changing jigsaw
Change in the air – and in how we enjoy ourselves
“One or two-night breaks used to predominate but we now see more four-night stays”
Tourism and the environment: change in the air?
“Groups are an absolutely vital part of what we do.”
“Coaches and groups are an integral part of Southport's economy.”
“£160 million is being invested across the organisation.”
Augmented and virtual reality have enormous potential implications for enhancing the visitor experience
“Groups are really important and account for about 15% of our audience.”
Data challenges could herald change for travel trade marketplace
Regulations and protection up for review
“In 3½ years I’ve seen an increase in requests for guided tours.”
Package Travel Regulations
The new Package Travel Regulations (PTR) extend the 1990 EU Package Directive beyond traditional package holidays to protect consumers who book other forms of combined travel such as a pre-arranged package from a travel agent, tour operator or holiday operator.
Made up of Linked Travel Arrangements (LTAs) they include at least two elements, such as flights, accommodation and transport or customised holiday packages with a selection of holiday and travel elements bought from a single business.
Under the new regulations these and other such combinations are regarded and should be protected as a package for insurance purposes.
Group organisers, travel agents and tour operators are all affected equally by the new regulations.
One point to note though, is that the regulations do not apply to packages and linked travel arrangements covering a period of less than 24 hours, unless overnight accommodation is included. In addition, they do not apply to packages and LTAs organised occasionally on a not for profit basis for a limited group of travellers, such as a school trip.
The Tourism Alliance has written a useful summary with some examples to help explain the new regulations (which you can find below) alongside a copy of the official guidance on the regulations.
Tourism Sector Deal
T he Tourism Alliance, of which the GTBF is a member, has provided an update on how the bid for a Tourism Sector Deal with the government is progressing.
A paper outlining what was possible in developing skills within the Tourism industry was initially submitted to Visit Britain at the end of February and UKHospitality is continuing to develop its thoughts with two themes being very important to the skills agenda – retention of staff and improving the reputation of the sector to boost recruitment and resourcing.
Part of the Tourism Bid document looks at the establishment of Tourism Zones to boost growth, productivity and the development of place. The concept of Tourism Zones is being developed but early thoughts are that they would each need to demonstrate how the three strands of the Deal itself – skills, connectivity and boosting productivity – would be developed and implemented through a public/private partnership at the local level.
At the core of a Tourism Zone, and responsible for developing and implementing a Zone Plan would be a partnership between the tourism industry, the Local Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership. Pragmatically, the Tourism Zones are envisaged at stretching across political and council boundaries so they conform to areas recognised by visitors as distinct destinations and this will enhance the idea of ‘development of place’.
There should be no limit on the number of Tourism Zones, and areas designated as a Tourism Zone should have prioritised access to existing funds such as the Coastal Community Fund.
Other thoughts that would guide the workings of these new zones would be prioritised provision of infrastructure such as broadband roll-out, Network Rail and Highway Agency investment.