A report released by travel trade association UKinbound has uncovered a growing language skills gap facing the UK tourism industry, caused by a combination of Brexit and the decline of language training in the UK.
UKinbound has announced that next year the city of Glasgow will, for the first time in 31 years, host its annual convention, from February 6th-8th, 2019. As part of UKinbound’s commitment to promoting all corners of the UK, next year’s convention will see over 260 of the association’s members converge on Glasgow for the three-day business event.
UK hospitality operators have offered a mixed response to the decision to freeze air passenger duty on short-haul and economy class flights. The move was revealed earlier by Phillip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, in the autumn budget.
UKinbound is urging the government to make its two-year reduced cost multi entry Chinese visa pilot a permanent scheme. The scheme is due to end in January 2018, however with China’s Golden Week holiday set to begin on Sunday, UKinbound has surveyed its tour operator members to find out what impact the visa pilot has had on their businesses to date.
Detailed information has been released about the spending habits of UK inbound visitors, revealing the USA dominates UK inbound market spend. According to the International Passenger Survey, over 37.6 million people visited the UK in 2016 (a four per cent increase on 2015), spending £22.5 billion (an increase of two per cent).
UKinbound has confirmed that its next annual convention will take place in Cardiff, from February 7th-9th next year. Following the success of this year’s convention in Plymouth, Cardiff will welcome over 250 UKinbound members for three days of insightful debates, addresses from keynote speakers and networking opportunities in and around Cardiff.
The British government has announced a further expansion to the Registered Traveller Service. Membership is now open to travellers from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay. The scheme, which currently has 40,000 members, is already open to Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the US.
UKinbound has revealed that 82 per cent of its members believe that staying in the EU is important to their business. The organisation is one of the leading trade associations, representing 350 members of the travel and tourism industry in Britain. The announcement, made at UKinbound’s Annual Convention, follows prime minister David Cameron’s recent request to the business community to share their views on EU membership.