Hospitality industry readies itself for Jubilee

The hospitality industry is poised and ready to serve the four million Britons who plan to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee at home.

That’s according to bighospitality.co.uk which is reporting that just two per cent of the nation plans to leave the country over the extended bank holiday weekend.

Just shy of a third of the country (29 per cent) said in a VisitEngland poll that they’d be celebrating the occasion in some way, opening up plenty of opportunities for pubs, hotels, shops, street parties and function venues.

These celebratory Brits are expected to generate some £700million in tourism spend for the UK economy; £600million of which will be spent in England.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) widely expects that publicans in particular, will also do well. The group says that up to 80 million more pints of beer and an extra 7.5 million pub meals are likely to be consumed over the weekend.

Commenting on the jubilant weekend ahead, James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive, said on visitengland.org: “The double bank holiday is a great opportunity to get out for a day trip or short break and discover what England has to offer, and it’s great to see that so many Brits are planning to do just that. 

“The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will kick off the summer in Royal style and showcase our heritage to the world.”

UK economy boosted by £700 million from Jubilee weekend

A four day frenzy of spending by tourists during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend has injected £700 million into the UK economy.

Cited by sky.com, tourist board VisitEngland said the figure was boosted by tourists booking up at hotels in London and other destinations, but the revenue generated by indoor function venues could have also played a part.

Heavy winds and showers appeared to put a literal dampener on the many planned street parties between Saturday – Sunday, but organisers could have dodged the rain by transporting the crowds to their pre-booked indoor venues. The forecasts had been predicted for a while, so the wise should have been well prepared.

Even so, despite the UK going through a recession, it’s comforting to know that business from various areas of the hospitality sector can contribute to the economy on significant dates. The figure of £700 million almost doubled the £480 million spent by tourists last year for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  

Researchers for the board also found that the overnight tourists spent an average of £175 during their stay, with London’s many pubs, restaurants and shops possibly enjoying a lucrative weekend.           

In quotes published by thedrum.co.uk, Sarah Long, a spokesperson for VisitEngland, said: “The Jubilee celebrations have captivated audiences at home and around the world and will hopefully attract increased visitor numbers for years to come.”

Streamline meetings by removing unnecessary personnel, cites author

By only taking essential personnel to meeting venues in order to conduct a business meeting, attendees may find the meeting is a lot more streamlined, reports fastcodedesign.com.

That’s according to Ken Segall, author of ‘Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success’, who recalled a meeting with the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and how his ruthlessness in the boardroom meant unnecessary staff were left vacating their seats.

Recalling a typical Apple meeting with a small but exclusive guestlist, Jobs noticed an unfamiliar face at the table.

Segall, who didn’t know the woman but for the purposes of the tale calls her ‘Lorrie’, recalled that Jobs asked who she was, and she replied she had been asked to attend as she was working on some of the marketing projects they were discussing.

“I don’t think we need you in this meeting, Lorrie. Thanks,” said Jobs, who then continued with the meeting.

The meaning behind the story, claims Segall, is that starting with small groups of small people is the key to a good meeting. Increasing the body count merely adds complexity. Every should be in the room for a reason and, as such, an employee is either critical to the meeting or not.

According to pcadvisor.co.uk, Segall’s new book goes on sale on June 7.

Businesses urged to check staff are ready for Games

London 2012 and Transport for London are urging some of London’s top businesses to check their staff are fully aware of the potential disruption that this year’s Games may cause.

As London will be transformed into a global sporting hub during the event, public transport services and road networks are set to be heavily impacted, reports hrmagazine.co.uk.

As a result, the two authorities are asking businesses in London, from restaurants to event venues, to think about reducing or re-timing some of their deliveries, encourage staff to take holiday, stagger work days due to peak periods, work from home or encourage cycling to their place of work in a bid to help out their firm during the Games.

According to huffingtonpost.com, Transport for London has also teamed up with app service re:route to reward Londoners that walk and cycle with discount vouchers for big brands, giving workers an incentive to use that method of transport to attend work.

Peter Hendy, London’s transport commissioner, commented on the advice: “Many companies are already communicating their plans with their staff, suppliers, customers and visitors, and their efforts and leadership in preparing for Games-time travel are commendable.

“In these final weeks before the Games, it is important that London’s business leaders continue to communicate with their employees to ensure they are clear about the plans in place in their own organisations and so they can take action to change their travel as a result,” he added.

Expert reveals top tips for making meetings notes on a tablet

As an increasing number of workplaces are embracing BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, it’s only natural for tablets to appear at meetings in greater numbers.

That’s according to mobile news expert James Kendrick, writing for zdnet.com.

As a result, tablets are being used as digital note takers for employees looking to jot down any key events during a meeting.

Kendrick cited one of the reasons why tablets are being used in abundance: “Whether you take notes with a stylus or a keyboard, it is important to remember that digital notes on a tablet have a big advantage over the old-school paper variety. That is the ability to search the notes which is possible with many apps.”

In addition, Kendrick claimed that if a job requires a certain knowledge of complicated technical terms, it could be worth ‘developing your own shorthand’ in order to jot them down quickly.

Many tablets also have recording facilities, adds Kendrick, so if holding a meeting in a conference space and transcribing the meeting later is more helpful than jotting down notes at the time, a tablet can allow that.

There’s bad news for those that aren’t happy with this trend and the tablet revolution in general, as figures cited by macworld.co.uk claim that 81 per cent of owners of Apple’s latest iPad are very satisfied with the gadget.

Britons cancelling holidays to watch Olympic Games

A large number of holidaymakers are postponing or outright cancelling their holidays in order to watch the historic London 2012 Olympic Games.

Cited by travelmole.com, figures from British Airways suggest that 40 per cent of Brits have already manoeuvred their holiday dates in order to accommodate the Games while 10 per cent have cancelled their holiday.

Furthermore, another 10 per cent have ‘delayed booking a break this year in order to watch the Games’, highlighting the popularity of the event.

The Games, which is taking place across the UK, is likely to be a special occasion for many Britons, who could be interested in hiring out function venues to watch the event and celebrate with like-minded sports fans.

It appears to be especially big for those living in Northern Ireland, with an impressive 89 per cent stating they would change their holiday plans in order to watch the Olympics. In addition, 45 per cent of people in the East Midlands and 39 per cent of Londoners would also amend their plans.

However, those heading to London for the Games are being urged to plan ahead with regards to travel as bus drivers are planning to strike over pay, which could have a ‘potentially damaging effect if it continues into the start of the 2012 Olympics’, reports metro.co.uk

Shocks aplenty as Euro 2012 kicks off

Only six matches have taken place, yet the European Championships has already delivered its fair share of shock results over a weekend of scintillating football action.

Crowds at thousands of viewing parties across Britain gathered to watch Greece hold co-hosts Poland to a 1-1 draw in the opening game, while Denmark pulled off one of the most significant upsets in the tournament’s recent history, defeating the Netherlands to tee up next week’s games nicely.

Furthermore, as stormy weather is forecasted in Britain for at least another week, any BBQ and football parties are likely to be cancelled. Due to this, many British planners could be inclined to rent out indoor function venues for their screening events.

Spain and Italy also conjured up one of best games in terms of technical quality over the weekend, as football enthusiasts watched two of the best sides in the world battle through a thoroughly entertaining 1-1 draw. Meanwhile, Russia put four past the Czech Republic in their 4-1 win to announce their presence at the tournament.

There was disappointment nearby though, as Ireland slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia. This, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni told independent.co.uk, was down to Croatia winning a key battle in midfield.  

As for England, well, Roy Hodgson’s side begin their campaign against France on Monday, June 11. England will go into the fixture as outsiders, but should they experience defeat against Les Blues, they will get another couple of chances to register wins in Group D.

According to fixtures listed by bbc.co.uk, England will run-out again on June 15, against Sweden in Kiev and at least once more on June 19, to face co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk.     

 

Wedding guests giving generously, research finds

The amount they part with may not even cover the evening meal, but recent research has indicated that wedding guests are at least giving a little back.

According to a study by telephone and internet-based bank First Direct, in a set of results listed by retail-digital.com, guests at ceremonies are spending an average of £51 on their gifts, up from £47 in 2011.

Although this doesn’t seem like a huge increase, it’s worth mentioning that Britain is currently going through a double-dip recession and households are having to make cutbacks in certain areas. It’s therefore comforting to know that guests are still saving a space in their budgets to present a gift.

The study also found that guests in London were the most generous, with the average attendee paying £80 for a present – way above the £38 spend at ceremonies in the North East.

Furthermore, presents will always arrive in large quantities when the wedding reception venue is full of family and friends. First Direct found that an average of £4,896 is spent per wedding on gifts – a figure which, should the current trend continue, could rise to a total spend of £1.2 billion for Britain in 2012.

Cited by moneyhighstreet.com, Bruno Genovese, a product manager at First Direct, advised guests: “If you’re lucky enough to have lots of friends and family getting married, now might be the time to start saving.”

Sky secures rights to screen a further three Premier League seasons

BSkyB outbid its rivals to snap up the rights to broadcast three more Premier League seasons, freshbusinessthinking.com reports.

Sky will screen the majority of top-flight matches taking place during the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, in a deal thought to be worth around £2.3 billion to Premier League clubs.

After Sky was allocated its 116 games, BT swooped to secure the remaining 38 matches on offer to smaller broadcasters – as a rule stipulates that one company cannot possess the all of the screening rights.  

The telecommunications company will pay £738 million over three years for its share of Premier League action and is expected to broadcast its fixtures via online streaming. Luckily for those who like to sample a vibrant atmosphere whilst cheering on their side, Sky will be continuing its set-top box service available to paid-up households, pubs and event spaces around the UK. 

According to guardian.co.uk, the amount broadcasters pay for screening rights has increased once again. Each individual match will now cost BT and Sky £6.6 million, up from £4.7 million charged under the current deal, but both companies are still expected to see a healthy return on advertising revenue.

Looking at the bigger picture, football fans may be glad to hear that the number of matches being screened has also risen. The allocation of 154 fixtures represents a 16 per cent rise on the amount set to be broadcasted in the upcoming 2012-13 season, after which 40 per cent of all Premier League fixtures will be covered. 

Tourism rises ahead of London 2012

UK tourism is thought to be in outstanding health in advance of London 2012, as a record number of international visitors flew into Britain during April.

Figures produced by VisitBritain show that not only did the UK pull in more tourists than any other April, but their spending amounts grew significantly, breakingtravelnews.com reports.

Visitor levels and spending levels both increased by 10 per cent in fact, as a massive 2.9 million inbound tourists injected an extra £1.4 billion into the British economy. In a period that is traditionally one of the quietest for inbound tourism, it has come as a bit of a surprise that both holiday and business passengers increased so significantly.

The news is giving high hopes that the success could continue right through to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Whilst the Games take place, event spaces, hotels, restaurants and other areas of the hospitality industry are expected to flourish.

VisitBritain’s strategy and communications, director, Patrician Yates told bighospitality.co.uk: “The first few months of the year are traditionally a quiet period for visits to the UK, so to see a record month like this with an increase of 10 per cent in both visits and spend is encouraging.”

Yates then lauded the £25 million GREAT image campaign, which has been running in key inbound markets around the world since February.

She said: “[It] aims to entice a greater number of people to choose Britain for their next holiday and with the London 2012 Games on our horizons, we hope that these positive April figures are an early indication that our message is getting through.”