12 December 2010

A Brighter Outlook For 2011

Christmas is fast approaching and we are looking forward to celebrating the start of a new decade. It is now too that we take stock and consider the year ahead.

In recent months, financial forecasts haven’t made very pleasant reading, but there are plenty of reasons why British tourism operators should feel optimistic.

The number of holiday visits to the UK rose by about 6% between July and October, whereas the number of Brits holidaying abroad fell by 3% (Office for National Statistics) during the same period. Roger Smith, head of the International Passenger Survey for the ONS, said: “It does appear that there are signs that the large falls we have seen in the recent past have begun to stabilise and show some signs of recovery.”

In their Forecast for the Volume and Value of Inbound Tourism in 2011, VisitBritain (the UK’s national tourism agency) said that the “positive side [to the] prolonged weakness in the value of sterling continues to provide an opportunity to challenge perceptions relating to Britain's expensiveness as a destination”. They predict that the volume of inbound tourism to the UK in 2011 will be 30.0 million visits, with inbound visitors spending £17.2 billion. This 1% increase may seem slight but it is at least heading in the right direction and is an encouraging development in such gloomy times.

Ireland’s financial woes could well be advantageous to hospitality and tourism businesses in North Wales. Pay cuts in the public sector and changes to tax credits and income tax have subdued the once booming Celtic Tiger economy and will undoubtedly make an enormous difference to spending habits in 2011. The strength of the Euro against the Pound led to increased holiday bookings by Irish residents visiting North Wales in 2009/10. It now seems likely that exotic holidays will be unaffordable for some time to come and Irish holidaymakers will opt for somewhere a bit closer to home – perhaps a short ferry ride from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead. Every cloud...

While a recent survey by StrongMail showed that a third of marketers intend to decrease their trade show spends in 2011, it also revealed that investment in social media marketing will increase by 57%. (If you scroll to the end of this article, you will see a brand new map of the world, showing the most popular social networks by country, according to AlexaGoogle Trends for Websites traffic data, December 2010.)

We were, however, unsurprised to read that “print has a place in the world of new media” (PrintWeek - 10th December 2010). A report published by KPMG, the auditor running six monthly surveys on media in general, showed that “four in five consumers prefer print to online”. The latest Media and Entertainment Barometer survey by YouGov confirmed that “86% of consumers prefer to consume media offline, with the most popular reason a preference for reading physical copies”.

Please contact us to discuss your social media marketing and leaflet/brochure distribution campaigns in 2011.

World Map of Social Networks
Top image: ©Britainonview / David Sellman, 2010

No comments: