Trends for 2018: Marketers will find the best strategy for voice
As voice technology grows in popularity brands will need to ensure any communication they have with consumers hits the right note. If there is one piece of technology that has captured marketers’ imagination this year it is voice recognition. Amid the rising popularity of voice-controlled devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, brands have jumped on the voice bandwagon – coming up with their own ‘skills’ (what Amazon calls voice-driven apps on the Alexa platform) and even, in the case of Burger King, using an ad to trigger voice searches on a viewer’s computer. These are all valid ways of thinking about voice. Voice offers a new and innovative way to reach consumers that technologically advanced brands can take advantage of. Domino’s Pizza, for example, sees voice as a way to sell more pizza and so has enabled customers to order directly through Alexa using voice. The brand’s digital boss Nick Dutch admits it isn’t seeing huge sales from the channel now but it expects to in future and is “preparing for the fact this technology will be something people use”. However, perhaps the bigger transformation for brands is in search. Google claims 20% of mobile search queries submitted via […]
How to use a student loan to build a £4m travel business
McAteer and his 100-strong team will send 20,000 British millennials to summer camps all over the world, from Massachusetts to Mali, this year – just don’t call him an entrepreneur. Lee McAteer and his 100-strong team will send 20,000 British millennials to summer camps all over the world, from Massachusetts to Mali, this year, through his empire of holiday companies catering for 18-30s. You could call him a pretty successful businessman. Or you could call him Lee Mac, like the aspiring business owners he gives free space and support to at his hip office in Salford. Or even “Britain’s best boss” like the Daily Mail did when he pranked his team by turning the whole office into a giant ball pit. Just don’t call him an entrepreneur. “I hate the word entrepreneur,” McAteer says. He says he only has it in his Twitter bio to help people find him online. “If you have money, it’s easy to be an entrepreneur. But when you’re there at 2am on a Tuesday and you don’t have a large amount of money from the bank or anywhere else and you have to make ends meet… it can be a very lonely existence.” McAteer was born in 1983 in […]
StudentUniverse to watch regional airports, new destinations and Google Flights in 2018
At this stage in the year, we take time to reflect on where the industry has been in 2017 and where it’s going in 2018. The travel industry is a particularly exciting one to be a part of, given that it is constantly evolving. After observing the lessons learned, trends and new product/service offerings over the past several months, here is our analysis of what we can expect in 2018. Between tightening budgets and Google Flights taking off, OTAs and metasearch companies need to get creative to compete. Companies of all sizes are spending less and selling less and having to employ creative strategies to push their brands forward with smaller budgets. Just having come off of the Phocuswright conference, we saw TripAdvisor lost $1 billion as its stock had the largest single day drop ever. At the same time, Trivago and TripAdvisor have seen advertisers spending less with them and have slashed ad spend themselves. At the same time that purse strings are tightening, Google Flights boasts the top monthly visitor count of metasearch sites, with its unique monthly visitors more than doubling from the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2017. It is effectively removing […]
Where the Millennials Go in 2018
The travel industry is eager to attract millennials and Gen-Z travelers. Many companies have sought to pinpoint exactly what these two generations want out of a vacation, tweaking their brands to offer those amenities. Others have launched completely new brands that cater specifically to younger travelers. Now the youth travel experts at STA Travel may have the key to what millennials and Gen-Z are looking for in 2018 and where they want to go. According to the data, an overwhelming trend will be adventure. Mountain trekking was the number-one trip style sought by millennials and Gen-Z, followed by sailing trips, island-hopping, music-related travel and foodie trips. Rounding out the top 10 trip style choices are sustainable travel; spring break; hop-on, hop-off tours; wildlife safaris; and active adventures. Students and millennials are also straying from the traditional “Euro-trip.” Instead, they are focused on going in-depth at a single destination such as Australia, New Zealand, Italy, the U.K. and Spain. Europe still offers a lot of appeal to younger travelers, however. According to STA’s research, low-cost airlines and Airbnb make it more affordable to cross the pond. This ease of access is driving younger travelers to visit a variety of European cities, […]
Celebrating 10 Years of Excellence
The British Youth Travel Awards are co-ordinated by BETA, reward and celebrate the excellent work and high standards that our members and industry stakeholders demonstrate through their work year on year. From creating new and innovative products and programmes for young travellers, to outstanding examples of customer service and responding to the needs of this important sector – a sector that is worth over £22.3 billion to the UK economy per annum. Having grown from a single category back in 2007, these awards have matured in stature and importance. For many these awards represent something special, something to work towards and this is demonstrated in the high quality of entries received. Emma English, BETA’s Executive Director said “The 2017 competition kicked off with a bang and in celebration of our 10th anniversary by introducing a new look and brand identity, new website and a new online submissions process making it even easier for businesses to enter. The result being that the number of entries in the 2017 competition grew by 41% – a competition record! and our judges had a tough time in choosing who scooped the top spots, with some categories being separated by 0.5 of a point!” The judging panel are made up of a […]
We are in an international student market, and the UK’s share is in peril
The UK needs its universities more than ever, and the government needs to realise their importance, says Sir Keith Burnett. Lord Willetts, the former universities minister, has previously said that to get real competition into higher education, we need to let students take their student loans and use them elsewhere in the world. Interesting idea that, an “international voucher system” for students. Such a system is a fairly well-worn idea from the guru of free markets, Milton Friedman. He proposed it for secondary education, arguing that it could drive up standards in the US. From the point of view of the university student, opening up international choice and the freedom to travel is a fine idea. Indeed, young people are concerned that their ability to move between countries could be constrained post Brexit, just as they are being told that they need to be globally agile. Some really smart and confident young people are already able to take up scholarships in the US, at, say, Harvard University or Yale University. However, for those of us who only managed to scrape into the University of Oxford, we might have to pay the full whack for going. But there are other options. I have a […]
Dominic Jermey (CVO OBE) appointed as new Director General of ZSL
Dominic Jermey (CVO OBE) appointed as new Director General of ZSL Former UK Ambassador to Afghanistan takes the helm at international wildlife charity International wildlife conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dominic Jermey (CVO OBE) to the role of Director General. He replaces outgoing DG Ralph Armond, who has been with the organisation for over 13 years. As Director General, Jermey will be responsible for ZSL’s goal of achieving the global conservation of animals and their habitats. This remit will include overseeing two world-class Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, as well as ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and field programmes in over 50 countries worldwide. The well-respected diplomat brings widespread expertise across industry and politics to ZSL, having been at the forefront of political and public life for the last 25 years, most recently as British Ambassador to Afghanistan. He will formally take up the new post with ZSL in late November. Commenting on his new role, Dominic Jermey, said: “I am delighted to be taking on the leadership of ZSL, a vibrant British institution with global impact on wildlife conservation. With its unique combination of world-class zoos, education and […]
Crisis & staying on the right side of the law
Last week BETA held a Youth Industry Seminar for members and stakeholders within the sector which was kindly sponsored by London Nest. This event was originally planned as one of our members networking events, but following the recent terrorist incidents and from being out and about talking to members it was clear that we as a sector could benefit from coming together to talk about how these incidents are handled and share our experiences with our peers. BETA’s network covers a wide range of sectors from attraction operators to hostels, homestay’s, language schools and more there is one common theme for all of us, which is the safeguarding of our visitors. The first session was talking about crisis management and the importance of having a well constructed plan for when and if the unexpected should happen. red24 lead on the topic, advising members to ensure that they regularly visit their crisis plans, ensuring that each employee that is likely to come in to contact with such an incident is ready and prepared to play their role. A poorly activated plan can hugely damage the reputation of your organisation, so its vital that organisations are fully prepared. Next up was Nick […]
#BYTA17 : Competition now open
The British Youth Travel Awards are our industry’s opportunity to reward our high achievers, gain recognition, and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to from and within the UK. We are now inviting entries from UK based travel and leisure businesses that can demonstrate best practice within the youth travel sector to submit their applications for the 2017 competition. Could your organisation be in with a chance to pick up an accolade at this event? Check out the winners and front runners in last year’s competition here: 2016 Winners & Finalists Visit www.britishyouthtravelawards.com to find out more and enter!
Important security information for operators of crowded places
The National Counter Terrorism Security Office and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure have released revised and refreshed guidance to support those that operate crowded places. It includes direct support for hotels, night-time economy, restaurants and visitor attractions, as well as information for those charged with security at crowded places to mitigate threats and help make the UK less vulnerable to an attack. Download a copy here
Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions: Latest results
Each year, VisitBritain invite all English visitor attractions to take part in an annual survey, recording visitor numbers alongside key information like entrance fees and visitor profiles. 2016 Headline results The results from this survey are reported annually, providing an overview of the visitor attraction sector. The full report on the 2016 is available here: 2016 Full Trends Report (PDF, 1.9MB) The survey is carried out through a mix of online and postal interviewing. This approach means we’re unable to verify results provided by individual attractions beyond a very basic ‘sense check’. Read more about our methodology (PDF, 123KB). Survey users should also be aware that the lists of English attractions included in the report only feature those that choose to participate and make their results public. The Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions is an official statistic and is produced in adherence with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (2009). You can find out more about what this means by visiting Official Statistics. If you have any queries about the survey, get in touch. Results of the survey are published according to our release timetable. RANK Most visited PAID attractions Most visited FREE attractions Name of attraction Number of Visitors in 2016 Name of attraction Number of Visitors in […]
Make your education programme Defy Gravity!
The team at Minds Ignited have teamed up with the hit musical Wicked, for an unforgettable training seminar that helps you create a bespoke Teacher User Journey for your attraction – with experienced teachers on-hand to ‘mark’ your work! We’ll see what teachers really want from a school trip at each stage of their journey and identify WOW moments that take your education programme to the next level. This exclusive event includes: Developing a thorough understanding of what teachers want at each stage of their visit to improve the quality of your schools programme and add value to gain true competitive advantage. Experienced teachers on-hand to give advice. Experience a Wicked education workshop. Hearing from the UK Executive Producer of Wicked on why education is important to the production. Attending the evening performance of Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. Lunch and dinner Early bird tickets are £399+VAT, and the seminar has limited availability so secure your space now! Who is this seminar for? Leisure companies and venues that market to schools Marketers who want tips and ideas to grow their school visitors; Education / school / operation managers that want to improve their school experience. Book your tickets now at www.minds-ignited.com/seminar at take advantage of our early bird rate.
World Record Attempt for London Nest
On Friday 21st July, BETA members London Nest and English UK London are attempting to to break a world record for the most nationalities in a language lesson. Students studying from all over the capital have been invited to the annual garden party at the Calthorpe Project, where the language lesson will take place that afternoon. Trying to break a world record sounds like so much fun. I grew up in the era of Roy Castle’s Record Breakers and have happy memories of sitting in front of the TV with my penny chews, marveling at the McWhirter twins with their stop-watches and encyclopedic knowledge of records broken, mesmerized by dominoes falling in formations and singing along to “dedication is all you need”. If you didn’t grow up in 1980s Britain, take my word for it…it was a great time to be a child. Fast-forward to 2017 and the dedicated lot at English UK London and London Nest are going for a less domino-focused record: The Most Nationalities in a Language Lesson. We’ve been told that the current record stands at 56, which seems pretty easy to beat, given that the attempt is being done in London, Europe’s most international city […]
Only 3% of Students Have Cancelled Travel as a Result of Terrorist Attacks
StudentUniverse, the world’s leading travel booking service for students and youth, today unveiled the impact that terrorism has had on the travel plans of students in the US and the UK, and how sentiments were impacted immediately following a terrorist incident. This analysis is based on a recent student survey as well as a review of booking trends to destinations impacted by terrorist incidents over the last several years. Survey Findings from UK Students Post-Terrorist Incident When we examined responses from UK students to these same questions in the days immediately following the London Bridge attack (June 2, 2017), some interesting trends emerged: Likelihood of Canceling a Trip. No respondents said they would be likely to cancel, or would definitely cancel, a trip to a destination that was victim to a terror attack or incident (compared to 11% of the general UK survey respondents). The number of respondents that said they would definitely not cancel was at 15% (compared to 11% of the general UK survey respondents). Safety. The respondents who said they felt “neither more or less safe” to visit a destination that had been victim to a recent terrorist attack increased from 31% to almost half (46%) of […]
One in five young travellers put off wanting to study, tour and work in the UK
UK falling out of favour while other English speaking countries are proving more attractive to global youth visitors Visa controls, currency fluctuations and unfriendly impression following Brexit and controversy over immigration put young travellers off Young visitors down to 2014 levels, demand for higher education from foreign students is flat and uptake for English language courses see sharp decline Britain is losing its traditional reputation as a must visit destination for young travellers wanting to study, tour and work here, an extensive new report has warned. The inbound youth, student and educational travel sector is currently worth £22.3 billion a year to the economy and the 14.9m young people who visit the UK from abroad represent 38% of all tourists. However latest visitor statistics show youth travel is no longer growing as it once did. At the same time competitor English speaking countries are thriving. Unhelpful visa restrictions, the high costs of accommodation and living in the UK and an apparent unfriendly impression caused by Brexit and the controversy over immigration has seen one in five of those initially wanting to come to the UK opt for other destinations. Last year saw a fall in spending by young travellers for […]
We Love London Bridge
We Love London Bridge – venues and attractions pay homage to first responders with Open House Festival, Saturday 1st July Twenty-three venues and attractions around London Bridge play host to an Open House Festival on Saturday 1st July in honour of London’s first responders who have seen a tough few weeks across the capital. The event brings together the spirit of unity amongst those who were present in pubs, bars and restaurants on 3rd June, the emergency services, tourists and visitors alike. Musicians and performers have pledged their support in helping to bring solace to the occasion as we thank those who risk their lives helping others and remember those that have passed. “It is with thanks that we recognise the great work our emergency services undertake” said one of the organisers of the event, Murray Roberts, “And through the support of local businesses we can show a little appreciation by offering them a complimentary drink or two and a bite to eat. “We urge the public to come along and support the day, bring family and friends and chelp further demonstrate the strong community spirit that makes our city great.” With entertainment commencing from noon, a variety of music […]
Getting to Grips with GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to come into force on 25 May 2018. It will affect every travel company. It is replacing the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and has been designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy. The GDPR will not only apply to organisations located within the EU but it will also apply to organisations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects. It will also apply to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location. Even after Brexit, the UK Government has indicated it will implement an equivalent or alternative legal mechanism. It is expected that any such legislation will largely follow the GDPR. The penalty for breaching the regulation will be up to 4% of your annual turnover or €20 Million. Thus it is vital that you understand GDPR and set a compliance project in motion. Here are some practical steps you might take to get started. […]
OBE for Keith Knowles
Founder member of BETA and CEO of Beds & Bars Keith Knowles, was this week awarded an OBE in the Queens birthday honours list for services to charity and the community. Keith Knowles said “this OBE is really recognition of other people’s efforts as much it is for me as the CEO. I am fortunate to head up an amazing team of people who do astonishing things. It’s humbling to be the head of such a fantastic business.” He praised the way his staff had reacted to the London Bridge attack and the calm way they had evacuated 250 people from their hostel at London Bridge. He said that this response was about the training and legacy of his late wife Franca, who passed away in 2014. Keith has been a pro-active figure within BETA since its formation in 2003 and we congratulate him on this well deserved accolade.
UK’S First Multisensory Bus Tour Transports Pupils
UK’S First Multisensory Bus Tour transports pupils Into Shakespearian London for the Ultimate School Trip Unique bus tour includes live actors, sounds, videos, smells and props as it travels around the famous streets and landmarks of Central London. Launching on 20th March 2017, the start of Shakespeare Week, the tour revives key elements of London life during Shakespearian times in all its gory details. All content linked directly to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 2 and 3, providing a solid, interactive learning experience for pupils, and includes a free activity workbook. Developed in conjunction with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespearian scholars and educational experts, the tour has been awarded a badge of quality from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. Have you ever wanted to transport your class back to Shakespearian London for a fully immersive, fun and interactive lesson? Golden Tours, the UK’s sightseeing tour company, launches the UK’s first-ever multisensory bus tour, giving schoolchildren the opportunity to experience the city as Shakespeare would have by bringing London’s rich history to life – in all its exciting (and disgusting) detail! Live character guides – in full Shakespearian costume – intertwine stories of the Bard and tales of the time with sights, sounds and smells that truly immerse pupils into Shakespeare’s […]
Chinese visits to Royal Museums Greenwich up 74%
Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) today announced results of its annual international visitor survey, which reveals a 74% increase year-on-year in Chinese visitors. The figures also show the Chinese taking a larger share of the international market, making up 8.3% of all overseas visitors to RMG in 2016/17, compared to 4.9% in 2015/16. In recognition of the opportunity presented by the growth in Chinese inbound visitors to the UK, in 2016 RMG developed its international strategy to include a strong focus on China. Specialist travel PR and representation agency, China Travel Outbound, was appointed to design and deliver a programme of work in China to raise the profile of the museums, engage with the travel trade within the groups and FIT markets, and, specifically, to encourage Chinese tourists to extend their stay to visit more than one museum. Activities have included an audit of each museum’s online profile in China, a series of press releases and interviews with the Chinese press, a tailor-made sales mission to Beijing, attendance at ETOA’s World Bridge Tourism Conference at IPW China in Shanghai, meetings with Chinese tour operators at UK trade shows, and the introduction of Union Pay to the Royal Observatory shop. RMG staff […]
Cutty Sark and Arcelormittal Orbit
Two fantastic attractions located in Zone 2, are teaming up this summer to offer English Language Students a great day out! Both attractions offer a lot to learn, parks to discover, pedestrian areas to relax, markets and shopping malls to visit. A perfect day out away from the City centre. To Find out more Click here.
Coach Direct …… the journey begins here
A comprehensive service for those that are seeking coach, bus and chauffeur driven car hire.
With peak season just around the corner, why not bulk up your team by taking on an intern this summer?
BETA member Anglo Educational Services are an established Study Abroad provider and are recognised by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education). We work primarily with US universities to place their students in a part time internship as a part of their academic programme in London. We have students who have are studying across a number of areas including marketing/PR, finance, statistics and design. Some key universities we are working with this summer include UC Berkeley, George Mason, Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin. Their start date is in June and depending on the programme the internship would run for 6-10 weeks. The benefits of having a student intern include: Gaining access to enthusiastic students with specialist skills and knowledge An extra pair of hands to work on a project or assist busy employees There are no fees or payment at all as the student gets academic credit from the internship Some more information on Anglo Education can be found at: http://anglointernships.com/for-employers/ Do get in touch on email@example.com as we’d be happy to share some candidate CV’s that we think would be of interest to you or run through an information call.
New Sightseeing Vessel is introduced onto the Thames
Thames River Services have announced a new addition to their fleet with the introduction of the MV Thomas Doggett, which will be fully operational in May 2017, providing a major boost to London’s tourism economy. With 524 seats she becomes the largest of the Thames River Services fleet operating from Westminster Pier to St Katharine’s Dock, Greenwich Pier and the Thames Flood Barrier. The vessel, costing over £2.5m, is purpose built for sightseeing and will provide four extra services a day to cope with the burgeoning demand for trips along the river. She has been 5 years in planning and was completed in Holland after the hull was built in Wales. The vessel has been named after the 17th century Irish actor Thomas Doggett who started the first Doggett Coat and Badge race 302 years ago for young Watermen who work on the river. It is the oldest continuous sporting event in the world and the winner’s prize is a traditional Watermen’s scarlet tunic with a silver badge on the sleeve. The new 36.42m long boat will be captained by fully qualified Watermen. She has a spacious lower saloon and large upper deck. The heated saloon features comfortable seats and […]
Introducing New Bike Tours in London
Offering two unique bike tours for unforgettable sightseeing around London, the Royal Parks and Palaces Bike Tour and the Magic of London Tour. With an expert guide, riders will learn the history of London and take in the sights of iconic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St James’s Palace and Kensington Palace. To ensure safety when travelling, the tours will use mainly cycle lanes in the parks and along back roads and helmets are provided. Option to upgrade to an electric bike for an easy, care-free ride through the capital. Exceptional way of experiencing London close-up without having to get on public transport. UK Tour Company, Golden Tours, has expanded its tour offerings to include bike tours across London for the ultimate sightseeing adventure. With two unique packages on offer, riders looking for an exhilarating cycling experience will have the opportunity to choose between the Royal Parks and Palaces Bike Tour and the Magic of London Tour. Offering a whole new meaning to London bike tours, Golden Tours are taking the pressure off of riders and giving them the option to upgrade to an easy-to-control electric bike. With an electric bike, riders will let the bike do […]