Destinations

“A decision needs to be taken”: VisitBritain’s regional director talks Brexit and sustainability

Australians are not going to let Brexit get in the way when it comes to travelling Britain, according to the regional director of VisitBritain, Tricia Warwick.

Despite the short-haul market being held in a holding pattern, Warwick told Travel Weekly that long-haul markets have been largely unaffected.

“The impact of what Brexit will have for a UK tourist is minimal. The welcome’s still there at the border and if anything the exchange rate’s in your favour so the time to go is now,” she said during a recent visit to Australia. 

“Short-haul is only two or three per cent down in the last six months, so it’s not massive but a decision needs to be taken.”

Warwick said the VisitBritain office would like to be in a position where they’re able to talk post-Brexit.

“This period of uncertainty causes confusion, miscommunication, all sorts of things,” she said.

But Australians are not going to let something like Brexit get in the way.”

The UK government recently committed to a landmark deal promising 130,000 new hotel rooms, 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors and the country’s first-ever tourism data hub.

“The Tourism Sector Deal has been a long time coming,” Warwick said.

It has taken the better part of three years to pull off and its got a tremendous amount of input and energy behind it.

“There will be greater connectivity in terms of rail and more hotel rooms in Britain,  predominantly outside London. We also want to make it easier for travellers to access information in smaller destinations within Britain, whether it be the Scottish Highlands, out in Cornwall somewhere or the Lake District.”

With that hurdle jumped, the tourism board is now turning its sights on an industry-wide issue: sustainability. Later this year, VisitBritain will be releasing a report on sustainable travel from a global perspective to the British government.

“Sustainability is now at the top of our strategic priorities and we’re looking at it not just in the short-term but also long-term across the board, incorporating things like overtourism, the use of plastics, all that kind of thing,” Warwick said.

For agents who are keen on knowing more about destinations within Britain, including some handy tips to pass onto your clients, VisitBritain has several tools for the trade, including Britagent, which is a training tool focused on upskilling agents on product across the UK and, more recently, the Discover England Fund which provides insights into exploring Britain beyond London.

It’s about engaging with people about what else there is to discover and not just the tried and tested Cotswold Lakes District stuff,” Warwick said.

“It’s all the other things you can do while you’re with us in the UK.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Air New Zealand reveals start date for new CEO

Are you curious as to when the new boss of Air New Zealand will commence his role at the airline? Get ready to mark the calendar with this insight.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler Wrap: Intrepid pledges net-zero emissions by 2030, Wendy Wu inaugurates Victoria Mekong, AAT Kings short breaks + MORE!

We’re welcoming Monday in three ways: lattes on the hour, a healthy scepticism that the office clock is an hour slow, and regular slices of rum-filled Christmas cake.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Bus service could use cruise ship waste as fuel to meet zero-emissions targets

by Christian Fleetwood

A cruise ship shuttle bus service has proposed an innovative method of cutting emissions that could solve a big waste problem in the tourism industry.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Deadly earthquake strikes the Philippines

The southern Philippine island of Mindanao is in rescue mode after being hit by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake on Sunday.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas passengers evacuated on emergency slides as ‘haze’ fills aircraft cabin   

by Christian Fleetwood

Passengers have described a “terrible smell” entering the cabin along with a thick haze that appeared to be smoke.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar slams union demands as “unsustainable” as it prepares for more strikes

by Ali Coulton

Jetstar has labelled wage claims from unions “unsustainable and “inconsistent”, as the airline cuts 10 per cent of its January flights to minimise disruptions.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Passenger slams Royal Caribbean’s handling of White Island tragedy, as death toll continues to climb

by Ali Coulton

Passengers onboard the Royal Caribbean cruise have expressed their disapproval with the way the cruise line handled the tragic event, with one going as far as calling Ovation fo the Seas a “prison ship”.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre’s “Australia-first” program allows staff to share sick leave

Work at Flight Centre and looking for some present inspiration for the office Secret Santa? Why not give a colleague some of your sick leave!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: ‘Philausophy’ campaign update, Abu Dhabi shows growth, Tourism Solomons webinar + MORE!

Welcome to our last Destination Wrap of the year! This week, we bring you a special festive edition, which has nothing to do with the festive season except that our journo penned it while covered in tinsel.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

INFOGRAPHIC: Travelport’s online travel trends for 2020

No one loves an infographic more than Travel Weekly’s editor, mainly because they save him from doing any actual journalism.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It was a tough choice”: Qantas reveals preferred aircraft as part of BIG Project Sunrise update

Will it be Boeing or Airbus sending Alan Joyce an oversized Christmas hamper this year? All is revealed here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

New Accor hotel to sit atop a Bunnings

by Christian Fleetwood

We’re unsure what kind of traveller will take advantage of this whacky partnership, but somewhere, a travelling handy-person is jumping for joy.

Share

CommentComments