UKinbound has slammed the UK Government for its lack of investment in national tourism statistics.Successful businesses, especially exporters, rely on accurate data, but the UK Government appears to have continuously failed to provide the robust statistics needed. The March 2004 Allnutt Report into Tourism Statistics, commissioned by DCMS, made it clear that the UK was not even meeting the EU minimum standard. The report made 14 fully costed recommendations that were endorsed by the entire tourism industry. To date not one of these recommendations has been implemented.
The UK has some of the most compelling tourism products in the world to sell and is lucky to have innovative, dedicated tourism professionals who will continue to market, sell and deliver their products to the high standards international travellers demand in this highly competitive business.
Stephen Dowd, chief executive of UKinbound said:
“It is such a pity that we do not have the same level of competence and commitment from our Government as we have within the industry. Is it too much to ask that in return for the £2.5Bn a year in tax revenue generated by inbound tourism our Government could support the two things businesses cannot do for themselves; destination marketing and comprehensive national statistics on tourism.”
A recent survey by IPK International estimates that global outbound travel increased by 5-6% in the first 8 months of 2007, which means that as an international destination the UK continues to lose market share. This survey also indicated that the so-called ‘credit crunch’ will reduce European demand while the sub-prime mortgage crisis will further dampen US consumer confidence. This was confirmed just a few days later when the USCB Consumer Confidence Index, a highly respected gauge of US household sentiment, fell sharply in October to its lowest level in over two years. With the US Dollar falling below $2.10 to the Pound today, and likely to fall still further, we can expect demand from the US to be markedly curtailed.
Stephen Dowd went on to say:
“With global oversupply of tourism products and demand from our two biggest markets almost certain to fall in the short term, our members face stiff competition in the coming months. ”