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VisitBritain reports record year of tourism growth
An extra £872 million of visitor spending was generated across the UK as a result of work by national tourism agency VisitBritain/VisitEngland.
Their latest figures show that for every pound invested in the organisation, £20 of extra spending was generated for the economy.
The figures announced as part of their 2016-17 review, come on the back of growth from inbound tourism. From January to July this year there was a record 23.1 million overseas visits to the UK, up 8% on the same period last year with visitors spending £13.3 billion, up 9%.
VisitBritain is forecasting overseas visits to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7 million in 2017 with spending up 14% to £25.7 billion by the end of this calendar year.
Growth will also come from Brits taking more holidays at home. From January to June this year, domestic overnight holidays in England rose 7% to a record 20.4 million with visitors spending £4.6 billion, up 17% and also a record.
UK Minister for Tourism John Glen said: “We have seen record-breaking inbound visits and spend this summer, which is testament to our world-class attractions and the innovation of our tourism industry.
“Internationally we are performing strongly in a hugely competitive market, and I will continue to work closely with the sector to maintain growth, get the best possible deal as we exit the EU and retain the UK’s position as the must-visit destination.”
British Tourist Authority chairman Steve Ridgway CBE, who is leading the tourism industry’s bid for a sector deal under the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, said the 16% fall in the exchange rate was making visiting Britain even more attractive but had impacted overseas marketing budgets quite heavily. He said: “Tourism is an economic powerhouse, worth £127 billion annually to the economy and a job creator right across Britain. Two and a half times bigger than the automotive industry, employing three million, tourism is one of our most successful exports and needs no trade deals to compete globally.
“Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and you cannot just build a strong, resilient industry on a weaker currency. We must continue to invest in developing world-class tourism products, getting Britain on the wish-list of international and domestic travellers. And we must make it easy for visitors to make that trip.”
Mr Ridgway said that with a sector deal the UK tourism industry had the potential to more than double in value to £268 billion within a decade, increase employment to 3.8 million and boost productivity.
Speaking at the annual review launch, Mr Ridgeway also said the organisation was continuing to build commercial partnerships to amplify its message including with Expedia, the Premier League and British Airways.
Last year, 2016, set a record for inbound tourism to Britain on visits and spend with 37.6 million visits, up 4% on 2015 with visitors spending £22.5 billion, up 2%.
Harbour opens new £25m Southampton hotel
Harbour Hotels has opened its five-star hotel and spa in Southampton at Ocean Village Marina which is expected to create 120 jobs.
The new £25m, 85-bedroom hotel’s design is inspired by luxury super-yachts to reflect Southampton’s marine culture. It features three dining areas, a destination rooftop bar, a luxury spa, private cinema, and meeting and events facilities for up to 250 guests.
Their award-winning restaurant concept The Jetty is on the ground floor with an extensive outdoor terrace and marina views. The top floor features ‘HarBAR on 6th’, a rooftop bar, kitchen and club with outdoor fire pits and a wood-fired pizza oven.
Mike Warren, managing director of Harbour Hotels, said: “We are thrilled to unveil our spectacular new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa development at Ocean Village, introducing five-star luxury to the marina.
“Attracting tourism and providing a number of fantastic dining experiences, an indulgent spa and Southampton’s first destination rooftop bar for locals to enjoy, we are very excited to officially open our doors.”
British eggs free from salmonella
The Food Standards Agency has cleared runny eggs with a Lion Mark as safe to eat for pregnant women, elderly people and children.
Some thirty years after a salmonella scare, official guidelines had been for vulnerable groups not to eat raw or lightly cooked eggs.
The updated FSA advice claims that all eggs stamped with a Red Lion Mark (which covers most eggs produced in the UK) are now free from the risk of the food poisoning bacteria, due to improvements in animal welfare and a vaccination programme.
Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: “The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers. The measures they’ve taken, from vaccination of hens through to improving hygiene on farms and better transportation, have dramatically reduced salmonella levels in UK hens.”
Expansion for Luxury Family Hotels after buyout
Luxury Family Hotels has been sold to the management team by property investment company Patron Capital for an undisclosed sum.
The sale includes the brand and four family-orientated hotels in the South West: Fowey Hall (Cornwall), New Park Manor (Brockenhurst), Moonfleet Manor (Weymouth) and Woolley Grange (Bradford-on-Avon) as well as The Ickworth near Bury St Edmunds.
Patron Capital will retain Thornbury Castle Hotel in Bristol, the only Tudor castle hotel in the UK.
Nigel Chapman, chief executive of Luxury Family Hotels, said: “These are exciting times for Luxury Family Hotels and we are looking forward to further developing and enhancing our collection of individual family hotels for the next generation of families to enjoy. In the meantime, it is very much business as usual, with the five hotel teams preparing for a busy last quarter of 2017.”
Camil Yazbeck, partner and investment director of hospitality at Patron Capital, added: “At Patron, we believe in backing management teams and, having developed the Luxury Family Hotels brand, invested in the hotels and staff and improved the estate, we are pleased to sell this portfolio of five hotels.
Dorset wine producer reports promising harvest
Langham Wine Estate, the sparkling wine producer, began their harvest two weeks earlier than usual due to fine weather in spring and early summer.
The promising 2017 harvest follows a major investment in the winery with an expansion of fermentation tanks and barrels and the addition of a press pad for grape processing.
Winemaker Daniel Ham said: “We were fortunate enough to escape the devastating spring frosts and experienced a fantastic start to the growing season due to the dry, sunny weather in May and June. Although August and September were challenging in terms of the amount of rainfall we received, diligent vineyard management combined with an early ripening period has resulted in excellent yields of very good quality fruit.”
For more information on their wines, go to langhamwine.co.uk.
Food & Drink Devon award winners
The annual Food & Drink Devon Awards saw Salcombe Distilling Co. get the coveted Best Producer award for their Salcombe Gin. The Best Retailer prize went to the Aune Valley Meats, while the Best Online Retailer was awarded to Riverford Organic Farmers.
Over 200 products were judged for the Taste of Devon awards with the only platinum prize going to Chocolate Heaven Made in Devon’s Rich Vanilla Fudge.
Other winners included Fatbelly Fred’s in Barnstaple who won Best Restaurant, Kentisbury Grange near Exmoor National Park triumphed as the Best Hotel Restaurant and the Victoria Inn in Salcombe was victorious in the Best Pub Restaurant category. Best Fine Dining Restaurant was awarded to Thurlestone Hotel.
Barbara King, chair of Food & Drink Devon said: “ The Awards this year received over 200 product entries, 16 entries in the ‘Retail’ Awards and 61 entries in the ‘Hospitality’ Awards, showing the strength and depth of food and drink in Devon. As an organisation, we have a moral duty to promote Devon businesses and produce beyond our borders. We’re very proud of what we do and are now strongly building awareness and recognition across the UK and further afield.”
FEM launches digital thermometer range
The Pro MZR range of thermometers are manufactured by San Jamar and “offer choice to suit every application.”
The range includes a pocket model, with a pocket clip and anti-roll design; a pen thermometer with a sheath that doubles as a handle extender; and an advanced digital thermometer, which reads from -45°C to +200°C, and is water resistant.
A combined thermometer and timer is also part of the range and has a touchscreen display, an alarm and a food probe with a one metre, oven-safe cable.
For more information and details of local stockists visit www.fem.co.uk
Carpigiani launch new website
Ice cream equipment manufacturers Carpigiani UK have announced the launch of a new website to “aid service and support” for their customers.
The new website (www.carpigiani.co.uk) has been optimised for mobile and tablet and allows operators to find out more about the latest technology and appliances, as well as download spec sheets and manuals. Recipes, case studies and videos are also offered for those who wish to wish to “learn more about the world of ice cream”.
Carpigiani UK Managing Director, Paul Ingram comments: “We were looking for something that was easy to navigate, whether as a specifier or consultant looking for technical product information, as a dealer looking at our aftersales support packages delivered by our national network of experts, or an operator looking for inspiration for their next dessert creation.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Dairy-free ice cream listed by Ocado
Cornish company Coconuts Naturally have secured listings for all six of their organic ice creams on Ocado, the UK’s largest online supermarket.
Company founder, Cecily Mills said: “We are so thrilled about this launch. Ocado are known for discovering and supporting new brands and we are really excited about working with them to grow our brand across the UK.”
Coconuts Naturally, launched in March 2015, produce organic, dairy-free ice cream from coconut cream, sweetened with unrefined coconut sugar. Their six flavours include the Great Taste Awards two-star winning Coconut Caramel and one-star holders; Rum & Raisin, Creamy Coconut, Raw Chocolate and Mint Choc Chip.
Go to www.naturallycoconuts.com for more details.
Sharp’s make their gin permanent
Following a successful limited release last year, Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery have announced that The Hopster gin will be made permanently available in the on and off-trade.
The gin was developed collaboratively between Sharp’s and Southwestern Distillery and made in North Cornwall where both producers are based. It’s a 42% ABV contemporary take on the London Dry style and combines gin with three types of hops; Crystal, Cascade and Pilot.
Ed Hughes, beer sommelier at Sharp’s Brewery said: ““A huge part of what we do here at the brewery is experimenting with styles, flavours and products to push boundaries within the drinks industry, and The Hopster gin is a brilliant example of this.”
Salisbury hotel with £1.5m asking price sold
Cricket Field House, a refurbished and extended four-star B&B overlooking the cricket ground in Salisbury has new owners following a deal by agents Colliers International.
The previous owners Brian and Margaret James had spent 30 years transforming the Victorian property, which dates from 1850, to an extensively upgraded hotel with modern annexe.
Ed Jefferson from Colliers International said: “Having completely refurbished the house from top to bottom the vendors, Maggie and Brian, have decided to retire and allow new owners to take this smart and profitable business forward.
“Perhaps unusually in this day and age, the vendors chose to reduce the number of rooms while increasing the quality of the bedroom stock to create attractive suites.”
The Independent Hotel Show
17th – 18th October 2017
“The business event for luxury & boutique hotels, the show presents a curated collection of over 300 innovative product and service providers from across the hotel supply chain.”
Future Food-Tech: Innovation & Investment From Farm to Fork
18th – 19th October 2017
The Tower Hotel: Guoman, London. E1W 1LD
“Future Food-Tech, London 2017 brings together investors, start-ups, and food and ingredients manufacturers to showcase solutions, share ideas, identify opportunities for innovation and forge new partnerships and alliances.”
TMI Convention 2017
30th – 31st October 2017
Managing Destinations, Making Places – Innovation and Competitiveness
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
“The convention will share experiences in place making, exploring how destinations need to design their visitor offers around authentic and distinctive qualities and experiences.”
HOSPACE – by HOSPA the Hospitality Professionals Association
2nd November 2017
The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London W2 2TY
A one-day annual conference and exhibition hosted by HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association. There is an excellent programme of topics with some of the best speakers in hospitality, with key supporters from within the industry.
To book your delegate spaces for HOSPACE 2017 – www.hospa.org/shop
Institute of Hospitality Southern Branch Event
“Increasing sales in food service through neuromarketing”
Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth BH1 3AB
“Karen Fewell from Digital Blonde will be talking about how the hospitality industry can incorporate psychology into marketing and social media communications.”
The European Pizza and Pasta Show
15th – 16th November
“The European Pizza and Pasta Show® is an exclusive B2B trade event uniting leading UK and European food wholesalers and retailers, pizza operators and pizzeria owners, restaurant chains and independent restaurants, hotels and catering companies with equipment manufacturers, specialist ingredients suppliers and service providers.”
Catering Equipment Suppliers’ Association (CESA) Conference
De Vere Wokefield Estate Hotel, Reading
“CESA’s speaker platform for the 2017 Conference is designed to inform and stimulate. The theme is Moving Forward in a Changing World and a highlight of the day will be Robin Clark, restaurant services director of Just Eat, who will talk about delivering change.”
Food Matters Live 2017
21st – 23rd November 2017
“Food Matters Live is the UK’s only cross-sector event bringing together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition, to enable collaboration and innovation to support a sustainable food landscape for the future.”