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August highest month ever for overseas visitor spending
Office for National Statistics figures show that August was the highest month for overseas visitor spending in the UK ever, up 3% on the same month last year to £2.8 billion.
It was also a record August for inbound visits to the UK, with 3.9 million visits, up 5% on the same month in 2016.
Strong growth came from EU visitors coming to the UK, with 2.4 million visits, up 6%.
The figures bring the total number of overseas visits to the UK from January to August to 27.1 million, up 8% on 2016. Spending by visitors during this period reached a record £16.4 billion, up 10% on last year.
The latest market-specific figures, for the first six months of 2017, also showed strong growth from China, the world’s most valuable outbound market. Between January and June 2017 there were 115,000 inbound visits from China to the UK, up 47% on last year. Visitors from China spent a record £231 million during this period, up 54%.
Tourism Minister John Glen said: “Tourism is an economic force that creates jobs and drives growth up and down the country. These record-breaking figures for August reaffirm the UK’s position as a global go-to destination and show the continued strength of the sector.”
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: “Tourism is one of Britain’s most valuable export industries and it is encouraging that this strong growth has continued during the summer.
“With Britain continuing to offer good value and with great deals in the market, we are confident of a strong festive season and beyond as we showcase why our nations and regions should top people’s list as the must-go-now destination.”
Soil Association launches online Christmas marketplace
Soil Association Certification aim to help consumers enjoy an organic Christmas this year with the launch of their online Organic Collective Christmas marketplace (www.soilassociation.org/christmas). It features organic products including turkeys, veg boxes, gifts, spirits, chocolates and a range of Christmas essentials.
The launch follows the success of their Organic September campaign which saw the organic market grow by 7.1% in September, up from an average of 4.2% to the end of August 2017 (Nielsen Scantrack). The Organic Collective marketplace gives Soil Association Certification licensees a platform to showcase their products and drive customers to websites and retail outlets to increases the sales of organic over the festive period.
Clare McDermott, Business Development Director, said: “We want to continue to reinforce the positive messaging around organic especially at this key time of Christmas when shoppers are thinking more about where their food comes from. Organic is food as it should be, and means fewer pesticides, no GM ingredients, no routine use of antibiotics, always free range and no artificial colours or preservatives.”
“As well as getting consumers to find everything to be inspired about organic in the Christmas hub, we are also encouraging consumers to visit their local independent organic retailer, try a box scheme or visit a Farm Shop and will be producing point-of-sale materials to assist retailers in highlighting and celebrating their organic products this Christmas season.”
For more information about the Organic Collective Christmas marketplace contact Niamh Noone NNoone@soilassociation.org.
Dorset Tourism Awards “Biggest Ever”
A record audience of nearly 300 guests witnessed 66 trophies being presented to tourism business at the fifth annual Dorset Tourism Awards, held at the Lighthouse in Poole on 16th November.
The Winner of Winners trophy went to a business that has only been trading for two years – Loose Reins – which also picked up two Gold Awards. Another double Gold winner was The Town Mill in Lyme Regis, while Moors Valley Country Park, All Hallows Farmhouse – Cookery School and Mellulah Therapy & Yoga Retreats took the other attraction and experience Golds.
Food and drink Golds were collected by The Acorn Inn, Guildhall Tavern and Taste Café at Chesil Beach, with accommodation Golds going to Dorset House B&B, Higher Moor Farm, Rockley Park, Christchurch Harbour Hotel, Greenwood Grange, The Alexandra Hotel and The Grange at Oborne.
The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award went to the Jurassic Coast Team while the Outstanding Customer Service award was given to Katie Davies at Moors Valley Country Park, for “going the extra mile in researching and looking after autistic visitors.”
Cross-sector Golds went to Golden Acre Holiday Bungalows for being Dog-Friendly, BOD Bournemouth for Access and Inclusivity, and Bagwell Farm Touring Park for Sustainable Tourism. The Visitor Information Gold was awarded to Swanage Information Centre with the Italian Villa taking Gold for Venue and Business Tourism, while the Tourism Event category saw joint Golds awarded to the Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival and Sherborne Abbey Festival.
The Dorset Tourism Awards have seen year on year growth since their launch in June 2013. Robin Barker, who has developed the awards said: “This year has seen record entries, more sponsors and our biggest Dorset event ever. Many congratulations to all the winners, who we look forward to working with in their quest for ever higher standards.”
Cornish boutique hotel closes again
Nansloe Manor in Helston, Cornwall, has closed its doors to visitors without warning for the second time in five years.
The 15-bedroom boutique hotel’s website states “Nansloe Manor is now closed until further notice. The owners, management and staff would like to thank their guests and visitors for their custom.”
The high-end hotel has been owned by David and Betty Carr since 2004. It first opened in 2008 as a hotel and has welcomed Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie among other superstar guests. It also closed without warning in 2012 and was put up for sale in August 2013. It reopened again under the same owners in early 2016.
Green Tourism’s free sustainability check
Sustainability accreditation programme Green Tourism has launched a new Green Check service that potentially offers tourism businesses an award within two weeks of application.
The Green Check will give businesses a pre-assessment review. It includes a series of questions from the full Green Tourism rating system and gives a benchmark for businesses to see where they are on their environmental journey. They will then be advised how to achieve an award.
For more details go to www.green-tourism.com
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Exmoor Ales releases gin-inspired ale
Wicked Wolf is a 4.2% ABV juniper-infused golden ale from Exmoor Ales. The second beer in their Exile sub-brand series, it’s the result of a collaboration between the Wiveliscombe-based brewery and small-batch gin producers Wicked Wolf, from the Exmoor village of Brendon.
Described by beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones as “the kind of beer to perk up weary palates”, it has “aromatic gin-like botanicals and a gentle spiciness on the palate”.
For more details call Exmoor Ales on 01984 623798.
St Austell wish you a beer-y Christmas
The Cornish brewery is releasing a special beer advent calendar for the festive season. It features 24 award-winning beers from St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales including Tribute, Korev, Proper Job and Gem alongside special offerings from their Small Batch line.
The beer advent calendar costs £65 and contains a selection of 14 x 500ml and 10 x 330ml bottles. They are available from the brewery shop and online. Go to www.staustellbreweryshop.co.uk for details.
Gluten-free pasties from Warrens
The world’s oldest Cornish pasty makers, Warrens Bakery, are launching their first ever gluten-free pastie.
There are two coeliac-friendly flavours – Cheese & Onion and Steak – and they took Warrens’ master baker Jason Jobling months to develop.
Jason, also the Cornish Pasty Association chair, said: “We have been delighted with the reaction since the launch of our vegan pasties, but still felt that there was a gap in our offering which meant that we couldn’t cater for everyone. The new gluten-free pastry has taken a while to perfect, given that gluten gives the stretchiness to dough and we only wanted to launch once we were happy that the pastry retained all of the authentic qualities that have won us so many accolades. The new gluten-free arrivals have been developed to match as closely as possible, meaning everybody can now enjoy a convenient taste of the British seaside.”
The gluten-free pasties are available now at selected Warrens stores, along with their Christmas range which includes a Turkey Feast, Vegan Winter Root Veg and a Mince Pie & Custard Pasty.
Devon deli launches “perfectly paired” wine & cheese boxes
Wildmoor Fine Food & Drink have launched a range of “perfectly paired” Wine & Cheese Boxes for delivery nationwide.
The 12 boxes in the collection are the “accumulation of owner Jeremy’s passion for the abundance of great wine and cheese in Europe and beyond.” They feature a bottle of wine with an expertly matched cheese, along with crackers or similar. A new range also features boxes with beer, cider and gin for an alternative cheese pairing.
The selection includes El Matador, a celebration of the Spanish cheese and wine industry, and Sweet Endings which pairs Roquefort with a sweet Monbazillac dessert wine and a Belgian chocolate truffle.
Visit www.wildmoor-deli.co.uk for more details
Scotsman’s ice maker
Hubbard Systems have launched a new Scotsman ice machine that is claimed to be the market’s only 30” machine able to produce almost 700kg of ice per day.
The NW 1408 is a modular machine that sits on top of a separate ice bin and makes either full-sized 12g dice ice cubes or 6g half dice ice cubes. It also features a one-touch cleaning system that “makes it easy and effortless for staff to maintain the day-to-day hygiene of the machine.”
Simon Aspin, commercial director of Hubbard Systems, said: ““Being able to pack this much ice production into the industry standard 30” format is going to be a huge bonus for sites such as hotels and QSRs, that need more and more ice but have limited space.”
For more information, go to www.scotsman-ice.co.uk
New Precious Glass concept from Artis
Created by Italian glass manufacturers Luigi Bormioli, Precious Glass has the look of metal but is made of glass. Glassware distributor Artis are selling a water set and oil and vinegar bottles in their new autumn brochure.
Go to www.artis-uk.com/downloads to get a copy or phone 020 8391 5544.
Cotswold pub appoints new kitchen duo
Alyn Williams and Nathan Eaders will join award-winning Cotswold gastro pub The Wild Rabbit in 2018.
Michelin-star chef Williams will join in May as chef patron while Eaders starts in January as head chef.
The announcement comes after the departure of chef Tim Allen earlier this year who helped the pub win a Michelin star in 2017 during his two-year stint there.
The 12 bedroom pub, located in Kingham, will have Williams working there day to day but he will also continue as chef patron at his eponymous restaurant at The Westbury hotel in Mayfair. Eaders will leave his role at Simpsons in Birmingham to head up the kitchen while Williams takes a wider role which will also involve the Daylesford Organic business. The Wild Rabbit was opened by Daylesford founder Lady Carole Bamford in 2013.
Why Buying Home Grown Ingredients Makes Flack Manor Brewery Brexit-Proof
“Why import grain when it’s widely acknowledged that maritime barley – as grown in Norfolk and Suffolk – delivers the finest flavour and the best sugars for fermentation” (Roger Protz in The Guardian 31st January 2017). There is one brewer who has made it their business to locally source not just grain but hops too, and that’s Flack Manor Brewery in Romsey, Hampshire, who source barley through a local maltster directly from the Icknield Series; home to some of the finest barley in the world – Maris Otter barley – coveted by a number of American craft brewers who import with impunity as it is considered the best flavour, particularly for India Pale Ale.
The character of the malt for brewing is as much determined by the soil it is grown in, as in the variety of barley. The British Isles offers a great many soil types and each type influences the character of a pint of beer. The Icknield Series of soil is a huge belt which runs from Dorset in the South to The Wash in the North East. Smaller belts can be found from Winchester across the South Downs and from Guildford, touching Greater London and onto the East coast of Kent. The Icknield Series is memorable, as the main belt of soil follows the Icknield Way, one of Britain’s oldest highways.
Managing Director Nigel Welsh and Ann Stantiford also have close connections with the British Hop Association and are proud to be using the tremendous varieties that are born out of the UK – English Fuggles and Goldings are prized throughout the world for their distinctive aromas and flavours of pepper, spice, pine and orange, with new English varieties such as Endeavour and Jester offering more of the rich citrus notes.
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.”