29 May 2010

Whatever the Weather

As usual, Team LDSTS is bustling about the countryside, distributing the latest leaflets and brochures to venues across the region. New promotional publications arrive every day from all corners of our service area, and we are frantically delivering the latest issue of What’s On in Chester & Cheshire over the Bank Holiday weekend.

On the Grapevine

The weather may be fairly unpredictable at present – although the recent hot spell saw crowds flocking to outdoor attractions, camp sites and the coast - but the uncertainty caused by clouds of volcanic ash, threats of strike action and a number of other issues effecting foreign travel have at least helped boost the great British ‘staycation’.

Tourism in North Wales may well have been given a lift after its beaches received a record number of Blue Flags this year. The scheme, which rates the quality of clean water, litter-free shores, good facilities and safety standards, has awarded this status to Benllech, Church Bay, Rhydwyn, Llanddona, Llanddwyn, Porth Dafarch, Trearddur, Holyhead Marina, Llandudno North Shore, Llandudno West Shore, Llanfairfechan, Penmaenmawr, Prestatyn, Criccieth-Traeth y Promenad, Dinas Dinlle, Pwllheli-Marian-y-De, Pwllheli Marina and Caernarfon Marina.

We were delighted to learn that The Lowry Hotel in Manchester - one of our TIP hosts – has won second-place Silver in the Large Hotel of the Year category at the EnjoyEngland Awards for Excellence 2010.

National Museums Liverpool has also been shortlisted for the first Marketing Society Northern Awards (in the tourism and leisure category), which will take place at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel on 30th June. We wish them lots of luck.

“Right Decision” to Move Away From Corporate Travel Locations

Booking Services International (BSI), the procurement specialist in corporate and public sector accommodation, meetings and event management, has warned that there will be “challenging times” ahead for the UK’s corporate travel sector.

As the new coalition government imposes £6.2 billion in public spending cuts – which will include discretionary areas such as travel costs and consultancy – hotels are being urged to adopt a few simple strategies to minimise the impact. BSI suggests they “broaden their demand and customer bases by actively seeking new business channels and clients”.

It is almost two years since LDS Tourism Services started moving away from venues with expensive rentals that relied heavily on the custom of business travellers.

Our Manager, Jennifer Prime, says: “We became aware that the leaflet pick-up rate had decreased quite significantly in a certain type of establishment, so we resolved to be proactive and make changes before the full force of the recession hit the local tourist industry.

“We made the right decision and our clients have benefitted from the placement of TIPs [Tourist Information Points] in more popular locations. But we continue to move with the times, so if the corporate travel market picks up, we’ll be on the case. We don’t let the grass grow under our feet at LDS Tourism!”

In the meantime, companies like BSI are advising their clients to “base the selection of accommodation on criteria (based on duty of care/value) rather than ‘named’ hotels”. They believe that by this simple act, “the public sector can take control of price and quality”.

Image: Sand dunes on Prestatyn beach, ©Britainonview 2010

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