Visits to UK Rising; Is Your Destination On The 'Unforgettable Experience' Horizon?

Aug 13, 2018 editor

The latest Office of National Statistics travel trends report, does much to reassure the hospitality markets that business is strong. Visits for pleasure and ‘experiences’ are on the rise. Red Box can help your catering provision shine and promote an unforgettable experience.

In July 2018, the Office of National Statistics released a travel trends report which summarised annual estimates of travel and tourism visits in the UK and associated earnings and expenditure between the UK and the rest of the world. These figures do much to reassure the hospitality markets that business is strong, and that visits for pleasure and ‘experiences’ are on the rise.

The main points from the report are as follows;

  • There was a record number of visits to the UK in 2017 and a record number of visits abroad by UK residents.
  • There were 39.2 million visits by overseas residents to the UK in 2017, 4% more than in 2016.
  • There were 72.8 million visits overseas by UK residents in 2017, an increase of 3% when compared with 2016 which reflects the upward trend year on year. UK residents spent £44.8 billion on visits overseas in 2017, which was 2% more than in 2016.
  • Overseas residents spent £24.5 billion on visits to the UK in 2017, an increase of 9% compared with 2016.
  • The most frequent reason for visits was for holidays, both for UK residents visiting abroad and overseas residents visiting the UK. This makes holidays the most common reason for visiting the UK. The number of holiday visits in 2017 was 1.5 million more than in 2016.

Visits to friends and family (12.0 million) and miscellaneous visits (3.1 million) increased in 2017. The number of business visits fell from 9.2 million in 2016 to 8.8 million in 2017, a decrease of 4%. Overall, there have been increases in visits to the UK since 1997. This is despite falls in some years, notably in 2001 (due to Foot and Mouth disease as well as the events of 11 September that year) and 2009 (following the start of the economic downturn). Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality & Leisure at Barclays on the report:“Boosted by the weakness of sterling, the UK’s position as a leading draw continues to bring benefit to our hospitality & leisure businesses, as well as to the retail sector.”

Many people are now looking for better value in their travel experiences. Destinations must frequently refresh their services and communicate with potential guests. As part of creating unforgettable experiences, destinations need to look at the levels of service they provide to their customers. Service expectations are higher than ever and immediate access to online reviews mean it is important to treat individual customers like an exclusive member.  Yet catering efficiency and quality in some destination’s facilities are letting down the rest of the experience.

Here at Red Box, we can support your site, business or attraction by reviewing the catering service level and producing a full report.

At Red Box we draw on experience from a variety of locations and industries to ensure we give the most up-to-date and relevant advice and support.  We have worked with commercial operations including:

  • Household-name high street cafes
  • Leading food shops and takeaways
  • Hotels
  • Museums
  • Racecourses
  • Catering companies

We can provide a wide range of services to support and develop your operation including: 

  • Strategic review and business plan development
  • Sales, profit and loss analysis
  • Food safety and health and safety HACCP system development, auditing and training
  • Purchasing analysis and supplier sourcing, negotiation and auditing
  • Tender management and support
  • Menu and food concept development
  • Development of a marketing strategy including use of social networking and technology
  • Project management and design support
  • Customer profiling and market research
  • Mystery shopper audits and future strategy development

This list is not exhaustive and we are flexible in our approach, so can adapt to fulfil your requirements

A small investment in Red Box’s time now will have a significant impact on the future success of your business.

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