Jurys Inn to promote Britain’s tourist and city attractions

UK hotel group Jurys Inn Hotels is set to promote Great Britain’s tourist and city attractions to British tourists and travellers, in a bid to further inspire them to explore landmarks in their home country.

The hotel group, which runs 22 hotels located in the heart of UK city centres, is set to launch ‘Jurys Inn -The Verdict,’ a campaign that will celebrate everything ‘Great’ about Great Britain. The campaign plan was announced after a study by Jurys Inn Hotels found that Brits were increasingly overlooking sights and landmarks near them. Nearly one fifth (22 per cent) of those surveyed claimed to have visited more landmarks abroad than in their home country.

Commenting on the survey findings, Suzanne Cannon, Group Marketing Manager at Jurys Inn, said: ‘Our study has unveiled that Brits seem to be falling out of love with Blighty. Instead of wanting to explore more of their local cities and home country, they are being influenced by what they see on TV and in films, to escape abroad.

‘The ‘staycation’ may not appeal to everyone, but with a lack of UK knowledge in the first instance, Brits are not necessarily aware of the amazing attractions they could be exploring. We were surprised at stats such as almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those polled being unable to name iconic locations including Angel of the North, so we’re making it our mission to help the nation fall back in love with Britain with ‘Jurys Inn – The Verdict’- a campaign that puts the nation to the test and celebrates everything ‘Great’ about Great Britain.

‘Launching in April, ‘The Verdict’ will include a series of pub quiz challenges to find and celebrate the most knowledgeable Brit, who knows Britain inside out.’

According to the study, over three quarter of Britons failed to locate well-known cities such as Sheffield (85 per cent), Birmingham (83 per cent) and Liverpool (76 per cent) on a map. The study also revealed over a third (36 per cent) of Brits did not know where Stonehenge was. When shown pictures of iconic landmarks, over a third (39 per cent) of Scots didn’t recognise the iconic St Andrews Golf Course, and a quarter (25 per cent) of Londoners were unable to name the Gherkin.

The hotel staff know the cities well and will be able to advise on the best spots enabling Brits to explore sites, landmarks and attractions in their home country and fall in love with Blighty again, Jurys Inn said.

 

Staycations on the rise for Brits this summer

With the holiday season unfolding, leading travel site TripAdvisor has revealed travel trends that have emerged for Brits during the peak summer travel period.

Research of the British TripAdvisor community showed that 2014 will be the summer of the staycation for Brits, with six British destinations featuring in the top 15 global list. London and Edinburgh top the list in first and second place respectively, while the UK cities Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Birmingham also feature in the top 15. And apparently city breaks in general are proving a hit for British travellers, as 11 of the top 15 are revealed to be city destinations.

If not staying in the UK, staying close to home is the trend as the top 15 is dominated by five European destinations. Only four destinations in the hot list this year are located outside of the continent – Sharm El Sheikh, New York City, Orlando and Dubai, VisitScotland said in its release.

For those looking for a vacation outside the UK, Sharm El Sheikh is the most popular holiday destination in third place, followed by New York City in fourth.

Brits are also aiming high on the staycation, with more than 46% of travellers focusing on 4-star hotels and over 20% opting for the ultimate in luxury with 5-star properties. Of the travellers with a more modest budget, 27% are focused on 3-star properties, and on the lower end of the scale only 5% are interested in 2-stars and a meagre 1% on 1-star hotels.

The research further revealed that under the attractions tab on TripAdvisor, the five most popular activities for British travellers are: outdoor, cultural, amusement, museums and landmarks.

Commenting on the trend, VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: ‘To have both Edinburgh and Glasgow featured in the top 10 destinations for British travellers this summer is wonderful news. In terms of value and volume of visitors, the UK remains our biggest market and one which we are always striving to build on.

‘Both Edinburgh and Glasgow – which appear second and ninth respectively – offer a multitude of fantastic attractions and experiences for visitors. With such an exciting summer ahead, including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the ever-popular Edinburgh Festival, it comes as no surprise that UK visitors would want to visit these incredible destinations.

‘As Scotland welcomes the world in 2014 with over 850 Homecoming events, the upcoming Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup, I would encourage everyone to head out and explore the wide range of first-class attractions that can be found right on our doorstep.’

 

Britons prefer ‘staycations’ this summer

This holiday season, British holidaymakers are showing a preference for ‘staycations’, making the most of the consistently good weather in the UK, rather than travelling to a summer holiday hotspot overseas, according to research reports.

Luxury rental specialist, Rural Retreats, has said that following the heat wave last month there has been a dramatic rise in Brits holidaying at home. The number of UK holiday bookings increased by 61 percent in July compared to the same time last year.

The report also found that trips abroad could cost double that of a staycation, a key motivation for many families when choosing where to take their summer break.

Charles Millward, chief executive of Rural Retreats, said, ‘…last month’s great weather saw some parts of the UK enjoy uninterrupted sunshine for nearly three weeks. This has made Brits re-asses their holiday options, especially when a trip abroad for a family of four can be in the region of over £2,000, which is more than double the price of a standard UK mini-break, which costs £900.’

‘This country has some of the finest beaches, attractions and heritage in all of Europe, all we’ve missed in previous years was the weather. This summer we’ve had it all and it’s shown that the UK can be a fantastic holiday choice for both domestic and international tourists. It’s great to see such an increase in Brits holidaying at home this summer, and we hope the hot spell has opened people’s eyes that everything you need for a great break is right here on our doorstep,’ he added.

Meanwhile hotel comparison website Trivago.co.uk said that hotel searches to popular overseas summer destinations have decreased following the heat wave. Since temperatures in the UK rose above 30-degrees C in mid-July, hotel searches to overseas summer destinations decreased by up to 25 percent. Out of the 50 most searched-for overseas destinations by UK travellers during July 2013, Majorcan resorts show the greatest percentage decrease in hotel searches since the heat wave.

In the UK, hotel searches increased in some coastal destinations by up to 41 percent thanks to the heat wave.

The most searched-for UK regions were Devon and Cornwall, with hotel searches in Woolacombe up by 41 percent, Falmouth up by 18 percent, Paignton up by 8 percent, Newquay also up by 8 percent and St Ives up by 7 percent. Also popular were Barmouth in Wales, up 20 percent, Blackpool, also up 20 percent, and Folkestone up 11 percent.

Trivago’s summer trends data also confirms the ‘staycation’ trend, which suggests holidaying at home is on the rise, with 16 of the top 50 most popular summer destinations located in the UK.

Survey says 65 percent of Brits planning UK summer break

A survey has revealed that 65 percent of British holidaymakers are planning to take a summer break in the UK this year.

The survey, which was carried out by budget hotel chain, Travelodge, polled around 3,000 individuals and discovered that a greater percentage of them intended taking a UK-based holiday this year compared to last year. The UK’s poor prevailing weather conditions in recent times might have been expected to dampen holidaymaker’s enthusiasm for a domestic break, but with the credit crunch still biting, the lower costs associated with staying in Britain will also have had an influence.

This year’s percentage of those choosing a home holiday was certainly an improvement on last year’s 41 percent and the previous year’s 35 percent, according to the on-going research. The prediction will come as a welcome boost to the UK tourism industry, since it will increase the tourism spend by £3.3 billion compared to last year, and provide a grand total of £12 billion.

The survey also found that 42 percent of those holidaying in the UK would do so for one week, 15 percent will take a two-week break, and 33 percent will split their holiday into a number of shorter breaks. Also, the seaside does not appear to hold the attraction for British holidaymakers that it used to, with just 22 percent opting for a coastal holiday, compared with 27 percent that preferred a rural break, while city breaks achieved the top spot with a 31 percent preference. London was the top single destination over all.

Grant Hearn, chief executive for Travelodge, said, ‘The staycation trend, accelerating to record levels and boosting our economy by £12 billion this year, is a very welcome sign, and hopefully this is the start of our 2012 Olympics legacy gain. During 2012, our capital city was showcased in its true glory to all corners of the UK and the world, and it’s a great result that London has been crowned as the top staycation destination for 2013.’

3 British staycations which tick all the right boxes

If you’re already planning your summer holiday for next year, you might be interested to learn that many Brits are choosing a staycation i.e. a holiday in Britain. As holiday budget are tighter and the economy struggles, many parts of the UK will experience a boost to their summer season. Whether you’re looking to explore and soak in history, play on the beach or rejuvenate in tranquil surroundings, Britain has it all and here we look at 5 types of holiday in Britain that tick all the right boxes:

1. Beach Holidays

A holiday at the seaside is the quintessential British holiday. For generations, a beach holiday has been a favourite with us Brits, after all, what’s there not to like. The beaches in England are some of the safest beaches in the World with RNLI coastguards making sure everyone is safe and sound. Wales, Devon and Cornwall provide the most popular beach holidays with resorts such as Newquay (Cornwall), Tenby (Wales) and Woolacombe (Devon) catering for every holidaymaker with a wide selection of hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites available. Caravan holidays in Devon are one of the most popular type of holidays for families with caravan parks offering cheap prices, great amenities and loads to do. Camping in Devon is also a firm favourite for those holidaying on a budget – popular with younger groups, couples, families and of course surfers looking to surf the fantastic surf spots of Woolacombe and Croyde.

2. Glamping Holidays

First off, if you haven’t been glamping (glamorous camping) you won’t be the only ones. Only recently have these holidays become popular and the ‘glamping’ word become what it’s easy to see what all the fuss is about. Spend a weekend in a bow-topped caravan in the middle of an apple orchard in Somerset; a few days in a yurt in the Lake District overlooking Britain’s tallest peak; or you can spend your holiday in a luxury Iron Age roundhouse – complete with thatched roof on the picturesque Bodrifty Farm. Glamping holidays are perfect for those that love the great outdoors and something a little different.

3. Canal Boat Holidays

Canal boating holidays have become more and more popular over the years, especially with families. It’s hard to imagine anything more traditionally British than meandering through countryside canals on a narrowboat, breathing in the country air. This is a holiday for those who like relaxation, nature and exploration whilst spending quality time with loved ones. A week living on a hired narrowboat from a company like Anglo Welsh and working the locks is great fun for young and old and using the canal boat as your base, go off and explore local towns, shops and restaurants at your own pace.

VisitEngland Acquires Funding for Tourism Campaigns

VisitEngland, the official travel promotional agency for England, has acquired GBP2m in sponsorship from the UK government.

The fund will be used for promoting tourism in England and an extension of the Holidays at Home campaign to encourage UK residents to take holidays in the UK.

The chief executive officer of VisitEngland, James Berresford, said, ‘The fantastic events of 2012 have provided tourism with an unprecedented opportunity to raise the profile of England as a destination and build on the swell of national pride that the Diamond Jubilee, The Torch Relay, London Festival 2012 and The Games have ignited in us as a population.

This, I am confident, combined with our continued marketing efforts will help to inspire more Britons to take a break in this country.

We will continue to work closely with our destination partners to amplify the Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign at a local level to continue to grow the visitor economy.

We know the trend to take a break at home is strong. Overnight domestic Holiday trips were up by 6 percent last year and I am confident with this additional support from Government we can ensure that an overriding legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be through tourism.’

VisitEngland has previously announced a new partnership project to offer local destination marketing and theme-based campaigns, encouraging British holidaymakers to take holidays on home soil. Destination based themes will be offered in 2013, and will include campaigns focussing on heritage, coastal, countryside, and culture, including sport and literature.

 

PM Attracts Criticism for Holiday Choice

The Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, has attracted criticism over his choice of summer holiday destination this year.

During a speech to foreign business leaders at the British Business Embassy conference last Thursday, the PM was quoted as saying: ‘If you want a holiday, then why not have your holiday here?’ However, it has emerged that Mr Cameron’s own holiday plans for this year involve taking his wife, Samantha, and their three children to a destination in continental Europe.

The holiday abroad has been confirmed by the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street, although no specific details were given regarding the location, due to security concerns.

Although the leaders of all three of the UK’s main political parties will be staying in Britain for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games, they have all diarised holidays outside the UK in the weeks following. Liberal Democrat leader and deputy PM, Nick Clegg will be taking his family on their regular summer excursion to his French villa, and on to his wife’s hometown of Olmedo in Spain, while the leader of the opposition Labour party, Ed Miliband, will holiday with his family in Greece.

Newspapers in the UK have been quick to pick up on the Prime Minister’s apparent confusion, with the Daily Mail today alluding to his comments when holidaying in Cornwall in 2010 when he said that Britons should be proud of their country and what it has to offer.

‘I love going on holiday in Britain. I’ve holidayed in Snowdonia, South Devon and North Cornwall, the Lake District, Norfolk, the Inner Hebrides, the Highlands of Scotland, the canals of Staffordshire to name just a few,’ he said at the time.

 

Seek Out Britain’s Unusual Destinations This Summer

For British families wanting to enjoy a holiday in Britain this summer, Dealchecker, a UK based travel comparison site, has suggested some unusual summer destinations on home soil.

Staycations, or holidays at home, have gained popularity with British travellers as these options can often be less expensive and less stressful than going abroad.

Ben Hatch, author of the family travel guide, ‘Are We Nearly There Yet?’ has collaborated with Dealchecker to offer a guide to 10 events, destinations and activities for families to enjoy in Britain this summer.

Ben Hatch’s top five picks include an Olympian Trail from the Guildhall and Wenlock Tourist Information Centre in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, which provides visitors with an insight into Much Wenlock as an historic inspiration for the modern Olympic Games, which derives from the town’s own Olympian games that began in 1850; watching seals at Blakeney Point, in Blakeney, Holt, Norfolk; visiting the National Space Centre in Leicester; touring Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, Northumberland; and Dolphin spotting at Chanonry Point, Fortrose, in Scotland.

Mark Attwell, the company managing director, said, ‘It was great fun working with Ben to suggest affordable destinations for families and those looking for something a little different this summer. Visitors and locals alike can take advantage of offers on car hire and hotel rooms so that extraordinary UK holidays don’t have to be expensive.’

Dealchecker’s top five unconventional holiday destinations include Boardmasters surf and music festival, to be held at Watergate Bay, Cornwall, England, between August 8 and 12, 2012; the Worthing Birdman event, where entrants attempt to fly hand built flying machines in a competition that is held in Worthing, West Sussex, England, on August 18 and 19; the World Alternative Games to be held at Llanwrtyd Wells, in Powys, Wales, from August 17 to September 2, 2012; hot air ballooning over the Lake District, at Kendal, Cumbria; and the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure in Aberfoyle, which has one of the UK’s longest zip lines.

Coastal businesses get a boost

The number of Brits taking ‘staycations’ is ever increasing, with tourists wanting to find interesting things to see and do in the UK.

 

Coast Radar, an online community that brings visitors together with all types of businesses in coastal regions, is on hand to help local businesses take full advantage of this renewed interest.

 

This is a guide for things to do and places to stay around the coast of Britain, with all the information you need in one place. From the top ten beaches, to things to do in your area – this guide can give you ideas on how to have a action packed, relaxing, or family friendly break.

 

Coast Radar is the brainchild of Ian Barnes, an experienced IT enterprise architect and internet marketing expert.

 

A lover of Britain’s beach resorts and a keen water sports enthusiast, Ian found that the number of websites he had to visit to get the range of information he needed was daunting and time consuming.

 

He recognised the clear need for a single platform to help tourists find what they needed quickly and easily, which in turn could help local coastal businesses reach potential customers.  And so, Coast Radar was born.

 

Covering the entire coast of the UK, initial listings are free, but businesses have the option to choose from three further levels of enhanced listings – Standard, Business and Business Plus.  Features include location markers, a clickable website address and SEO listings through to photo galleries, social media references and keyword review and selection.  In addition, Coast Radar offers a free consultation to optimise listings at Business Plus level. Businesses can not only benefit from quality traffic to their own sites, as a result of the online marketing expertise of Barnes and his technical team, but they can be sure they are being seen in the right spot that is associated with their region.

 

“We understand that small outlets or single owner tourism businesses such as a B&Bs may not have large budgets to promote themselves or the knowledge to increase the marketing performance of their website.  Yet it is crucial for these businesses to get visitors through the door all year round.  That is why we offer affordable packages that give businesses the benefits of advertising their service, while also drawing on our expertise to drive traffic to their websites,” comments Ian Barnes.

 

Independent of any other travel organisation, Coast Radar does not charge a commission and does not share data with any third party organisations.

 

For further information and to see the site in action, visit www.coastradar.com

 

A Road Trip around the UK

Ever since I can remember, travel was always a big part of my family memories. My parents used to make the most of our 3-week long holidays to take my sister and I to some amazing places, which, they figured, we would certainly enjoy to the max!

Whether close to home or farther from it, our family time was much appreciated and one of our first trips as a gang of four was to the Lake District, a region that got embedded in my brain at a very young age. Well, my sister was even younger, hardly over a year old but that didn’t stop us at all from enjoying that beautiful landscape, green-moss hills, even under the heaviest fog! Obviously, booking a car hire was a top priority for these travels: it allowed us to create an itinerary that would include child tantrums, car-sickness stops, waking up late or too early… it offers just the flexibility needed for two parents with young children on their stride, who did not wish to be conformed by any rules but their own.

Discovering the Lake District by car was an eye-opener, allowing me to realise that a life in the woods could very well be in my future’s cards. Up until now, the future hasn’t yet fullfilled in that light but I’m hopeful it will, eventually. It was also in the Lake District that I got to meet the work of writer Beatrix Potter, and make a long-time friend out of the the wings of Jemima Puddle-Duck, not to mention the curious Peter Rabbit, among other animal friends.

If you’re travelling with the kids around the area, do go for a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter attraction: mark my words, they will get all the fun they can out of it! In case you may be interested, take a look at The World of Beatrix Potter site, which provides all the necessary information, as well as upcoming events and activities for visitors of all ages!

With all the time for yourself, choosing to drive a car hire to Scotland shows itself to be a great addition to your itinerary and for those accustomed to spend time on the road, a 2-hour drive is nothing. It might be a soothing experience, really, with the radio or custom-made CDs blasting tunes that make all the vehicle occupants sing and bob their heads with glee, no one will even feel time passing by!

Scotland is able to give all sorts of experiences to its tourists: from bustling cities, history-infused towns with deeply-rooted traditions to the Highlands territory, having your own vehicle allows you to set the desired pace and better yet, travel with great comfort – that’s mostly what one wishes for, is it not? Nothing worse than have to endure a drive for hours with a sore back and frustration building up!

My family has come back to the Lake District a few mores times since that first reconnaissance trip, never really feeling tired of the scenery, always finding something new to love and miss on the return drive home. Other places around the UK have nestled very cosily in our hearts, although I have to admit the south has yet to be better explored… Maybe on the next available opportunity, we’ll take a hire car in Wales or dare heading to the southernmost tip of the English mainland and discover the natural beauty of Cornwall!