Tourism Stats, Facts and Links (January 2014 edition)

The Tourism Company is proud to be a member of The Tourism Society's Tourism Consultants Network. Every two months the Network publishes a newsletter and we provide a regular column for it outlining the latest tourism statistics and research reports. We thought that the information would be of interest and relevance to a wider audience so we have decided to reproduce each column here on our website. I hope that you find the information useful.

Kind regards
David Bloy

January 2014 edition

2014 will see overseas visitor numbers to the UK increase by nearly 2% and spending increase by over 4%

Those are two of the forecasts made by Visit Britain in an upbeat assessment of prospects for UK inbound tourism over the coming year. The annual forecast, issued by the agency in December each year, and updated the following June, explores the factors likely to shape trends over the coming year. And in news that will be warmly greeted by the industry, VisitBritain notes that it expects to see the volume of visits returning to pre-global financial crisis record levels of 2008, with 32.6 million arrivals in 2014. Visit Britain also expects to see record-breaking visitor spend of around £21.5 billion.

Considering an app or mobile initiative? – check the state of mobile internet coverage in your area first!

We recently worked on a visitor information strategy for a County in Wales. At the outset, we felt that there could be potential for delivering information via visitors’ mobile phones. However, when we looked at official statistics compiled by telecoms regular Ofcom we discovered that 2G mobile coverage in the County at the time was 38% with 3G coverage less than 1%. Knowing such statistics meant that we avoided going overboard on mobile, instead favouring a range of solutions including ‘good old fashion print’!

I highly recommend the regulator’s really useful set of maps that show mobile internet coverage for each local authority in the UK.

The ‘fear of missing out’ and ‘individualocracy’ -two trends you need to know about

December 2013 saw VisitEngland launch Domestic Leisure Tourism Trends for the Next Decade. The multi-platform initiative seeks to identify the trends - such as those referenced in the title - that will influence domestic tourism over the coming years. There is a website where you can download the project report, and find out more about each of the individual trends. For a limited time, VisitEngland is also hosting an online think-tank.

Visitor satisfaction data

Over the last few years Visit England has been building a valuable set of data on visitor satisfaction with UK destinations. Each week, a sample of 100 English residents is interviewed using an online survey. Those who have taken a holiday in England within the past 12 months are asked to provide details of their holiday. They are also asked to rate their destination overall and with respect to around 30 different dimensions such as quality of accommodation, customer service, value for money etc. These 30 dimensions are distilled down to a one number index, making the results very easy to understand. Top performing destinations include Cornwall, Lake District, and North York Moors (all of which have an index score of 109).