Official visitor website for Leicestershire

Blog - Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions

Simply The Best

By Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions

So, in this month’s offering, I shall be channeling Tina Turner. However, the heels and fishnets remain safely stowed away as it’s the anthem celebrating being ‘better than all the rest’ that is my inspiration.

FarmersThe holy grail for any business and especially true for tourism businesses is how to win those crucial extra customers. If Marks and Spencer don’t sell a jumper on a Monday, they have as much opportunity again to sell it on Tuesday. If a hotel doesn’t sell a room on a Monday night, it will never get the opportunity to sell it again. M&S will get the money for their jumper one day but the hotel will never get paid for that empty bed on that Monday night.

Tourism is a highly competitive market. Leading the attractions field is the British Museum, attracting just short of 7 million visitors per year. Locally, Twycross Zoo and Bradgate Park are consistently our most popular places to visit.

Recently, we were very proud to see our own glamping virtuoso, The Dandelion Hideaway crowned as being the best in the country at the national tourism awards – very well done to Sharon and Farmer John! In addition to this, we will shortly be able to reveal which local hotel has become the latest to boast a coveted four stars.

You may be wondering where Queen Tina of Turner features in all of this? You see, it all comes down to being better than all the rest. Being clear about what you do and focusing on doing it better than the competition is what will drive you up the scales of success.

This is one reason why the annual Leicestershire Promotions Tourism & Hospitality Awards have become so important. Yes, we know how to throw a damn good party (30 November this year – be there!) but commitment to quality, to being better than all the rest, is what shines through on the night.

I never fail to be impressed by the innovation and imagination that our partners show and am genuinely excited to see what comes forward this year. Many partners comment that the process of entering the awards, taking time out to review, analyse and work on their business and not just in the business, is an extremely beneficial process.

Application forms and details are available now. You know you’re the best at what you do so get your entry in and show us all how amazing you are.

Oh, and while you’re filling out your application, do spare a thought for Rosedean, a Chartist cottage in Worcestershire. In 2016, they made top of the leader board for the least visited tourist attraction in England, attracting just 61 visitors. I’m sure those 61 visitors all loved it though.


May 2017


Positive outlook for tourism

At the end of last month, over 90 delegates from tourism businesses throughout Leicester and Leicestershire braved the onset of Storm Doris to attend our annual Tourism Forum at Sketchley Grange Hotel & Spa in Hinckley.

Despite the winds raging outside of the venue, all was calm inside as we set out our vision on the current state of the local visitor economy, the challenges to it and the opportunities for those delegates to promote and develop their businesses into 2017 and beyond.

We were encouraged by the positive attention as delegates from visitor attractions, accommodation providers, retailers, food and drink outlets, festival and event organisers, listened intently as we explained how the Leicester and Leicestershire visitor economy was growing in terms of value, job creation, occupancy and overnight stay bookings.

Interestingly, feedback on the day indicated that most businesses attending had shown growth over the last five years. Several factors were cited for this growth including new attractions opening, promotional activity, profile of local sporting success, TripAdvisor and online offers.

Workshops in the afternoon sessions focused on marketing and distribution, festivals and events, and group travel. We were keen to explore delegate approaches, any perceived barriers to success and how we could support these businesses through collaborative working. We were encouraged by a huge appetite for us to work even more closely with our industry partners and many areas were identified in which Leicester Shire Promotions can play a beneficial supportive and catalytic role.

We’re still punching above our weight as a destination, above or on par with many UK destinations of a similar size and profile. And we’re committed to ensuring that this continues.

With the physical infrastructure projects, tourism development and promotional work under way, there are real grounds for confidence in how the industry will grow and develop in future years, and Leicester Shire Promotions and its partners will be central to this.


My New Year resolution is to KISS more

Martin PetersIn the beginning, there was an acronym. And the acronym was ETB. Oh, hold on minute. It might have been ETC. Or did BTA come first? And while we’re on the subject, does VE still exist or is it now all VB? Do we still have RTBs or were they replaced by the RDAs?

And what’s a DMO? And where does a PMO fit into it all? Yes, it’s confusing. So in this - the first of an ongoing series of random thoughts and musings, I thought it would be good to start the year with a bit of clarity.

Future of local tourism

Firstly, Leicester Shire Promotions (LPL) is a great success story for Leicester and Leicestershire. The company was one of the first private sector-driven tourism bodies when formed in 1993 and as we celebrate our 24th anniversary in 2017 we are stronger than ever. During those 24 years, there have been many changes and influences and one of the reasons for our success has been our ability to adapt and change, to remain effective and focused on delivering tangible results. Staying close to and working hand in glove with, the private sector - the businesses that we are here to support - delivers great results. For that reason, we are not intending to change this winning approach, and in fact, we will build the success of our partnerships with the private sector.

In the many consultations and discussions about the future of tourism in Leicester and Leicestershire that have taken place over the last year or so, the success of LPL in delivering results through its partnership with the private sector has I believe, been the single most consistently recognised factor.

You will have picked up on some of the planned changes that are being developed by the city and county councils and their intention to create a new place marketing organisation. This new organisation will focus on inward investment, delivering a European funding project, place marketing and strategic tourism. There is more detail on this on their websites.

2017 will see Leicester Shire Promotions continue to drive further substantial growth in the leisure tourism markets with developments for Stay Play Explore and other short-break campaigns and a major new push on the coach and group market. Business tourism goes from strength to strength with many new major national and international events in the pipe line and under development. Our partnerships with District Council colleagues are all developing further and we are seeing very tangible, measurable outcomes from the tourism blueprints that set the priorities across the county. We now deliver an increasing range of exciting events across the county that are filling beds and getting the tills ringing. Also on the cards is an exciting new partnership with the National Forest Company and our colleagues from neighbouring tourism organisations.

On February 23rd, we are holding our annual tourism forum. Over the last few years this event has become one of the most important in the calendar for tourism businesses. This year as well as giving you an overview of the industry, we will be seeking to identify those areas where working together makes far more sense than going it alone. We’ve already been asked to put leaflet distribution on the agenda – what else would you like to see? And don’t forget to book your place now.

Here comes the acronym bit!

And whilst I can’t speak for anyone else, my commitment is that, for our part at least, we will always do whatever we can to KISS as much as possible, because life is already complicated enough.

(KISS is an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid" a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.)

Oh and if you’re losing sleep on which national tourism body came first, this should help (but avoiding coffee in the evenings might be more beneficial.)

VisitEngland is the official tourist board for England. Before 1999 it was known as the English Tourist Board and between 1999 and 2009 as the English Tourism Council. In 2003, it merged with the British Tourist Authority to form VisitBritain before re-launching as a separate corporate body in 2009. Since 2015 it has operated as a division of VisitBritain. However, both VisitBritain and VisitEngland are legally constituted as the British Tourist Authority (BTA) under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. So, the answer to what came first is BTA.

Finally, and congratulations if you’ve made it this far, we love acronyms in this industry so in the interests of keeping it simple, the following might help.

Some common tourism acronyms:

• ABTA - Association of British Travel Agents
• ACORN - A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods
• AIM - Association of Independent Museums
• AITO - Association of Independent Tour Operators
• ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
• AONB - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
• ATOC - Association of Train Operating Companies
• ATOL - Air Travel Organiser's License
• ATTTO - Aviation Tourism and Travel Training Association
• BAA - British Airports Authority
• BAFA - British Arts Festivals Association
• BC - British Council
• BHA - British Hospitality Association
• BITOA - British Incoming Tour Operators Association (now UKInbound)
• BTA - British Tourist Authority (now VisitBritain)
• CAA - Civil Aviation Authority
• CAM - Commercial Accommodation Monitor
• CIM - Chartered Institute of Marketing
• CIMTIG - Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry Group
• CPRE - Council for the Protection of Rural England
• CPT - Confederation of Passenger Transport UK
• CRM - Customer Relationship Management
• CRS - Computerised Reservation System
• CTC - Coach Tourism Council
• CTC - Cyclists' Touring Club
• DCMS - Department for Culture, Media and Sport
• DDA - Disability Discrimination Act
• DEFRA - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
• DMO - Destination Management/Marketing Organisation
• DMS - Destination Management System
• DRC - Disability Rights Commission
• DTI - Department for Trade and Industry
• DTS - Domestic Travel Study
• ECAT - E-Commerce Action Team
• ERDF - European Regional Development Fund
• ETB – English Tourist Board (now Visit England)
• ETC – English Tourism Council (now Visit England)
• F&B - Food and Beverage
• FIYTO - Federation of International Youth Travel Organisation
• FTS – Fellow of the Tourism Society
• GDS - Global Distribution System
• HCIMA - Hotel & Catering International Management Association
• IATA - International Air Transport Association
• ICOMOS - International Council on Monuments & Sites
• ILAM - Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management
• IPS - International Passenger Survey
• IT - Information Technology
• ITG - Institute of Tourist Guiding
• ITMA - Incentive Travel and Meetings Association
• ITOs - Industry Training Organisations or Inbound Tour Operator
• IVA - International Visitor Arrivals
• IYHF - International Youth Hostel Federation
• LGA - Local Government Association
• LOS / LoS - Length of Stay
• MGC - Museums and Galleries Commission
• MIA - Meetings Industry Association
• MICE - Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions
• NDPB - Non-Departmental Public Body
• NGO - Non-Government Organisation
• NQAS - National Quality Assurance Scheme
• NT - National Trust
• NTB - National Tourist Board
• PATA - Pacific Asia Travel Association
• PAX - Short hand for passengers
• PESTEL analysis - Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological, (physical) Environmental and Legal forces
• PMO – Place Marketing Organisation
• PMS – Property Management System
• QA - Quality Assurance
• RAC - Royal Automobile Club
• RADAR - Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation
• RDA - Regional Development Agency
• REVPAR - Revenue Per Available Room
• RTB - Regional Tourist Board
• SFR – Staying with Friends and Relatives
• SITE - Society of Incentive Travel Executives
• SME - Small and Medium Enterprise
• SPAB - Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
• SSSI - Site of Special Scientific Interest
• TIC - Tourist Information Centre
• TIM - Tourism income multiplier
• TIP - Tourism Information Point
• TMI - Tourism Management Institute
• TSA - Tourism Satellite Account
• UKTS - United Kingdom Tourism Survey
• VAQAS - Visitor Attractions Quality Assurance Service
• VAT - Value Added Tax
• VB – Visit Britain
• VE – Visit England
• VFR - Visiting Friends and Relatives
• WHS - World Heritage Site
• WOM - Word of Mouth - what customers say to others about your product/service.
• WTM - World Travel Market
• WTO - World Tourism Organization
• WTTC - World Travel & Tourism Council
• YHA - Youth Hostels Association