BETA Youth Travel Workshop
Last week BETA held its largest Youth Travel Workshop to date, attracting over 150 businesses from the UK and overseas
Beauty beneath your skin at BODY WORLDS London
Discover the beauty beneath your skin at BODY WORLDS London, the original display of real human bodies, already a Top 10 London Attraction as listed on TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travellers’ Choice Awards!
Anglo Educational Services launch The Residence
Adding to their portfolio of over 250 apartments across Central London Anglo are pleased to introduce The Residence.
Brexit Travellers Toolkit
Government has published a stakeholder toolkit to explain the impacts to the UK in a deal or no deal scenario
Cutty Sark marks its 150th anniversary in 2019
Cutty Sark, one of the world’s most famous ships, the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of her time will be marking its 150th anniversary in 2019
Home Office launch EU Settlement Scheme
a new nationwide marketing campaign to encourage EU citizens to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme ahead of its full launch on Saturday 30 March
Changes to safeguarding guidance
Are you aware of the latest Department for Education’s safeguarding guidance?
EU Advice to UK Travelers if there is a No Deal Brexit
The EU has released a Factsheet on travel to the EU for UK residents in the event of a No Deal Brexit
Introducing BETA’s Revamped Quarterly Business Barometer
BETA’s Business Barometer (BBB) is undergoing an exciting update
FCO Toolkit #PrepareForEUExit
Leaving the European Union (EU) means a number of changes that will affect businesses and individual citizens
BETA commissions STR to develop new industry data
The BETA Business Barometer is a quarterly statistics tool that has been created to measure business performance and trends within the youth, student and educational travel sector
BETA confirms Londonist DMC as a Gold Sponsor
TA is delighted to announce its ongoing partnership with Londonist DMC announcing them as a gold association sponsor in 2019
UK Government publishes advice for inbound visitors
Earlier this week the government published new advice setting out key points inbound visitors (from EU and rest of the world) need to be aware of for travelling to the UK post exit
Brexit Director Announced as Keynote Speaker
We are delighted to announce that our Keynote Speaker at the upcoming BETA Youth Travel Workshop is Mark Essex, Brexit Director at KPMG UK.
Optivo Welcomes New Marketing Manager
Optivo welcomes Jonathan Vaciannia to taken over from Esther Tong, as Marketing Manager
Travel Insights Survey
Elman Wall’s Mergers & Acquisitions arm, Summit Advisory, invited BETA members and its own clients to participate in its new annual M&A Travel Insights 2019 survey
Exclusive West End Waitress Workshops
Waitress marks Theatre Workout’s 38th official West End workshop programme with opportunities for education, leisure and corporate groups to engage with this exciting new West End production.
New Trade & Partnerships Team at The Original Tour
The Original Tour is pleased to announce the line-up for their new Trade & Partnerships team
Anglophiles launch a new Fashion & English course
Anglophiles are pleased to launch a new Fashion & English course in collaboration with Boston college and the up and coming British brand < Non Stop Working Clothing >
STA raising awareness of mental health & wellbeing
STA Travel Education have launched a nationwide campaign, #EducationForAll in a bid to raise awareness of students’ mental health & wellbeing.
Members raise £2,000 for Team Margot
Last week, over 100 stakeholders from the UK youth, student and educational travel sector came together at Belushi’s London Bridge to collectively raise £2,000 for BETA’s nominated charity Team Margot. Our already popular Youth Industry Networking event took on a competitive edge as 20 teams pitted their wits against one another at the Big BETA Charity Showdown Quiz. Expertly run by the team from Live the City, who specialise in quizzes and treasure hunts for schools and corporate groups, it was a case of fastest finger first in a series of general knowledge rounds using their giant quiz machines. The winning team on the night was from Elman Wall who celebrated their victory in style! Plus we gave away some generously donated prizes including a trip to Paris, theatre tickets, tours and more in our charity raffle. Team Margot Foundation was set up in 2015 in memory of Margot Martini who sadly lost her battle with blood cancer, aged 2. Team Margot’s aim is to encourage more people to register as a potential lifesaver and with over 37,000 people currently on the waiting list, so there is lots do in raising awareness for this important cause. Please do visit the […]
New WTTC Report on youth employment
Travel & Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors across the world, characterised by part-time and seasonal working opportunities, and requirements for skilled and unskilled labour As such, it presents great opportunities for younger people who may have difficulty in finding employment. Some of the key highlights include: Travel & Tourism employs a higher share of youth workers (15-24) than the overall economy of the ten countries studied. Canada is a leader in Travel & Tourism’s youth employment, with youth making up one third of all Travel & Tourism jobs, but only just over one in eight of all jobs in the economy. The share of youth employment in both Travel & Tourism and the overall economy has marginally declined over the last decade (2007-2017) in several countries, largely driven by structural changes such as an ageing population, young people remaining in education for longer, and employers’ focus on retention rather than new hiring. By employing and training young people, Travel & Tourism contributes to peace, poverty reduction, inclusive & sustainable economic growth and develops relevant skills and knowledge for the future. Demographic shifts, notably increased life expectancy, and technological advancements, will further enhance competition for youth employment across […]
Step into Gringots Wizarding Bank at Warner Bros.
For the first time ever at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, visitors are invited to enter the set of Gringotts Wizarding Bank as the Studio Tour unveils its biggest expansion to date
BREXIT: Immigration in a No Deal Scenario
As a team we are at the moment busy recruiting hosted buyers from overseas to attend our Youth Travel Workshop.
St Christopher’s Inns Opening a New Hostel in Edinburgh
Pan-European backpacker hostel operator St Christopher’s Inns, led by CEO Keith Knowles, is delighted to announce it has leased a second site in Edinburgh
Learning workshops for International Students
National Maritime Museum, part of Royal Museums Greenwich now offer educational, interactive workshops for intermediate and advanced international students
The View from The Shard – celebrating success in 2018
The View from The Shard has enjoyed great success in 2018 winning three different awards in recognition of the unique experience and superb customer service it provides
STUDENT.COM Boosts International Expansion with Hire
Baker joins the team as part of its ongoing international expansion following a successful 2018, which saw over 250,000 additional beds globally being available for students.
2018 was a great year for Immerse Education
We launched a new series of summer programmes for 11-15 year olds
STA Travel announces new partnership with Thomas Cook
Youth travel firm STA Travel is to sell Thomas Cook flights and holidays.
Vagaband’s pre-travel readiness courses: Going Places
Going Places is the ultimate pre-travel prep course that helps empower young travellers when it comes to decision-making and safety awareness abroad
London’s Magical Christmas Lights Tour
See London’s iconic Christmas lights from the best seats in the house!
Valsoft continues global expansion with acquisition of CMS Hospitality
Valsoft Corporation Inc. is pleased to announce the acquisition of CMS Hospitality.
2018 Agent Barometer
Global survey tracks agent perspectives on destinations, online learning, alumni, and student experience
Euro Hostel install the world’s first shelf stations….Crables!
Euro Hostel chose these because we realised that our customers want power at their fingertips and superfast Wi-Fi wherever they are
New consumer study on attitudes to travel
his report was created by Hype Collective a student marketing agency to look at students attitudes to travel.
New report to assist the growth in international student numbers
All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students released their report entitled “A sustainable future for international students in the UK”
Bayswater Launches Junior Summer Programmes
Bayswater College, launches exciting portfolio of Junior courses in 4 locations for summer 2019…. Bayswater Education, a newly established social enterprise in international education, has entered the English Language Junior Summer School market.
Generator launches social networking app
Hostel brand Generator has launched a new app aimed at connecting like-minded people across the planet looking for unique travel experiences
Capsule Hostel generates increase in bookings
Earlier this year, backpacker hostel operator St Christopher’s Inns launched the UK’s first capsule beds in London
Generation Z and More than just a Room
Over the last 5 years our industry has seen more change than it has in the previous 40
UK Budget Announcement 2018
With the chancellors last budget announcement before Brexit here are some key points from our partners at Elman Wall
BETA releases latest industry statistics
Latest industry statistics at a round table discussion with tourism heads from the DCMS
Theatre Workout: An EU Tourism Partner
Theatre Workout has been selected to attend an EU funded travel and tourism trade mission to Shanghai in November 2018, to engage with the Chinese market to promote, develop or exchange tourism to London’s West End With a primary focus on Film and TV tourism, which is especially pronounced in the Chinese market, Theatre Workout has been selected to represent all things theatre, championing London’s West End to a growing travel and tourism market in China. Analysis of online activity among Chinese visitors by the European Travel Commission demonstrates that film, TV and theatre shows drive travel decisions, with more travellers seeking out unique experiences. Theatre Workout’s focus will be on meeting agents and travel organisers sending tourists to the UK who want to engage with, and experience live performance by visiting theatre productions, and by participating in Theatre Workout’s award-winning workshops and courses. In recent years, Theatre Workout has seen a significant increase in enquiries from Chinese groups who are interested in workshops, summer schools, theatre visits, and other cultural and creative learning opportunities, which are only available in the UK. There is a growing market, particularly in youth travel, as more Chinese students head to the UK for […]
International Friends talks to TripAdvisors Experiences
TripAdvisors Experiences talked to some of the world’s top-selling tour operators to uncover the secrets of their success. International Friends part of GTi Travel Group was one of those tours operators What started off in 2004 as a family business offering student tours has evolved into one of Britain’s top-selling travel companies. Today, International Friends offers a range of tours and shore excursions that take visitors to top British attractions such as Downton Abbey’s manor and Harry Potter sets. But what’s really made them stand out is their ability to give their customers something extra—that hidden gem that they wouldn’t have found on their own. They do this by operating in small vehicles that the larger coach buses can’t access, and by having a team of expert guides that know all the secret spots not found on the typical tourist maps. Their advice? Always be on the lookout for new possibilities and opportunities, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—that’s how you learn and grow, and sometimes changing directions can lead to even greater success. At some point, you’ll get it just right. As Jimmy Greene, Owner / Director of International Friends, says, “There’s no better feeling than being told by customers […]
Summer camp goes mobile
Camp Leaders have shaken the industry again, with the release of their brand new summer camp app The app is the only one of it’s kind, allowing young people to apply to work at a summer camp in America from the comfort of their mobile phone. “Summer camp is a life-changing experience, in which we wholeheartedly believe, and we wanted to make it more accessible than ever before.” said Dean Maddocks, Head of Marketing. “Having noticed an increase in mobile visitors to our website and because we wanted to provide the best experience possible on mobile, we launched our very own Camp Leaders app. Our app has made applying to summer camp easier than ever before.” The app itself make summer camp more accessible to a new generation of mobile phone users, providing a complete, immersive application process. The journey began in January 2017, when Camp Leaders teamed with Liverpool based Cleversteam to begin the project. The app allows applicants to complete their online profile, make payments, upload documents using their camera, receive notification reminders, and see details about their placement in America. Bastian Weinberger, chief executive of Smaller Earth, said: “We’re proud to be the only summer camp agency […]
CMS Hospitality welcomes Skylodge
CMS Hospitality takes great pleasure in welcoming Skylodge to the GuestCentrix family Skylodge, based in the beautiful ski resort of Piau Engaly in the French Pyrenees, opens for business on 21 December 2018, just in time for the first snow fall of the season! This stunning new 290 bed property offers bars, restaurants and a fabulous rooftop terrace with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains – a great place to unwind after a day on the piste or a summer hike. Or perhaps some chillout time in the Sauna is more your thing? A mix of private rooms and hostel dorms will offer additional storage space including ski lockers. Skylodge will be using GuestCentrix Hostel.Web PMS, GuestCentrix Point of Sale and GuestCentrix API’s to link directly to their booking engine, all hosted in our secure cloud environment. GuestCentrix will also be providing an interface for Self-Check In and the whole property will work as a ‘cashless’ environment with guests being able to top up their ‘SkyLodge Card’ via a secure web login. This card will work as a door key and cash card across the estate. Alex Wigmore, Sales Manager, CMS Hospitality – ‘This project has been a long […]
Making Tax Digital (MTD) – VAT, TOMS and how to prepare
An insight into Provided Making Tax Digital (MTD) – VAT, TOMS and how to prepare by BETA Members Elman Wall Travel Accountants I’m sure I won’t be the first to admit that Making Tax Digital (MTD) is not exactly a topic that “grabs” me. Many of you may not want to spent long thinking about VAT and TOMS at all so, to add in phrases like “functional compatible software”, “Application Programme Interface” and the like, means that I can’t promise the article below will be fun (other than perhaps the pictures, which are deliberately not at all relevant to Making Tax Digital). Nonetheless, as MTD for VAT comes into force on 1 April 2019, it is definitely worth educating yourself about, and ensuring that your business is prepared. What on earth is Making Tax Digital? In a nutshell, the idea behind MTD is that business’ VAT returns will no longer be submitted by manually entering figures into a return on your Government Gateway online account. Instead the figures will be taken to HMRC’s Application Programme Interface (API) platform by linking your general accounting software and/or other digital records to this platform. Apparently the reason behind this is because HMRC believe this […]
STR expands benchmarking platform to hostel industry
HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee and LONDON—STR has leveraged its more than three decades as the leader in hotel industry benchmarking to bring a first-of-its-kind data and analytics platform to the hostel industry. Data from that platform shows mixed performance in London and Amsterdam as of June 2018. “STR’s approach to benchmarking this rapidly growing segment of the accommodation industry maintains the same standard of accuracy, integrity and confidentiality for which we are renowned in the global hotel industry,” said Patrick Mayock, STR’s senior director of research & development. “This platform was customized for the hostel industry with the support, feedback and guidance of operators in the space. A successful pilot study over the last year-plus has allowed us to validate methodology and key performance indicators for a sector that has seen a massive increase in investment over the past decade.” London was the first market where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample to provide a Hostel Destination Report. The report from June showed that London hostel occupancy increased slightly by 0.1% to 82.8% during the first half of 2018. At the same time, average daily rate (ADR) was down 9.0% to GBP19.21, leading to a revenue per available bed (RevPAB) decrease of 9.1% […]
Smaller Earth launches the new brand, Camp Canada
Smaller Earth have teamed with NYQUEST to launch the new brand, Camp Canada, following a huge success in its pilot year Camp Canada will offer opportunities for young people around the world, to spend 9 weeks working at summer camps throughout Canada. With no need for a visa, Canada is proving a welcome choice for students looking for an exciting summer job abroad. Last year the two companies teamed together to send hundreds of young people from the UK to work a summer camp season in Canada, this year they plan to send thousands globally. Camp Canada will join the Smaller Earth family next month, becoming the 9th work and travel brand in their already impressive portfolio. NYQUEST has been recruiting for summer camps in Canada since 2005, and see the launch of Camp Canada as the next part of their journey. “We’re proud to be able to partner with NYQUEST” said Smaller Earth CEO Bastian Weinberger. “Jonathan and the team have worked hard to create such a reputable and trustworthy brand, one we are very honoured to be working with” We see Camp Canada as a way of showcasing the exceptional customer journey that both Smaller Earth and NYQUEST […]
Second CODE Pod Hostel in Edinburgh
Ever spent the night in jail? It’s not too late. CODE is delighted to announce that planning permission has been approved for a second CODE Pod Hostel in Edinburgh Former courthouse and jail building in Parliament Square is set to be transformed into an innovative hostel, bringing more Asian-style ‘pods’ to cater to the increasing number of tourists visiting Edinburgh each year. These sophisticated pods are designed with maximum comfort and privacy in mind. Combined with secure keypad entry systems, these features establish CODE as a unique hostel worth visiting. Located seconds from the Royal Mile and close to transport links, it will be the perfect location from which to explore everything that Edinburgh has to offer. Furthermore, the hostel will be located directly opposite St Giles’ Cathedral where action sequences for Hollywood Blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War were filmed. Construction will begin shortly with the hostel expecting to welcome first-guests April 2019. For more information on Code Pod Hostel click here
St Christopher’s Announces Marketing Partnership
St Christopher’s & Mad Monkey Hostels Announce Marketing Partnership aimed at increasing direct bookings Two leading hostel operators partner to drive direct bookings. St Christopher’s Inns hostels, one of the largest hostel companies in Europe operated by the Beds & Bars Group, with over 20 operating locations in 11 countries and Mad Monkey Hostels, one of the largest hostel companies in Asia with 10 operating locations in 4 countries, today announced a joint marketing partnership. This partnership will see the both parties promote each others properties world-wide and collaborate on various marketing initiatives to increase direct bookings in their customer supply chains. St Christopher’s customers will benefit from exclusive discounts and special rates at all Mad Monkey Hostels in Asia & Australia and Mad Monkey customers will benefit from special rates and offers at St Christopher’s hostels located across the best cities in Europe. The two will also be collaborating with content and social media communications to their growing customer base including regular content swaps. Employees of the two hostel companies will also benefit from special staff discounts at each others properties. The partnership is aimed at strengthening both companies growing direct sales channels and providing customers significant added value […]
Inspiring Learning grows its outdoor education portfolio
Leading education and adventure provider invests in new outdoor centre With a track record of over 35 years in outdoor education and adventure, Inspiring Learning’s purpose is to enhance the lives of young people through experiences that inspire. Since 1980, over 1 million children have attended their day camps and this year, over 165,000 young people attended their residential camps from over 35 countries across the world. Providing experiential education through outdoor learning is their expertise, whilst maintaining a focus on developing life skills – from self-confidence and resilience to motivation and team work -through the delivery of adventurous, high-adrenaline and challenging activities. And now, Inspiring Learning will be able to provide that experience to thousands more people every year. With an equally long track record, Skern Lodge is an established outdoor activity and development training centre based in Appledore, North Devon. Situated on the outskirts of a quiet, coastal village, the centre is set in an impressive 22 acres of grounds with tidal waters and the Atlantic surf on its doorstep. From abseiling and zip wires, off road bikes and orienteering to surfing, kayaking and powerboating, many people from schools, colleges and companies all over the country experience their […]
Brexit White Paper points of interest
Last week UK Government published the long-awaited Brexit White paper Below are some of notes of interest from our colleagues at Tourism Alliance that are of interest to the tourism industry. It’s great to see that BETA’s lobbying efforts have resulted in a dedicated students and young people section (85 & 86) and that our suggestion of at UK-EU youth mobility scheme roll out is also included. This was a point highlighted in our evidence given at the Lords Brexit Committee Meeting in February. ================= Our Legal Hotline provider, TravLaw also added a note to highlight the following in respect of Employment Law: Paragraph 123 proposes that there will be no amendments to things like TUPE, Working Time Regulations, collective consultation requirements and discrimination legislation when we leave the EU. A link to the document is here If you are a BETA member and need any help or advice on this or any other topic, please do visit the ‘members only’ area of our website and contact one of our many industry professionals.
Undressing the Tudors
New costume demonstration launches at Queens House, Greenwich Step back in time at the Queens House, Greenwich and get a glimpse into the clothing worn by the Tudors and Stuarts’ in the latest addition for groups at Royal Museums Greenwich. ‘Undressing the Tudors and Stuarts’ is an interactive demonstration, talking through the significance of clothing and the importance it played within society. Discover how clothing was worn in the past in this fascinating demonstration and learn about fashion trends that dominated that era. The demonstration will take place in front of the very fitting back drop of the iconic Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. The painting is on permanent public display as part of the national collection in the Queen’s Presence Chamber in the Queen’s House, on the site of the original Greenwich Palace, which was the birthplace of Elizabeth I. Like many Tudor portraits, it is packed with meaning and metaphor. Elizabeth’s upright posture, open arms and clear gaze speak of vitality and strength. She is draped in pearls – symbols of chastity and the Moon. Numerous suns are embroidered in gold on her skirt and sleeves, to signify power and enlightenment. She rests her hand on a globe, with her […]
MPs and Peers announce Inquiry for international students
MPs and Peers announce first-ever Inquiry into building a sustainable future for international students in the UK The APPG for International Students has announced a new Inquiry into the opportunities and challenges in building a sustainable future for international students in the UK. There are over 500,000 international students in primary, secondary and tertiary education, and over 580,000 students learning English, each year in the UK. The APPG for International Students will launch the Inquiry at a roundtable in Parliament today, attended by a range of experts from education, business, trade and local communities. The APPG will also host two oral evidence sessions in July and September to hear more detailed evidence including from UK and international students. This first-ever Inquiry for the APPG will run throughout summer, reporting in October. Commenting on the inquiry launch, Co-Chair Paul Blomfield MP said: “Recent reports have shown the positive economic impact that international students make a on every constituency in the UK, alongside their contribution to the vitality of our education system.” “We must understand the impact that Brexit will have on international students, and the consequent effects on communities in every region of the UK. This new inquiry will get to […]
Minister vows to support BETA’s efforts to raise the profile of youth travel
On 28th June 2018, BETA and 150 distinguished guests hosted a parliamentary reception with Tourism Minister Michael Ellis to highlight the importance of the youth, student and educational travel sector, to and from the UK The occasion also marked the 15th anniversary since the association’s formation and was hosted by Baroness Warwick, an avid youth travel supporter and former CEO of Universities UK. The group were also delighted to be joined by many other MP’s, Peers and influencers from the travel, tourism and education sectors. Providing the keynote address at the event was Tourism Minister Michael Ellis who agreed that the considerable contribution from youth travelers could be more widely acknowledged. He added “I recognise its economic and socio-economic importance and this is something that we very much want to support.” Young people are the first to unlock new trends to create new ways of living different ways of doing things that can stimulate shifts in the cultural discourse. Showing his support for the sector the Minister added “Young people continue to redefine certain aspects of global travel and we ignore that at our peril – and I for one have no intention of ignoring it.” “Through BETA’s vision the UK […]
Astor Hostels opens first hostel outside London
Astor Hostels opens the doors to its first hostel outside London; Astor York is open! Astor Hostels, the independent hostel group that has been accommodating travelers since 1974 has recently opened a new hostel in the beautiful and historic city of York. The group have transformed a hotel into a backpackers Paradise with amazing facilities, but still the same helpful staff and incredible atmosphere as their London properties. The hostel group have brought their best and brightest to the city that was recently rated the best place to live in the UK! Located just a short walk from the thriving town centre, this friendly hub forms the perfect base to explore York. With around 100 beds distributed among 19 rooms all of which are ensuite; two spacious dining rooms to catch up with fellow travelers; a large cozy living room and an outdoor terrace & garden to mingle in the sunshine or chill in the hammock! All the original features of this beautiful Grade II listed building, provide a hostel that is just perfect for anyone traveling to York solo or as part of a group. No matter what you’re coming to York for, be it for the Horse Races, to explore […]
Kingswood £1m investment in Grosvenor Hall
Kingswood showcases their £1m investment in Grosvenor Hall adventure centre in Ashford, Kent It’s taken a year to get there, but on 12th April 2018 Kingswood were able to reveal the results of their hard work at an open day and ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor of Ashford Borough, Councillor Winston Michael. Guests from local schools, groups and neighbours were invited to discover highlights from their £1m investment, which include: a new lake measuring 100m by 50m; a new accommodation complex with 88 bedrooms and newly refurbished accommodation blocks; an improved menu with a more nutritious offer, and a brand new flood-lit Sports Court – which was the location of their ribbon cutting ceremony. Their Sports Court will shortly be home to netball and basketball tournaments, with the opportunity for up to four games to take place simultaneously. Along with their new lake, Kingswood’s adventure programme can now include both canoeing and raft building with brand new watersports equipment included. Their offer is ideal for schools and groups wanting to inspire young people and host exciting residential trips, tournaments with a choice of pure adventure programmes and specialist development programmes available. Councillor Winston Michael said “Grosvenor Hall is one of […]
Hostelworld welcomed Apple CEO Tim Cook
Hostelworld HQ in Dublin welcomed a very exciting visitor earlier this month when Apple CEO, Tim Cook, took time out of his trip to Ireland to spend time with the iOS development team. He spent about 40 minutes chatting to the team about the hostel business and the Hostelworld app. They demo’d some new features they are working on using the latest technology on the unreleased iOS12 platform. Cook was hugely complimentary about the app and how the team collaborate across disciplines to create a compelling product experience for customers. Hostelworld was the only development organisation he met while in Ireland – testament to the product the team have built and it was a true honour for them to be recognised for their achievements. His parting words were that he was keen to stay in a hostel on his next trip abroad so they will be following up to make sure that happens!!! He also took time to reply to a tweet from Hostelworld to say: Find out more about Hostelworld here
View from The Shard wins Best Attraction
The View from the Shard were delighted to be crowned the Best Attraction for Groups in London The View from The Shard won ‘Best Attraction for groups in London’ at recent Group Travel Awards The award was voted for by readers of GTO magazine. Competition was fierce, other attractions in the category included Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and The Tower of London. Luke Reilly, Head of Trade Sales said “It is an honour to win ‘Best Attraction’, a fantastic deserved reward for our groups division who this year have made a number of improvements such as a new and improved telephone booking and payment process with a Freephone number, reducing rates in line with the market, introducing 1 free leader per 10 paid, trade show representation and ongoing familiarisation trips for tour operators, GTO’s and coach companies.” Find out more about The View from the Shard here
University wins travel award for 11th year in a row
University of Kent wins ‘Best University Accommodation for Groups’ award for the eleventh consecutive year! The University of Kent is delighted to announce that they have been named by Group Travel Organiser as the‘Best University Accommodation for Groups’ winning the 2018 award for the eleventh consecutive year! Matt Johnson, the popular TV presenter and broadcaster, presented the award to the victorious team from the University of Kent at the prestigious event in London on Friday 1stJune at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, where key players across the group travel sector came together to celebrate excellence in the industry in 2018. Sheena Butterworth, Conference Managerat the University of Kent, comments: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to win this award for an incredible eleventh consecutive year. This award is particularly special as it is the readers of Group Travel Organiser who have consistently voted for us each year as the best supplier in the ‘Best University Accommodation for Groups’ category. We are proud to deliver a very high standard of accommodation for groups here at the University of Kent at a very affordable price in a superb location. The combination of our excellent product offering along with the outstanding customer service of our […]
Umi Digital announce new MD
Umi Digital are delighted to announce Harry Fielder’s promotion from Operations Director to Managing Director Harry first joined Umi Digital in 2013 as part of their famous internship programme. Following his internship, Harry finished his studies at the University of Bath and returned to work full time at Umi as Business Development Manager. Since then, Harry has been instrumental in Umi Digital’s annual double-digit growth; which led to his promotion to Operations Director in 2016 and now Managing Director. In 2017, Harry won the Hotel Marketing Association Agency Marketer of the Year. Steve Lowy, who founded Umi Digital in November 2010 will remain involved with the business as Founder and Director – “This is a very proud moment for me and I have no doubt Harry will make a huge success of the role of MD. He already had a great understanding of technology but throughout his internship and now working full-time with us, he developed a real passion for Hotel and Travel Tech. When I created Umi, I wanted to make sure we gave opportunities to young people with the drive and desire to do something with themselves, and in turn create assets to the Hospitality industry that we are […]
15 years of London to Brighton for Coach Direct
For the 15th year Coach Direct have just completed the contract for the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Bike Ride This year Coach Direct sourced and managed 85 coaches for the event which operated with 40 articulated lorries, transporting the cyclists and their bikes between Brighton and Clapham Common. We also operated a park and ride service which included minibuses, coaches and luton vans that were fitted out with bike racks for the event. We are also creating a new booking system that will include vehicle tracking and student tracking so that our clients can see where the coaches are at any given time. They can also have the option of tracking the students if they opt for that functionality which would be great for students visiting the UK from overseas, especially unaccompanied Minors. We will be trialling the software with a top North London school in September 2018 which will give us the opportunity to iron out any teething problems and improve the functionality ready for a mass rollout early 2019. The new system will also calculate the carbon emission savings which has been endorsed by Carbon Footprint. It will give examples of the amount of carbon that […]
The Original Tour launches new Night Tour
Discover London as the sun sets with The Original Tour’s brand new Night Tour! The Night Tour operates on the Yellow Tour Route from 6pm until 10.30pm – prepare to be captivated by a city illuminated by lights! Tour Information Sit back, relax and enjoy an open-top bus tour of London as the city changes from daytime to evening. As the sun sets, enjoy beautiful views of London’s top attractions and once the city lights turn on, the reflections over the river really are spectacular! Highlights Find out more about The Original Tour here
Positive news for UK ELT after three years of decline
English language teaching centres in the UK enjoyed a business upturn in 2017, following three years of decline English UK’s student statistics data shows that student weeks increased by five per cent and student numbers rose 14 per cent to 497,028, despite the number of member centres dropping by 13. The UK has strengthened its status as the world’s most popular destination for junior English language students, with a 27 per cent year-on-year growth in this group of students in privately-owned centres, where they account for almost a third of student weeks. But the details reveal a contrast in the fortunes of state and private sector centres. The private sector experienced 16 per cent year-on-year growth in student numbers to 465,542, while student weeks grew nine per cent to 1,606,280. By contrast, the state sector saw both student weeks and numbers drop by 12 per cent. Download the full student statistics report 2017 (members only) Download the executive summary (open access) This is the first year that detailed information has been collected from the state sector, making source market information available for both sectors. They are very different: the top five sending markets for the private sector were Italy, Saudi […]
Does anyone remember this?
Can you believe it’s 25 years since Planet Hollywood London opened with an incredibly lavish and star-studded launch party on the 17th May 1993 which was one of the biggest celebrity events ever seen in the UK and rocketed Planet Hollywood into the news headlines To recognise this milestone Planet Hollywood celebrated with the ultimate Thursday Throwback by offering guests their original menu including 7 dishes back for one day only and all at 1993 prices! Youth Groups are as important to Planet Hollywood today as they were back in 1993 and this was recognised at the recent Group Travel Awards where the restaurant was voted Best Group Dining Experience for the third year in a row! Find out more about Planet Hollywood here
Anglo Educational Services named as a UA92 Partner
Anglo Educational Services has been named as a University Academy 92 (UA92) US Study-Abroad partner UA92 introduces a game-changing Higher Education initiative developed by Lancaster University and Manchester United legends, turned businessmen, the Class of 92. UA92, opening their doors in September 2019, is a new approach to education with unique undergraduate degrees in media, business, sport and psychology. The new higher education provider will be based in Manchester and is the brainchild of former Manchester United players, Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, who have all enjoyed some of the most successful careers in football and proceeded to excel in highly pressurised and challenging environments in the world of media, and as businessmen. UA92 promises to take their students on a personal development journey that will focus on character as well as academic experiences, co-developed with industry leaders such as Microsoft. UA92 degrees will be awarded by Lancaster University. As part of the agreement, Anglo will offer US students across their University partner network the chance to undertake a semester-length programme and study at UA92, and in the future, internships alongside their studies. Anglo will be providing housing in central Manchester for the students […]
Partner with Visitbritainshop.com
Retail your product on VisitBritain Shop and expand your international reach through the UK Tourism Board The VisitBritain Shop operates across 94 markets in 7 different languages, retailing over 350 products across Britain such as transport, trips and tours, sightseeing passes, museum exhibition and much more! Expand your business with VisitBritain Shop: Over 7.3 million visits in 2016-17 International reach by retailing your product on our platform Gain additional customer mix Special offers specific to market of your choice Dedicated UK ambassadors of your product overseas Key account management supporting the growth of your business Working with us is easy! Free-sale of tickets available – instant booking via our platform Supplier-fulfilled option for controlled inventory service In-house customer service in 7 local languages In-house translation of your product and unique selling points Multicurrency platform to support the sales of your product Training opportunities available Get in touch to join the scheme or to find out more: email@example.com and we’ll do the rest!
British students offered free Interrail pass
British teenagers will soon be able to travel around Europe for up to 30 days using a free Interrail pass Any EU citizen who turns 18 before July 2018 will be entitled to a free ticket worth up to £400 each as part of a pilot scheme by Discover EU funded by the EU. The free Interrail scheme was launched in Brussels and is the first and last year teenagers can apply for the tickets due to Britain’s imminent departure from the EU. “Any future participating depends on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the future relationship between the UK and the EU,” Nathalie Vandystadt, the EU commission spokesperson for education, culture, youth and sport told The Guardian. The scheme was pioneered by the German MEP and leader of the European People’s Party in the European parliament, Manfred Weber. He said about the pilot: “Getting to know your neighbours and discovering what Europe is about is so important. “Europe is all about you; it’s about the people who are so different and yet so similar. It’s about getting to know one another. “That’s why Interrail is great. You get to travel all around Europe and find out how […]
Global campaign takes scotland to the world
A major new campaign will put Scotland in the international spotlight and showcase the country’s world-leading assets to a global audience. Launching in North America, London and China, ‘Scotland is Now’ is designed to put the country firmly at the top of everyone’s list of places to live, work, study, invest and visit. Attracting more migrant talent, international students, expanding overseas businesses and high-spend tourists will grow Scotland’s economy and further cement its reputation as an open, diverse and welcoming country. The campaign sees the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Development International and Universities Scotland join forces for the first time to promote Scotland under a single unified national brand, bringing together combined spending of up to £6 million to promote Scotland globally. ‘Scotland is Now’ builds on the nation’s acknowledged strengths as a land of unrivalled history, breath-taking scenery and warm welcomes, but shines a light on lesser-known qualities: a pioneering, dynamic and progressive nation taking the lead on key global challenges. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who unveiled the campaign in China, said: “The message at the heart of ‘Scotland is Now’ is of a bold and positive country offering the warmest of welcomes, rich in history and heritage and […]
Erasmus+ opens to world
A model for the post-Brexit participation of the United Kingdom in European higher education is offered in the European Commission’s new proposal for the Erasmus+ initiative, with its surprise opening to the world. The proposal also doubles the budget for the 2021-27 Erasmus+ and trebles learning and mobility opportunities to 12 million people. The Commission calls for the future Erasmus+ to be open to third countries. The European University Association or EUA said this was a “proactive response” that would open the door for participation of the UK after Brexit – perhaps even provide a way forward for UK participation in other areas of European higher education and research. It could also, said EUA Senior Policy Coordinator Thomas Jørgensen, “be an interesting option for closer cooperation between universities all over the world” and provide opportunities for further higher education internationalisation. Opening to the world Forging mobility and cooperation with third countries was a “bit of a surprise” but a welcome one, Jørgensen told University World News. The EUA reads this new aim as a starting point for more global cooperation, with a primary rationale being enabling UK participation. Erasmus has been open for association by other countries in the current […]
Preparing for the GDPR
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018 as part of new legislation designed to update and expand the Data Protection Act 1998. Compliance with the GDPR is relatively straight-forward if you are already complying with existing data protection regulations. You need to remember three main things in looking at what changes you need to make to the way you handle and use the personal details of customers when the new regulations come into effect: If you are already complying with the Data Protection Act, you will be complying with 80-90% of the requirements of the GDPR. The GDPR isn’t a whole new set of requirements, it simply builds on existing requirements. The GDPR is designed to give customers more control over the information that companies have on them. If you look at it from the perspective of what you would expect from other companies when you give them your data, you will have a fair understanding of what you should do with your customers’ data. Remember when looking at your storage and use of personal data, this extends beyond things like a person’s name, address, phone number and includes images and recordings (i.e., […]
Royal Wedding Fever Descends On Windsor!
With excitement growing as the Royal Wedding gets closer and closer, The Original Tour has a whole host of special activations planned this month! In the week running-up to the Royal Wedding (Saturday 12th to Sunday 20th May), The Original Tour’s expert guides will be hosting special live-guided tours of Windsor & Eton. Included in the normal hop-on hop-off ticket price, these ‘Royal Wedding’ tours will focus on Harry & Meghan’s links to Windsor, the history of the Royal family plus facts and stories to get you into the wedding spirit! Hop on-board daily at 10am, 12pm, 2pm or 4pm* to join this extra-special open-top bus tour! The Original Tour will also be running an #OriginallyRoyal social media competition where they will ask entrants to show off something Royal; whether that’s a selfie at Buckingham Palace, or a snap of Kensington Palace, they want to see it! There are two special prizes to be won – one for London including bus tour, a special trip up The View from the Shard (champagne included!) and another for Windsor including the bus tour, afternoon tea at The Windsor Farm Shop (plus special hamper!) and a French Brothers River Cruise…… More
CODE pods have landed in Dublin!
CODE Pod Hostel has recently jumped across the Irish Sea to the city centre of Dublin. The hostel currently trading as Jacobs Inn Dublin, will be transformed into a brand-new CODE Pod Hostel. CODE is an urban concept designed to re-invent the hostel experience at an attractive price point in vibrant city locations. They’ve taken the Japanese pod concept and developed it for the luxury hostel market. The pods are designed with the emphasis on privacy, security and a great sleep. The first hostel opened in 2014 in Edinburgh and it featured the pod beds as one of the first pod hostels in the UK. Recently they’ve opened two trial pod rooms at their property in Dublin, 4 years after the first pods were built in Edinburgh. Based on the customer reviews and staff comments and they’ve improved their first design and created the pod 2.0! Convenience was one of the focus points. How annoying is it when you are cosy in your pod and you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night? So, finally you muster all your courage to climb down the steps only to discover that the bathroom is occupied because someone has […]
Planet Hollywood’s 25th Birthday – 17th May
Planet Hollywood London celebrates 25th birthday with all dishes at original 1993 prices for one day only Thursday 17 May Planet Hollywood London is celebrating its 25th birthday and – for one day only – on Thursday 17th May, the iconic restaurant is inviting guests to celebrate with a special menu complete with original classic dishes from the last 25 years all at 1993 prices. The restaurant’s opening party in London in 1993 is famous for being one of the biggest celebrity launches ever seen. Over 100 movie stars flew into London from around the world and the West End was brought to a standstill as more than 10,000 fans went ‘Arnie Barmie’ as Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a host of other superstars partied the night away. Twenty five years on, the restaurant on the Haymarket will be offering a show stopping menu complete with seven of the bestselling dishes from the restaurant’s London opening, alongside current 2018 favourites – all for original 1993 prices. Highlights of the original dishes from the 1993 menu on offer include; starters of Blue and Gold Nachos for the incredible 1993 price of £3.95, main courses of; Linguini with sausage for just £8.50; and a Creole Pizza for £8.25. There is even the original world famous dessert, Arnie’s Grandmother’s […]
Even diva’s are believers
Mariah Carey has joined the ranks of unexpected celebrities who stay in hostels in Hostelworld’s latest spoof campaign Legendary diva Mariah Carey has taken a break from her lavish lifestyle to join backpackers on a recent trip to Barcelona where she had her first hostel experience. In a short film released on April 9, Carey is seen with her entourage approaching the reception desk of a hostel in Barcelona, Spain. While not happy at being booked at a hostel, the world-famous singer soon changes her tune, exploring the lodging’s rooms and enjoying her time at the onsite cocktail bar. Marek Mossakowski, Hostelworld’s Global Head of Brand, says that many people are still unaware of how much hostels have been improved in recent years, stating: ‘Now they’ve got all the facilities you’d expect from expensive accommodation, but with an affordable price and with a ready-made community of like-minded travelers to share experiences with.’ Carey states: ‘To mine and everyone’s surprise, the hostel was fabulous! It was super clean, modern and spacious. I say give hostels a go.’ The hostel featured in the new video is the Casa Gracia hostel located in the heart of Barcelona and indeed features the high ceilings and upscale furnishings seen in the video. The new […]
Youth Travel Workshop Report
Last week BETA’s annual Youth Travel Workshop took place – the largest event to date Held at the Kia Oval in London the day kicked off with an industry update followed by a sales energiser to get delegates focussed on getting the most out of the day ahead. Following this the first of over 2,000 pre-scheduled meetings took place between buyers and sellers. The programme was further enhanced for delegates who were able to take advantage of tours of this famous cricket ground, a mini theatre workshop and evening networking reception. Delegates then headed off to London’s West End to see Oscar-winning actor Cuba Golding Jr. in the hit musical Chicago. For our hosted buyers the programme started the day prior and included overnight accommodation kindly sponsored by Londonist, plus a day of site visits, accommodation inspections, stunning sights and meetings with key sponsors. This important part of the programme helps to give a greater understanding of the products, programmes and services that are available to young visitors to the UK. As always these events could not be delivered without the generous support and sponsorship of our members. For more information on the event please visit: www.youthtravelworkshop.com
The world is coming to London this June for CONIFA
Between 31 May and 9 June, CONIFA (Confederation of Independent Football Associations) is holding the 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup in London CONIFA is a politically neutral, charitable NGO run by volunteers with the desire to be ‘FIFA for teams outside FIFA’ – but with a focus on transparency and equality. CONIFA’s aims are simple: we want everyone in the world to be able to enjoy and play football – no matter their race, religion, gender or politics. In total, CONIFA now represents over 320 million people worldwide and amongst the more recognisable teams coming to London are Tibet and Panjab, whose diaspora community in the UK totals over 800,000 people and can expect a warm welcome when they play their games at Slough Town FC. Some of the teams amongst the 16 qualifiers have endured massive hardships to compete. The Kabylia team from Algeria had to play their games in secret for fear of police reprisals and when they qualified their FA president was arrested. Matabeleland in Zimbabwe are using football to repair the wounds of genocide. Tuvalu, a tiny Pacific island, will travel over 9,000 miles to get a chance to discuss the fact their island will […]
Last week a campaign to drive more youth travellers to the city kicked off This digital campaign aims to grow visits from Europe and is co-created with young people and social media influencers. #UncoverEdinburgh is an initiative inspired by the Scottish Government 2018 Year of Young People and led by Youth Travel Edinburgh and supported by ETAG, Marketing Edinburgh and VisitScotland. To find our more about #UncoverEdinburgh visit the website: http://www.uncoveredinburgh.org
Beds & Bars annual growth
Beds and Bars’ annual numbers reflect another massively successful year with 9% growth year on year. Beds & Bars annual growthBackpacker hostel and bar operator Beds and Bars, led by CEO Keith Knowles OBE, is pleased to report a fantastic financial year (April 2017 to March 2018) with some impressive growth across the group. Overall sales bucked all market trends and grew £4.2M year on year which equates to a 9% growth year on year. A massive achievement for Beds and Bars. EBITDA is expected to be £4.53M which represents a 16.9% growth year on year. When looking at a breakdown of the company’s overall sales, they demonstrate some really strong numbers with all aspects of the business seeing significant improvement in trade. In terms of drinks sold, overall Bar Sales across the group grew by £1.47M year on year which is 9% overall. The UK bar sales have been particularly successful, growing by 11% which is an industry leading statistic in the UK. Overall, that’s half a million more drinks sold versus last year. It has been an unprecedented year for food sales for the group. Food sales grew by 13% giving Beds and Bars the most successful year […]