(Vocus) March 18, 2009
As VisitBritain and UKinbound gear up for the third British Tourism Week, 23-29 March 2009, Blue Chip Vacations, the largest provider of luxury 4 & 5 star rated holiday accommodation in the South West, calls for more Government support for the industry.
Managing Director, Liam Gavin comments, “Tourism is Britain’s fifth largest industry – worth £114billion, 8.2% of the nation’s economy. It can provide a valuable stepping-stone to fulfilling, long-term employment for people who might otherwise be excluded from the workforce. During this period of economic slowdown the UK holiday sector is one of the few positive success stories around. Many sectors are experiencing significant slowdown but we are actively recruiting and adding 25% more staff across the business. There will obviously be challenges ahead, but we are expecting a good year for UK tourism.”
Blue Chip Vacations recently reported a 55% increase in bookings for 2009, compared to the same period a year ago. It represents over 500 handpicked 4 & 5 star properties across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Each property chosen for its stunning location, amazing coastal or rural views or hi-spec interior. Properties are reviewed each year to ensure they meet the high standard set not only by Blue Chip Vacations, but also by Quality in Tourism.
Bernard Donoghue, co-chairman of British Tourism Week comments, “This year more of us are considering taking a holiday at home instead of overseas thanks to the economic climate. Every day, more of us are inspired by the appeals of heritage sites and historic buildings, our stunning countryside and cinematic landscapes or contemporary cities. We want to ensure that the many sectors that make up our industry are prepared to unite in generating a lasting legacy.”
Launched in 2007 the aim of British Tourism Week is to demonstrate that tourism is critical to the UK economy. BTW 2009 will highlight the contribution made by businesses large and small, public and commercial to galvanise the commitment of organisations and individuals to further improve and develop the industry.
Liam Gavin continues, “The World Tourism Authority (WTO) is forecasting the industry will see an average growth of 4.1% over the next 5 years. In these troubled times it makes sense to capitalise on industries that – in part due to the weak pound – are thriving. In 2007 the UK ranked sixth in the international tourism earnings league, behind the USA, Spain, France, Italy and China, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t top it in 2009.”
VisitBritain’s Chief Executive Tom Wright CBE comments, “Tourism’s importance to the UK’s economy is often unappreciated, despite continued growth and record numbers of visitors. Our industry suffers when we fail to recognise that every business contributes to a greater whole. Together, during British Tourism Week, we hope to change the perception that the different sectors – from transport and tour operators to accommodation providers, travel agencies and attractions – operate independently.”
Notes To Editors:
Blue Chip Vacations has over 500 4 and 5 star rated properties on its books across the West Country.
The company is the largest provider of 4 and 5 star holiday accommodation across South West UK and the fastest growing self-catering holiday company in the UK.
Blue Chip Vacations recently won a silver award at the prestigious South West Tourism Excellence Awards in the category of Tourism Website of the Year, and was awarded the silver award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) earlier this year.
British Tourism Week culminates with the Best of Britain and Ireland trade and consumer event at London’s Excel from 26-29 March. The week is organised by VisitBritain and UKinbound with the support of the Tourism Alliance, Tourism Society, ABTA, the Travel Association, VisitScotland, VisitWales, VisitLondon and Britain’s regional tourist boards.
For further details, contact:
Simon Whittam on 01752 823 414
or 07802 416 420