‘UK Government not embracing tourism enough’ says Ufi Ibrahim

Professor Adam Blake, Ufi Ibrahim and Dr Keith Wilkes

Professor Adam Blake, Ufi Ibrahim and Dr Keith Wilkes

The UK isn’t doing nearly enough to ensure we are one of the world’s top tourist destinations. That was the message from Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), at the third conference of the International Association for Tourism Ec

onomics, hosted by Bournemouth University this month.

During her keynote speech ‘UK Tourism: Barriers to Growth’, Ms Ibrahim said the hospitality industry poses a serious opportunity that is not being leveraged at the moment.

“As international competition increases we have to be better than world class to get a strong market share. In 2009 the UK ranked 6th on the list of the World’s international arrivals, with 29.9 million visitors in comparison to France, which has 74.2 million.”

Ms Ibrahim said we need to address the factors that affect tourism and those that may prevent tourists from choosing the UK. For example the UK ranks poorly for fuel price levels in comparison to other countries across the world, and for ticket taxes and airport charges we are almost bottom of the world league alongside Mali, Senegal and Timor-Leste.

And after the recent Royal Wedding reportedly giving the UK economy a £2billion boost, now is the perfect time to capitalise on the global events ahead – the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Jubilee to name a few – and the opportunities they present.

“VisitBritain says 4.7 billion viewers (70 per cent of the World’s population) saw at least some of the coverage of the Beijing Olympics. And 2012 is estimated to provide an additional 1.6 billion Games-related positive media coverage for Britain. But in order to maximise this potential we absolutely must have Government support,” says Ms Ibrahim.

“Hospitality is the fifth largest industry in the UK, contributing 2.6 million jobs. But given the right Government framework, the UK hospitality industry can create a further 236,000 new jobs by 2015.”

Ms Ibrahim called on the Government to take action. “The BHA wants Prime Minister David Cameron to genuinely embrace and champion the tourism and hospitality economy, and look at the barriers to growth and really tackle them. He needs to help us to help UK plc.”

Among these challenges are the unfavourable VAT rates for hotels and restaurants, public sector cutbacks to tourism budgets and agencies such as VisitLondon, and an immigration policy that prevents the recruitment of international chefs from outside the EU.

The BHA is taking steps to try and improve the outlook, such as jointly working with the Treasury to look at the impacts of VAT rates, raising the visibility of the Visit agencies, and promoting the Olympics Legacy beyond 2012 and London.

But Ms Ibrahim said a lot of work still needs to be done. More Government lobbying and a strong desire to invest is needed to keep domestic tourism alive and ensure the UK is a top tourist destination.

BU’s coaching academy prepares Atlantic rowers

BU's coaching academy prepares Atlantic rowersBU’s Academy of Performance Coaching, which is based in the School of Tourism, has formed a training partnership with David Whiddon and Lloyd Figgins – two men who will row across the Atlantic to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

With the skills, training and expertise within the Academy, BU are helping the pair – who have not rowed before – to complete the biggest challenge of their lives when they depart from Agadir, Morocco to English Harbour in Antigua in December. Their epic mission has even attracted support from the legendary Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has branded their challenge ‘remarkable’. (more…)

Qatar fails to win hearts of British public, research finds

Qatar fails to win hearts of the public, research findsWorld Cup 2022 host Qatar appeals to just a third of the British public.

Only a third of the British public would travel to Qatar, the destination for the 2022 World Cup, according to research by Bournemouth University’s Professor John Fletcher and the University of Plymouth’s Dr Yeganeh Morakabati.

Despite the very British images of Earl Grey Tea, Marmalade and Vintage Champagne filling the silence between the Qatar Airways sponsored episodes of Sky News, one of the world’s richest countries is yet to win the hearts of the British public. (more…)

IFITT workshop at Eye For Travel

IFITT workshop at Eye For Travel Representatives from leading travel and tourism organisations and academia recently attended a workshop about ‘Technology and social media enabled service management in hospitality and tourism’, held at the Eye For Travel Summit in London.

Moderated by the International Federation for IT in Travel and Tourism (IFITT) president – Professor Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University) – the workshop saw KLM, VisitBritain, Google, TripAdvisor, British Airways, Tnooz.com, BrandKarma and the John Kent Institute in Tourism (Bournemouth University) discuss recent developments in real-time technologies, social media, context based services and augmented reality impact customer service management and marketing in the tourism industry. (more…)

Egypt still ranks in the top destination wish

Egypt still ranks in the top destination wishThe civil unrest in Egypt has done little to diminish its lure as a leading destination for British tourists according to research due to be published next month by tourism experts at Bournemouth University and the University of Plymouth.

Academics have been surveying the public’s perception of countries in the Middle East over the past year, before the onset of regime change and government suppression, and have continued to monitor the changes in people’s perceptions as events in the Middle East have unfolded. (more…)

BU hosts seventh ICCAS Conference

Professor John Edwards at the ICCAS conference at Bournemouth University

Professor John Edwards at the ICCAS conference at Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University recently hosted the 2011 International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences (ICCAS), which this year attracted international participants from across 19 countries.

The seventh ICCAS conference, co-organised by Dr Heather Hartwell and Dr Peter Lugosi in BU’s School of Tourism, built on the success of past programmes by drawing together individuals and organisations from a variety of disciplines, where experts and practitioners exchanged ideas, presentations and themes of mutual interest and benefit regarding foodservice.

In 2011 the conference ‘came home’ to its place of origin, and Dr Hartwell expressed her ‘delight’ that delegates were invited back to BU on the South Coast, which is home to the Foodservice and Applied Nutrition Research Group, part of the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research.

The conference received the highest compliments from visiting delegates. Dr Edward Bottone of Drexel University, USA, said that “being in Bournemouth for the first time, I was intrigued and impressed and wished I could stay longer. Should we be so fortunate, we would feel privileged to present again in the future”.

Suzanna Bliss of AUT University, New Zealand also expressed ‘sincerest thanks for all the hard work and effort that contributed to a fantastic ICCAS’.

Dr Hartwell herself reflected that: “we are delighted with the response, not only did delegates praise the academic programme but they also welcomed the time networking with fellow research.”

School to showcase KTP expertise at business breakfast

School of TourismThe School of Tourism will be hosting a breakfast event for companies from across the region to find out how they can access the University’s specialist expertise to boost their business.

The School, which specialises in hospitality, nutrition, events, leisure, retail and marketing, will host the event from 8.30am to 10.30am on Wednesday 7 June at Poole House, Fern Barrow, Bournemouth.

At the free business breakfast, which will have a particular focus on the food and drink sector, guests will be able to find out how Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with BU can help their business grow and develop.

KTPs are government-funded programmes in which graduates‚ supported by University experts‚ deliver strategic or tactical business projects.

Representatives from Dorset Cereals will be revealing how working with BU experts enabled them to increase their turnover, market share and brand penetration, thereby enabling them to become the joint brand leader in the UK for muesli sales.

BU Knowledge Transfer Manager Dr Martyn Polkinghorne said: “The University greatly values its strong relationships with local and regional business organisations. Our recent work with Dorset Cereals is a prime example of how the University can inject new knowledge, theories and processes that enable business organisations to take a significant step forward. In fact in the case of Dorset Cereals we supported them to quadruple their turnover following co-ordinated support for both their marketing and production activities..

“Businesses attending this free breakfast event will be able to learn from Dorset Cereals about their experience of working with BU, and about current funding opportunities to support similar innovative projects that may suit their own organisation.”

For more details and to book your place at this event please visit: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/free-business-breakfast

Lottery funding boost for sport at Bournemouth University

Students at Bournemouth University are being urged to give sport another go after a project secured £266,338 in National Lottery funding from Sport England.

BU’s Free Your Fitness project is being backed by Sport England’s £10 million Active Universities fund to get more university students playing sport.

Bournemouth University students playing volleyball on Bournemouth beach

Bournemouth University students playing volleyball on Bournemouth beach

Forty other projects are part of the initiative, which part of the mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Free Your Fitness will give students access to a wide range of new and refreshed sports activities at a variety of locations across the community. Students will be offered a membership deal across a range of facilities and will also be offered discounted rates in return for volunteering within community sport. They will also be encouraged to gain qualifications in coaching and officiating, allowing them to manage their own activities and events.

The project was developed after research found a lack of time, cost and travel to be the main barriers to participation. By creating a programme of sports and activities that are low cost, accessible and within a reasonable travel distance, Free Your Fitness aims to get hundreds more students playing sport.

Steve Jones, Community, Culture & Sport Manager at BU said: “The funding is great news for the University as it will help us encourage more students to discover the long-term enjoyment of regular sport participation. It further strengthens our local and regional partnerships so that we can provide improved access to a range of facilities and sports close to where students live and study.  sportBU staff are now eagerly looking forward to starting the project.”

The Active Universities projects will give tens of thousands of students across the country the chance to try out a new sport, or get back into one they’ve tried before.

Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: “Young adults who are still playing sport when they leave university are likely to stick with it for life, so this is a good investment in the future. These projects have been chosen because they really listened to what students wanted, so we are confident they will succeed in increasing participation.”

President of the Student Union Toby Horner said: “This is an extremely positive leap forward for Sport at BU and a step towards promoting it as part of a healthy lifestyle. Targeting students who may currently perceive sport as an undesirable choice is an exciting prospect, as is promoting the wider benefits that result from schemes such as this. Most importantly, this is recognition that sport really can be, and should be, for all.”

For more information about BU’s Free Your Fitness campaign please contact Stephen Jones on 01202 961814.

An Audience with Visiting Fellow John Kent

John Kent

Tourism entrepreneur John Kent is visiting Bournemouth University on Wednesday 23 March

When: 4pm-6pm, Wednesday 23 March

Where: KG01, Kimmeridge House, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University

One of the travel industry’s most innovative and respected entrepreneurs, John Kent, will be visiting Bournemouth University as part of our University Lecture Series.

As CEO of YouTravel.com and founder of Aquis Hotels and Resorts, John has built up a thriving travel empire within the online tourism sector. His pioneering use of technology has revolutionised the package holiday industry for the UK travel market, and his continued contribution to educational institutions places him firmly at the cutting-edge of tourism innovation and research.

As well as talking about the latest tourism innovations, John will be answering questions from the audience on a wide range of subjects, including entrepreneurism, marketing and technology. And you can send your questions in advance to: tourism@bournemouth.ac.uk

To book your free seat click here: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/lectures/professor/john-kent.html

School of Tourism academics visit University of Central Florida

Alan Fyall

Professor Alan Fyall talks to academics at the University of Central Florida. Image: UCF

Professor Alan Fyall and Dr Peter Lugosi from BU’s School of Tourism spent five days at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida.

They discussed future research in the areas of tourism, hospitality, leisure and events, and the development of academic co-operative programmes such as student exchange, study abroad and faculty exchange.

More details here: http://today.ucf.edu/british-professors-reach-out-to-rosen-college-2/