Tourism Stats, Facts and Links (November 2013 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

November 2013 edition

Looking for digital tourism project case studies?

I often find it useful to include case studies within reports, especially so when seeking to illustrate the potential of tourism-related new technology developments. So it was pleasing to come across a clear and succinct description of the digital projects that have been supported as part of Welsh Government’s Wales Digital Tourism Business Framework programme. The list of 46 projects includes everything from a Sea Kayak Tip Planner to Pembrokeshire County Council’s digital system that aggregates event information into a comprehensive resource that can be used by agencies, businesses and organisations.

Three quarters of accommodation businesses now offer internet access in some form

The latest round of figures charting accommodation providers’ increasingly- common provision of internet access comes courtesy of VisitEngland’s Tourism Business Monitor Accommodation report.

As well as the headline three quarters figure, the research highlights that two thirds of those that offer internet access do so for free. Also included in the findings is that Internet provision is more typical at serviced accommodation, but is common even at campsites, with over half offering access of some kind (although 50% of these campsites charge for usage). Small establishments (with no more than 10 bedspaces) tend to offer internet access for free as an additional extra, while larger and city based businesses are more likely to capitalise on internet provision by charging for usage.

2013 so far – a ‘mixed bag’ in terms of visitor numbers

The joy that has heralded the news that Britain has enjoyed the strongest start to a year in terms of the number of visitors from overseas since 2008 is being tempered by a more sluggish performance on the domestic visitor front.

Latest figures from VisitBritain show that across the first eight months of 2013 there were 22.03 million visits from overseas, 6% more than in the same period of 2012. What’s more, visitors from overseas spent Ł13.72bn in Britain in the eight months to August, up 11% on the same period last year.

However, the picture emerging for domestic visitors is less rosy. Looking at the year-to-date data published by VisitEngland, the number of trips taken in Great Britain (from January to end of June) has declined slightly against the same period last year (-3%), with nights and spend broadly flat (by -4% and -1% respectively).

The Olympics legacy, favourable exchange rates and improved consumer confidence have been cited as factors underlying the strong showing for inbound visitors. The perennial issue of the weather (2013 saw one of the coldest springs of the last century) is mentioned as a contributor to the poor domestic figures. It will be interesting to see whether the good weather experienced in much of the UK in July will see an uplift in domestic performance across the rest of the peak season.

Hungry for more stats and facts?

The UK’s national tourism boards do an excellent job of providing a whole host of insights. Whilst many of you may well already be actively using these resources I thought it worthwhile to provide a ‘plug’ for them just in case any of our number are unaware of them.

Visit Scotland
Visit Wales
Fáilte Ireland
Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Tourism Ireland