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2020 set to be a record year for inbound tourism
The national tourism agency Visit Britain is forecasting that 2020 will be a record year for inbound tourism to the UK.
They predict spending by overseas visitors will reach a record £26.6 billion in 2020, a 6.6% increase on spending in 2019 which is expected to top out at £25 billion.
The number of overseas visits to the UK is forecast to rise in 2020 to 39.7 million, the highest ever, and up 2.9% on 2019 which is expected to see about 38.5 million visits by year-end.
Longer-term, they say during the last decade inbound tourism visits to the UK have grown 33% when comparing 2010 to the 2020 forecast, and spending by 58%.
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: “Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries and these results show our continued ability to attract international visitors in a fiercely competitive global market. We are seeing success in growing tourism from our long-haul, high-spending markets including the US, our largest and most valuable inbound market, and from markets that are crucial for our future such as China.
“Working with partners globally we are telling customers about experiences they can only have here, converting the inspiration to visit into bookings and driving growth from tourism across the nations and regions, boosting local economies.”
VisitBritain is promoting a message of welcome globally through its ‘Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…’ campaign. This tells “the story of people and places and encouraging visitors to travel further, stay longer and to book a trip right now. It is also working with the tourism industry to inform European visitors about the practicalities of travel and to encourage visits post-Brexit.”
Data from ForwardKeys shows that forward flight bookings overall to the UK from December 2019 to May 2020 are up 5% compared to the same period last year. Forward bookings to the UK from China and South Asia are particularly strong, up 33% and 22% respectively.
Finalists announced for South West Tourism Awards
Over 100 tourism businesses from across the South West have named as finalists for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2019/20. The awards saw a record 773 entries from across the region with 50 judges helping to make the selection as well as carrying out 559 visits, most of them unannounced mystery visits.
Robin Barker, director of Services for Tourism Ltd, who manage the Awards, commented: “Our team members continue to be humbled by the excellence and ambition we see amongst our leading tourism businesses. They continue to invest, innovate and improve – and I offer them all our congratulations.”
The awards will be presented at a black-tie dinner in Exeter Cathedral on 6th February, a return to one of the region’s largest and most popular venues, when the South West’s winning businesses will gather to receive their trophies.
The full list of finalists and commended entrants can be found at
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall closes
Fifteen Cornwall at the Watergate Bay hotel announced it was closing with immediate effect on 12th December 2019.
One of the last remaining Jamie Oliver sites in the UK, it was run under license by a charitable trust, the Cornwall Food Foundation.
A statement from the restaurant said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that today Fifteen Cornwall will close and cease trading with immediate effect.
“We are profoundly sorry for the hurt, loss and distress this announcement will undoubtedly cause. We are extremely grateful to all our loyal customers, supporters and amazing suppliers and to the partners, staff and trainees that have made Fifteen Cornwall and the Cornwall Food Foundation so special for almost 14 years.”
Jamie Oliver said: “I am very surprised and saddened to learn that Fifteen Cornwall and the Cornwall Food Foundation have closed. Both organisations have always been run separately from us, but the team has done an amazing job with the trainee programme, training over 200 chefs and reaching so many more along the way – so this is a huge blow. My thoughts are with everyone affected.”
The celebrity chef launched Fifteen in 2002, to help train young people to work in hospitality. The original site in London closed in May 2019 when Oliver’s restaurant group went into administration. Fifteen Cornwall had not been affected until now as it was operated under a licensing agreement.
Cider maker awards open
A new competition to celebrate whole juice ciders from around the UK has been announced by organisers Sandford Orchards. The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are open to entrants producing between 3,000 and 15,000 litres of cider per year.
Sandford Orchards, which was started in 2010 and now employs over 25 people, wants to “share the secrets of its success to encourage more exciting new entrants”.
Barny Butterfield, founder and managing director of Sandford Orchards said: “When we were building the business – and to date, we’ve won a pile of awards – but as fantastic as those awards are (and they are really fantastic) they didn’t give us any next steps – any real idea of what to do next, or what to try.”
“The truth is that making cider is a complex and consuming job – but it doesn’t equip you for selling it, marketing it or making good decisions that will help get your cider further from your barn door.”
“We want to reach out to aspiring makers – and offer them what I’d have given my right arm for, not a rosette – but advice and guidance.”
The organisers plan to assemble a group of industry professionals including “senior buyers from national chains, cider makers with combined experience in excess of 200yrs, industry-leading designers and retailers” to help the winners take their next steps in cider making.
For further information, go to https://www.sandfordorchards.co.uk/cider-awards/
Gerard Bassett sommelier scholarship
A new travel bursary has been created to honour the legacy of Hotel du Vin co-founder and former World’s Best Sommelier, Gerard Bassett.
The £5,000 scholarship will be awarded once a year to a UK-bases sommelier to fund travel to a winemaking region of their choice.
The Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship was conceived by Gerard’s wife and son, Nina and Romané Basset, with master sommelier Ronan Sayburn and wine journalist Tim Atkin.
Nina Basset said: “We want to ensure Gerard’s legacy lives on. Education, mentoring and inspiring young sommeliers was something very dear to him… He always maintained that travelling to the wine regions of the world broadened his mind, his knowledge and wine experiences better than any other form of study ever could.”
Sommeliers have until the 16th January to apply with a 500 word written statement explaining why they are applying for the scholarship, how they plan to spend the money, and how they see it benefiting their future careers.
New entrants should email their entries to email@example.com by 16th January.
A judging panel, including Nina, Romané, Atkin, Sayburn and master sommelier Laura Rhys will then shortlist three candidates for interview before picking the winner.
Syrup alchemy for new winter cocktails
Bristol Syrup Company has secured nationwide listings with bar and restaurant chain The Alchemist. The new partnership sees eight of their premium cocktail syrups going into 18 sites as they feature on the new winter drinks menu.
The listings feature Bristol Syrup Company’s Simple 2:1, Passionfruit, Raspberry, Grenadine, Pineapple & Coconut, Vanilla, Strawberry Shrub and Watermelon syrups. Other serves from the menu include the Caramelised Rum Punch, made with Appleton Estate Rum, Grand Marnier, Watermelon syrup, lime, pineapple and an eye-catching display of fire.
Felix Crosse from The Alchemist said: “The intent of our cocktails and venues is to serve up innovative theatre – quite literally ‘Theatre Served’. To make this happen every drink must look delicious, taste delicious and tell a story which puts a smile on our teams – and therefore our guests – faces. Bristol Syrup Company’s products make this happen with high-quality liquid and a strong local identity. You can taste the passion in the liquid, and that comes out in the drinks.”
Bristol Syrup Company is a collaboration between Beyond the Bean and award-winning Bristol bartenders, Dee Humphrey and Danny Walker. The range consists of seventeen flavours, designed to mirror the small-batch syrups made by cocktail bartenders.
FOOD AND DRINK NEWS
Salcombe Dairy’s mini bars
Salcombe Dairy are launching their bean-to-bar milk and dark chocolate ‘The Bar’ as individual miniature chocolates aimed at the hospitality industry.
Available in the new 25g size are four flavours; Dark Chocolate, Evening Star, Dark Chocolate with Peppermint and Milk Chocolate Honeycomb.
Dan Bly, managing director at Salcombe Dairy, said: “First launched in 2017 ‘The Bar’ has been a tremendous success. Customers love the unique flavours, fact that it is hand moulded and that it’s made using organic, fairly-traded cacao nibs. The introduction of a 25g size for the hospitality and catering trade seemed the next logical step for ‘The Bar’ and we’re excited to see how it’s received.”
Salcombe Dairy produces 11 other flavours, all available in 80g bars and crafted from organic fairly-traded Peruvian cacao nibs.
The Pig appoints new manager
The newest Pig hotel has announced that Stephanie Beresforde will be its new restaurant manager. The winner of the 2017 Gold Service Scholarship, she will be part of the team that opens the Pig at Harlyn Bay in Padstow in the summer. She previously worked at the Connaught as assistant restaurant director.
She will join the 30-bedroom ‘restaurant with rooms’ which is located in a Grade-II listed house that dates back to the 16th century.
Announcing her appointment on Instagram, she said: “Today I started my new role at The Pig, and will be the opening Restaurant Manager of the new Pig-At Harlyn Bay, due to open by Summer next year!! To say I’m excited would be a huge understatement!
“Can’t wait to spend the next 3 months in this incredible building, training at the Pig-At Bridge Place, and even more excited to be finally heading back home to Padstow in a couple of months!!”
Industry EVENTS 2020
Cotswold Fayre – New Product Launch Event
23rd January 2020, 10:00 -15:30
Hilton Hotel, Bagshot Road, Bracknell RG12 0QJ
“We’re introducing new brands and products found in our latest catalogues all in one place! There will be a wide variety of products, complete with healthier-for-you foods, expanding our drinks and snacks categories.”
Business South Local Produce Show 2020 – Producers & Suppliers
24th January 2020
The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
“Showcase your produce to an influential selection of catering and hospitality trade buyers. Representatives from Carnival UK, University of Southampton, Southampton Football Club, Southern Co-op and Hilton at Ageas were just some of the delegates last year who visited the 60 food and drink exhibitors.”