26 April 2015

Introducing our new Commercial Director

LDS Tourism Services is delighted to announce the appointment of Jennifer Prime in a newly created role of Commercial Director.
Jenny first joined the Company in 2007, and in her previous position as Business Manager, developed a deep understanding of customer engagement while proving herself adept at problem-solving and decision-making.
She brings with her a passion and determination to achieve the highest possible standards. Speaking of her appointment, she said: “I’m extremely excited about the future and I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of taking the business forward into its next phase of growth.”
Prior to joining LDS, Jenny had a background in accounting and also worked for Cheshire Constabulary.
LDS’s Managing Director, Diana Bardell-Hedley, said: “We are thrilled that Jenny has committed her future to the Company and we know that her continued expertise will be invaluable in moving the organisation forward.
Jenny’s immediate responsibilities will include supporting the team to deliver a first class service, identifying new market opportunities and generally attaining the full potential of the Company. She can be contacted at jenny@ldsts.co.uk.

14 November 2014

Check out our new website

A great many exciting changes have been taking place at LDS Tourism Services over the past 12 months – not least our newly designed website, which went live on 1st September. 

Created by tantrumedia, an innovative, Wirral-based multi-media B2B company, we now have an aesthetically pleasing site with plenty of scope for further development. 

Potential clients can read about LDS and discover why we are still at the top of our game after 22 years in business; our various services are described in detail; and a news page allows customers to stay abreast of all the latest developments. 

Tourist Information Centres (TICs) can request brochures via our newly updated online ordering facility, which displays pictures of all the available leaflets and guides prior to selection.  

Signing up for this free service is really easy: simply click the shopping basket icon at the base of the page, register your details (remembering to select a memorable password) and you will receive a confirmation e-mail. However, please don't panic if you run into difficulties as assistance is at hand in the shape of Tim – an IT whiz and the designer of our web site. He can be reached by phoning 0800 012 2486 and shouting 'help'!

If you have any queries or comments, please feel free to use our contact form, or alternatively, drop us a line at lds@ldsts.co.uk.

9 June 2013

New info point opens at Delamere Forest

Chester Services Partnership’s new Visitor Information Point at Delamere Forest Café is now officially open to the public!

Set in the heart of the Cheshire Plains, Delamere Forest is highly popular with walkers, cyclists, wildlife enthusiasts and folk who enjoy the great outdoors. The café, which is located in the Forestry Commission Visitor  Centre, serves a wide range of freshly made food and drink. It currently enjoys a footfall of 750,000.

Comprising several local authorities and top tourist attractions, CSP controls a total of six elite VIPs in Cheshire and the North Wales Borderlands (including Chester Railway Station, Broughton Retail Park and Cheshire Oaks) – and has plans to increase its portfolio in the near future.

As a founding member of the group from its inception in the 1990s, LDS Tourism Services handles the promotional print for the partners and has exclusive rights to sell space in all the sites.

If you would like further information about displaying your leaflets and brochures in this or any of CSP’s information points, please drop us a line at lds@ldsts.co.uk.

Images: Delamere Forest Visitor Information Point, ©LDS Tourism Services Ltd 2013

10 February 2013

QR that leaflet!

You need only glance at a poster or flick through a magazine these days to spot one of those funny little black and white boxes looking something like a fragmentary crossword puzzle. They are called QR codes.

Originally designed for the Japanese automotive industry, the QR (or Quick Response) code is a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read using a smartphone or dedicated reading device. When the image is scanned, a person is immediately directed to a webpage or application, which then provides more in-depth information about a service, product, offer or place.

QR and promotional print

Leaflets and brochures make ideal platforms for QR marketing. Postage is horrendously expensive nowadays and direct email is viewed by most people as irritating spam, so an interactive link on your promotional literature could save a great deal of wasted time, effort and money.

With a QR code you will be able to measure the success of your printed marketing materials by tracking the scan rates. You can easily add a different code to each pamphlet and you will receive real-time feedback from potential visitors. Additionally, you will know which particular message has generated the most attention.

It is also possible to capture contact information for use at a later date.

Creating your own QR code

A smartphone user first installs a free app with a QR code scanner that can read the matrix barcode and convert it to a URL (uniform resource locator), directing their browser to a website or digital advert.

You will need to ensure that your website or special landing page is optimised to work on a mobile phone. It is quite simple to do this using one of many online services such as mobiSiteGalore.

The most successful QR codes are those which offer vouchers, discounts, competitions or a compelling call to action. They add pizzazz to your printed materials and enhance your ability to measure response. Indeed, you could say that leaflets and QR codes provide the perfect synthesis of print and modern internet marketing. 

Image: LDSTS QR Code, created by ©Kaywa 2013

16 December 2012

Tourism - key to Britain's growth in 2013

As 2012 draws to a close, we take a positive look back at the highs of a tourism industry surviving, and not infrequently thriving, during tough economic times.

Many of our clients enjoyed an exciting and, in the case of Beeston Castle, pleasantly surprising year. During a routine ‘hibernation check’ the Cheshire Bat Group discovered lesser horseshoe bats roosting in caves around the English Heritage property. Last recorded at the site in 1948, this plum-sized species (usually restricted to Wales and the Midlands) was a thrilling find for local wildlife enthusiasts.

Last month, SnowdonMountain Railway took delivery of new carriages for the first time since their existing ones were introduced in the 1920s. Providing extra comfort and with space for additional passengers, the modern coaches nevertheless retain an original look and feel of the steam era. Funding was provided in part by the Welsh Government.

A Bactarian camel calf was born at Knowsley Safari Park in March. Hundreds of visitors flocked to see the double-humped youngster, which is endangered in the wild.

Sticking with the animal theme, two Asian short-clawed otters were born at ChesterZoo in May. The babies were named Daley and Rebecca in honour of the popular British Olympians: diver Tom Daley and swimmer Rebecca Adlington.

Nationally, pubs serving food profited from UK diners eating out more frequently (according to Horizons’ Quickbite Survey). Data showed that the average adult eats out almost three times over a two-week period, with pub restaurants accounting for 19% of those visits.

Back in June, the international Passenger Survey revealed that Britain had benefitted from an increase in inbound tourism with a 10% leap during April (a record 2.9 million visits from overseas and spending at £1.4 billion), compared with the same period the previous year. All told, the first four months of 2012 saw 9.3 million visits – a significant 6% increase. Over the year as a whole, inbound tourism contributed 18.7 billion to Britain’s economy, making it the nation’s third biggest earner of foreign exchange.

In August, the number of domestic overnight holidays rose by 13% (Great Britain Tourism Survey), with just under eight million trips taken that month. Figures from the national tourist board also showed that domestic trips had increased during 2012.

So, what can the industry expect from 2013? According to VisitBritain there will be a probable 3% increase in international tourism, which will mean almost one million additional visits to the UK. There is no doubt that we will continue to face many challenges both nationally and locally but, as the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller made clear at the World Travel Market in November, tourism is key to the UK's growth strategy and many think it could be our fastest growing sector over the next decade.

On that upbeat note, we would like to wish our clients, associates, friends and readers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Image: Traditional Christmas tree, ©VisitBritain /Britain on View 2010

20 October 2012

Chester Zoo: An unforgettable day out

Chester Zoo has enjoyed an eventful year, from leading an international study into heart disease among great apes and hosting a summit of representatives from the UK’s top tourist attractions to unveiling its £30 million Islands development - a unique conservation expedition, which is expected to open for Easter 2015.

On 17th May, The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the gates to the Diamond Jubilee Quarter – a new entrance to the zoo. Long-standing members and other community partners were invited to watch while excited crowds lined the opening. The royal couple took a ride on the attraction’s monorail before Her Majesty had a face to face encounter with the Rhinos.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the management of LDS Tourism Services visited the zoo earlier this month as an end of season treat. A splendid time was had by all: the highlights being the Fruit Bat Forest, Aviary and Meerkats. But there was so much to see (did I mention the new baby Giraffe?) that it was unanimously decided that another visit will be necessary.

A great big thank-you to Chester Zoo for a fabulous day out!


Image: Chester Zoo, © LDS Tourism Services Ltd 2012

11 September 2012

We don’t care what the weatherman says

It may have been a soggy summer but the double-dip recession, grey skies and rainfall didn’t stop our clients from bucking the trend and experiencing a successful season.

Back in July, the Museum of Liverpool celebrated its first birthday by announcing that it had exceeded its initial 12 month target of 750,000 visitors by 500,000 to reach 1.261 million. Director, Janet Dugdale revealed that this figure comprised 50% of visitors from Merseyside – right in the heart of LDS Tourism Services’ distribution area.

The Llangollen International Eisteddfod sold nearly 2,000 more concert tickets than last year. The event’s Music Director, Elir Owen Griffiths, commented to the Daily Post: “We can safely say that Llangollen International Eisteddfod is back on its feet financially and withstood weather conditions, unlike other festivals.”

Cholmondeley Pageant of Power celebrated its “biggest and best ever” gala in spite of the dismal weather. Thousands of petrolheads turned out to enjoy even more supercars, helicopters, powerboats and interactive features than ever before. James Hall, the event director, was quoted in the local newspaper as saying: “The Pageant has well and truly secured its place as Britain’s most thrilling and most interactive day out.”

Thousands attended the seventh Wirral Food and Drink Festival at Claremont Farm during the August Bank Holiday. Over 20,000 people poured into the site over two days without regard to the mud and rain. The festival’s organiser, Andrew Pimbley, confirmed that the event was an enormous success.

There were “record-breaking crowds” at the 21st Southport Air Show earlier this month when 150,000 spectators were treated to breathtaking aerial displays. Tony Corfield, head of tourism at Sefton Council told the Southport Visiter: “It was a phenomenal success. With a combination of strong displays and good weather, we were actually at capacity on [the] Sunday – the car parks were full and we even used all the reserve car parks.”

Even those of our clients hardest hit by the bad weather, rising fuel costs and the ‘Olympic effect’ appear to have lured a significant number of holidaymakers throughout the season. For instance, Peter Furniss from Llangollen Wharf was quoted in the Denbighshire Free Press as saying: “Business has not been as bad as it might have been. We’re very weather dependant, but the weather has improved slightly since the schools broke up, which is good.”

If you run an attraction within our service area we would love to hear from you. Let us know how the rains and recession of 2012 effected your business. If you would like us to organise your distribution and display campaign in 2013, please ring us on 01244 671859 or drop us a line at lds@ldsts.co.uk.

Image: Clouds, © Copyright Free Photos 2012

20 August 2012

LDS Tourism Services supports ESF

The official plaque for the European Social Fund (ESF)

LDS Tourism Services has recently joined forces with the Redundancy Action Scheme II (ReAct II), a programme set up by the Welsh Assembly Government for people living in Wales who are facing job loss. 

It’s a great way to give individuals who have become unemployed in the past six months an opportunity to gain new skills and get back into work as quickly as possible.

We think the new plaque is rather smart - not to mention blue – although nobody famous has joined the team as yet! 

Image: ReAct II plaque, ©LDS Tourism Services 2012