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Cmbc tourism report


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Cmbc tourism report

  1. 1. 1 Tourism, Leisure, Investment and Jobs: Opportunities and Challenges for Calderdale – Draft Final Report Professor Tom Cannon, University of Liverpool Summary – The Tourism Economy in Calderdale 1. The current Tourism economy is worth around £250 Million with almost double that in the closely related cultural, creative and heritage sectors 2. Sufficient growth has been achieved in the past and confidence in the area‟s potential exists to make the 5% growth target set by Yorkshire Forward achievable 3. The major assets of the Borough (around which there was considerable agreement) should be prioritized. These are the natural environment, market towns, heritage and locational/connectivity assets 4. Equally important an array of ventures and facilities had been built up including Eureka!, the Piece Hall, The Minster, Incredible Edible, Dean Clough, Bankfield Museum, Shibden Hall and Victoria Theatre. 5. Three major issues emerged from the analysis of existing or developing ventures: a. There was currently weak connectivity between these ventures b. None constituted an “attack brand” capable of significantly enhancing other offerings c. The Third Sector through organizations like Eureka!, the Piece Hall, The Minster, Incredible Edible, Bankfield Museum was very important but vulnerable during a time of economic restraint 6. The Tourism economy had, however, grown on average at over 6% pa over the last three years, faster than the target set by Welcome to Yorkshire. 7. The changing structure of support for Tourism locally and across Yorkshire provides a major opportunity to reshape both policies and strategies to enhance the tourism economy
  2. 2. 2 The Potential for The Tourism Economy in Calderdale 8. The economic potential of Tourism in Calderdale is massive; this is well illustrated by the progress and achievements to date and the identifiable opportunities for the future. 9. Sufficient growth has been achieved in the past and confidence in the area‟s potential exists to make the 5% growth target set by Yorkshire Forward achievable 10. The fragmented nature of the Authority‟s Visitor and Tourist offering – by location and activity – is a major challenge in efforts to achieve their full potential 11. The profile of Tourism reflects and enhances the diversified nature of Calderdale providing the capacity to enhance jobs, business development and innovation in all postcode areas 12. Shifting the balance of activity in the medium to long term to more focused and directed support could add a further £100M to the tourism and related economies in the short to medium term 13. Growth of this order can generate upwards of 3,000 new jobs (depending on the profile of businesses, skills and capabilities) and play a key role in the wider economic development and regeneration strategies locally 14. Small, medium sized and growing firms can to play an especially important role across Calderdale 15. The third sector or social economy already plays a key role and is capable of expanding and developing its role(s) 16. Downstream developments in the creative and cultural industries linked to tourism are important and should be prioritized in wider economic development and regeneration programmes 17. Preliminary work identified relatively low morale and concerns about the effective marketing and promotion of the Calderdale or more local destinations among tourism or visitor focused venture. These issues and ways of addressing them require closer analysis 18. The greatest prospects for growth lie in: a) The immediate catchment areas of Manchester, East Lancashire, (other) West Yorkshire and Greater Leeds b) Broadening the local visitor base, learning the lessons of successes like Hebden Bridge or Incredible Edible and
  3. 3. 3 transferring these to other locations such as Mytholmroyd and new ventures c) Gaining a higher profile in Pennine Yorkshire and Welcome to Yorkshire promotions Building the Action Plan – Key Issues 19. A Tourism Action plan drawing together short/medium term and medium/long term priorities and developments is a priority 20. A “portfolio” approach to presenting the Tourism offer is recommended which highlights the importance of the major locational, environmental and heritage assets, while recognizing the difficulty of building a sustainable Calderdale tourism brand 21. Building the Calderdale brand Portfolio is crucial to this Action Plan 22. There is, however, little support for building the Tourism strategy around the Calderdale “brand.” 23. Establishing and developing a local Tourism Board with strong private and third sector engagement is crucial 24. Engagement with the Tourism business and related communities though the Tourism Board is vital 25. The work of the Board should be complemented by a more broadly based Tourism Partnership 26. Infrastructure development is key – from micro-signage and local information, through better links between key facilities to capacity in hotels, guest houses and B&Bs 27. Investment in the people skills and competence is necessary to deliver the quality offerings – especially in customer service - that are essential to success not only in the tourism sector but in the key related culture, heritage and creative sectors 28. Small, medium sized and growing firms can play an especially important role across Calderdale, but delivering their potential seems likely to need: a. Greater attention to supply chain policies b. More co-operation between SMEs c. Support for investment in new technologies, notably IT d. Effective people development
  4. 4. 4 29. The priority is to develop and deliver initiatives that meet the needs of the sector as defined by the sector and achievable within restricted resources 30. Building effective local partnerships with other stakeholders, notably the private sector is crucial to delivering the Authority‟s goals in the Visitor and Tourist1 economy 31. Lifestyle analysis undertake by the Yorkshire Tourist Board may provide important clues to valuable initiatives and target markets 32. Enhancing the links between the visitor, tourist economies with the related culture, heritage and creative economies is crucial 33. The identification and development of appropriate tourism “attack brands” especially those capable to reinforcing the wider “destination marketing” strategy requires close study 34. The E-tourism potential and barriers to achieving this potential is an important element in this analysis 35. Effective implementation of the Action Plan is the key to short, medium and long term success. 36. In the Short to Medium Term the Action Plan should prioritise a. Activity holidays b. Better and lower cost promotion of the available accommodation c. A stronger and nationally focused events and festivals programme d. Building clearer links and better connectivity between existing amenities like the Minster and ventures such as Eureka e. Better local information services for tourism and related businesses f. Gaining a higher profile in Pennine Yorkshire and Welcome to Yorkshire promotions g. Better integration between the Tourism, Creative, Culture and Heritage offerings. 37. In the Medium to Long Term the Action Plan should prioritise 1 Visitor and Tourist are often used interchangeably in this review
  5. 5. 5 a. Addressing the accommodation issue b. Shifting the Visitor profile from low spending, short stay visitors to higher spending, longer stay visitors c. Improving the skills, competences and capabilities of the Tourism workforce is a priority d. The creation of one or more “attack brands” in the form of facilities, events, festivals or events is crucial e. This latter calls for a sustained programme of innovation and creativity to incorporate new ideas, new businesses and related developments f. The development of the Piece Hall
  6. 6. 6 Introduction and Remit This report is the result of a programme of research designed to address a series of specific questions centering around Calderdale Council‟s wish to maximise the contribution tourism makes to the economic well being of district. The Council also wants to play its part in the regional agenda helping the growth of the region‟s visitor economy by 5% year on year. Within this overall remit the specific tasks were: 1. To review progress with the current Calderdale Tourism Action Plan, „Setting the Scene, approved in 2006. 2. To assess the current and potential tourism offer within the Calderdale District and where there is the greatest potential for growth. 3. To make recommendations for the development of an Action Plan identifying which sectors or markets hold the best prospect for delivering growth in the local tourism economy. 4. To make recommendations concerning the marketing of the district‟s tourism offer within the Welcome to Yorkshire brand. 5. To consider and make recommendations for improved corporate working across Council Directorates which impact on the tourism offer or tourism development of the district. (including governance of the tourism agenda) 6. To make recommendations for the development of a group or network to engage with local tourism providers and the private sector in general. 7. To make recommendations concerning the engagement of the Calderdale District with Welcome to Yorkshire and the alignment of local and regional priorities. Core Findings Progress against the current Calderdale Tourism Action Plan Real progress was being made in achieving the objectives of the Calderdale Tourism Action Plan, „Setting the Scene, approved in 2006 in each of the four areas identified. The Tourism economy had grown on average at over 6% pa, faster than the target set by Welcome to Yorkshire. There were, however, real problems in defining and implementing a “holist strategy” around the Calderdale “brand”. These were made worse by relatively weak information systems at a local level, inadequate engagement with the private and third sector and fragmentation of organization and delivery with the Council.
  7. 7. 7 The current and potential tourism offer within the Calderdale District and where there is the greatest potential for growth There was widespread confidence in the quality of the current tourism offer within the District and a belief that there was considerable potential for growth in a range of areas. The quality of the offer was demonstrated on one level by the sustained growth of the sector. Equally important, major assets existed at a local and an organizational level. There was a great deal agreement that the greatest locational assets were: o The Natural Environment o The market towns with their individual identities and the cultural diversity across Calderdale o The Heritage assets o Its location and connectivity by canal, rail and road. Equally important an array of ventures and facilities had been built up including Eureka!, the Piece Hall, The Minster, Incredible Edible, Dean Clough, Bankfield Museum, Shibden Hall and Victoria Theatre. It was, however, equally clear that the greatest potential for growth, or the strategies best designed to support growth locationally were either at a Yorkshire or Pennine Yorkshire level or at a more local level i.e. in the market towns themselves, activities based on the natural environment. Three major issues emerged from the analysis of existing or developing ventures: There was currently weak connectivity between these ventures None constituted an “attack brand” capable of significantly enhancing other offerings The Third Sector through organizations like Eureka!, the Piece Hall, The Minster, Incredible Edible, Bankfield Museum was very important but vulnerable during a time of economic restraint Overall, however, there was little support for building the Tourism strategy around the Calderdale “brand.”
  8. 8. 8 Recommendations for the development of an Action Plan identifying which sectors or markets hold the best prospect for delivering growth in the local tourism economy At the heart of any efforts to develop an achievable action plan lie three core building blocks: Greater engagement with the private and third sector through the Calderdale Tourism Board and the Tourism Partnership A commitment to working with others regionally such as Pennine Yorkshire and Welcome to Yorkshire A clear focus on a “portfolio” approach based the distinct identities, communities and capabilities within the Borough not around a unitary Calderdale brand. In identifying the sectors and/or markets with the greatest prospects for growth, one must distinguish between the short/medium term and the medium/long term. In the short/medium term (especially given the lack of hotel accommodation) the greatest prospects for growth lie in: The immediate catchment areas of Manchester, East Lancashire, (other) West Yorkshire and Greater Leeds Broadening the local visitor base, learning the lessons of successes like Hebden Bridge or Incredible Edible and transferring these to other locations such as Mytholmroyd and new ventures Gaining a higher profile in Pennine Yorkshire and Welcome to Yorkshire promotions Activity holidays Better and lower cost promotion of the available accommodation A stronger and nationally focused events and festivals programme Building clearer links and better connectivity between existing amenities and ventures Better local information services for tourism and related businesses Better integration between the Tourism, Creative, Culture and Heritage offerings. In the medium to long term Addressing the accommodation issue is a priority
  9. 9. 9 This, in turn, will facilitate a shift in the Visitor profile from low spending, short stay visitors to higher spending, longer stay visitors Improving the skills, competences and capabilities of the Tourism workforce is a priority The creation of one or more “attack brands” in the form of facilities, events, festivals or events is crucial This latter calls for a sustained programme of innovation and creativity to incorporate new ideas, new businesses and related developments The development of the Piece Hall was a recurrent theme in discussions of the longer term. This appears to have special, but largely undefined (to date) potential as an “attack brand”, “a world heritage site” and a “tourism hub” The new rail link to London offers the scope to widen the areas catchment nationally and internationally. Marketing of the districts tourism offer within the Welcome to Yorkshire brand Key aspects of this are addressed above notably: Gaining a higher profile in Pennine Yorkshire and Welcome to Yorkshire promotions Building on the successes like Hebden Bridge or Incredible Edible and enhancing the profile of other locations such as Mytholmroyd and new ventures Linking the Calderdale Tourism Board and the Tourism Partnership with complementary structures within the Welcome to Yorkshire and Pennine Yorkshire brand At the same time, serious consideration should be given – noting the weakness of the Calderdale brand - to the Kirklees strategy of subsuming the Calderdale identity – for promotional purposes – in the wider Pennine Yorkshire brand Consider and make recommendations for improved corporate working across Council Directorates There was little support and in some cases substantive criticism of the current division of responsibilities in the organization and delivery of Council services. The overall view was the delivery of services should: Be better integrated Be client focused
  10. 10. 10 Enhance the profile and presence in the market of tourism Target realizing the full, economic potential of the sector Make recommendations for the development of a group or network to engage with local tourism providers and the private sector in general Creating, supporting and empowering the Calderdale Tourism Board was widely seen as a priority It was viewed as important to ensure external (to Council) leadership of the Board The importance of the Third Sector in the provision of tourism offering and services suggests that this group of stakeholders is well represented of the Board Alongside the Tourism Board, a larger a looser Tourism Partnership can be developed Make recommendations concerning the engagement of the Calderdale District with Welcome to Yorkshire and the alignment of local and regional priorities This is covered above
  11. 11. 11 Methodology To deliver these tasks a three part research process was created. 1. Initially a substantial secondary analysis of the research undertaken into the Tourism economy nationally, regionally and locally and its implications for the future of Tourism in Calderdale and gaining the maximum economic return and contributing to the growth of the region‟s visitor economy 2. This was followed by a series of in-depth interviews with key players from the public, private and third sectors locally and key partners at a regional level. The interviewees were agreed between the University and the Borough Council. 3. Subsequently a series of Focus Groups were undertaken with key local stakeholders. These were designed largely to draw out the views of key local stakeholders, while giving them some insights into the outcomes emerging from the study. Outcomes In real sense, the finding of the research were summarized by one of the private sector participants in the focus groups who found it “fascinating” to see the “similarities and differences” between the views expressed and perspectives adopted not only in her focus group but in the other focus groups. These similarities and differences extended across each aspect of the analysis and the responses to each of the tasks set for the study. There was broad consensus that real progress was being made in achieving the objectives of the Calderdale Tourism Action Plan, „Setting the Scene, approved in 2006 in each of the four areas identified: 1. Business support and advice 2. Marketing and promotion 3. Product development and innovation 4. Representation and strategy The tourism economy has grown from around £178M (2004-5) to around £250M (2008/9) or just over 6% pa - ahead of the current Yorkshire Forward target of 5% per annum. At least as important, however, is the view that emerged that there was significant additional scope for growth if specific strengths were realised and weaknesses addressed. Assets The overwhelming view from the in-depth interviews was that the countryside was the key element in the Calderdale offer. The next
  12. 12. 12 most popular choice were the twin assets of Halifax and the Lower Calder Valley with its wide range of buildings, the Piece Hall and the Minster and the market towns along the Upper Calder Valley. The latter were seen as providing a different but strong experience to the Halifax offering and giving a different offering to most other places in Yorkshire and the wider North of England. This conclusion was broadly reflected in the views expressed in the Focus Groups where the greatest assets (in no particular order) were commonly described as the natural environment, the market towns along the Upper Calder Valley and Halifax with the Lower Calder Valley. The key amenities notably Eureka, the Minster, The Piece Hall, Shibden Hall, Dean Clough, Bankfield Museum and other local attractions This broadly reflected the conclusion of the Action Plan that the tourism product of Calderdale (accommodation, attractions, culture, events, countryside) lends itself to two main destination sells: Halifax and the Lower Calder Valley and the market towns along the Upper Calder Valley. Further analysis of the views expressed raised deeper questions, first about the nature of the “main destination sells” and then about the delivery of this proposition. This is, perhaps, best illustrated by the questions raised about whether this twin strategy fully exploits the importance of the countryside offering. This was especially clear in the Focus Groups. Each of these highlighted the natural environment as perhaps the greatest asset, while distinguishing this offering from that of both Halifax and the Market Towns, especially along the Upper Calder Valley. Besides this, this research highlighted a range of additional, substantial assets notably: Heritage – from the Middle Ages (the Minster) through the Industrial Revolution (confectionery, Mackintosh's; carpets, Crossley) to the modern cultural icons (Ted Hughes, Sylvia Platt) Lifestyle and related creative or cultural assets from Incredible Edible to Guerrilla Gardening Location was widely mentioned both in the context of good transport links by both road and rail but also the large catchment area that was within easy reach of the offerings. Eureka was consistently identified as a strength but only in certain markets and within relatively narrow focus.
  13. 13. 13 Challenges The wide and diverse array of assets and strengths rapidly emerged as major challenges. These challenges are not only to the delivery of the 2006 Action Pan, but to the creation of a coherent, relatively integrated strategy or “holistic marketing plan” of the type described in the Action Plan with its search for the : Who? - who are the target markets for Calderdale - short breaks, day trips, young, old, families, couples? What? - what type of marketing do they like - direct mail, web based, pieces of print Where? - where should marketing be targeted - locally, regionally, nationally, in general press or specialist publications? Why? - What is the positive message of visiting Calderdale that we want to put across - why visit - general versus specific reasons When? - plan should include dates for all types of activity to ensure as integrated and holistic as possible. How? - what is the best way to attract visitors, what marketing methods will work best. Calderdale – A Tourism Destination? Serious questions must be asked about the extent to which Calderdale as described above can presented as visitor destination in anything other than the technical sense. The strongest brands or greatest assets appear to be either on a larger or a smaller scale. Hence, Yorkshire is a powerful brand with high recognition and substantial promotional investment. During both the in-depth interviews and the Focus Groups there were powerful and coherent arguments for greater integration of activities and higher levels of engagement at a cross Yorkshire level. The amount of resource being put behind "Yorkshire" meant that during the in-depth interviews, people saw an opportunity to ride on those coat-tails. Pennine Yorkshire was considered by some to have merit as a "wrap-around" brand but this would require continuing collaborative development with the surrounding local authorities. It was noted on several occasions that Kirklees have dropped their much of its local tourism identification to support the Pennine Yorkshire brand.
  14. 14. 14 Branding and the Kirklees Visitor Guide Some respondents saw an obsession with boundaries, particularly in relation to surrounding local authorities, which was counterproductive to fully realizing the area‟s tourism potential. This theme recurred throughout the Focus Groups with recurrent calls for greater integration of the local, Calderdale offering(s) with West Yorkshire / Pennine Yorkshire and Welcome to Yorkshire. It should, however, be noted that respondents were equally clear that this needed to be a two way street, with the widespread view held that that Calderdale was not getting its fair share of the Welcome to Yorkshire promotion. Besides the strength of the Yorkshire brand, efforts at developing a Calderdale destination brand must face up to the strength of more local offerings. The tourist target market for Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, and Todmorden may be significantly different from the target market for Halifax and its environs. Equally, those seeking a canal boat holiday may want a very different Visitor message to those visiting Eureka. So far, it is clear that the Action Plan aim of developing a holistic marketing plan has not been achieved. The one unifying comment from the majority of those involved in the in-depth interviews was that “Calderdale was not a brand that could or should be pushed.” It was the widely held view that the greatest local successes in the tourism or visitor economy were at the local or individual (venture or enterprise level). The view was expressed that more could and should be learned from the successes of locations like Hebden Bridge or ventures like Incredible Edible, the Elsie Whiteley Centre, Dean Clough and Eureka. Learning from and disseminating their successes would have multiple benefits. The most basic are, of course, the regeneration,
  15. 15. 15 economic development and job creation returns as the base of the Visitor economy widens, bringing economic returns to towns like Mytholmroyd, Todmorden, Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge. Equally important, development of tourism market in these locations would reduce the pressure on locations like Hebden Bridge, where it was reported that some residents object to the pressure on facilities generated by tourists. Halifax and its environs were seen to offer specific opportunities and challenges. There was little doubt about the value of existing offerings like Eureka and Dean Clough nor the potential of the Minster or the Piece Hall. There was, however, a sense that Halifax currently epitomized the problems of the whole of Calderdale especially the fragmentation of the offering and the lack of obvious connectivity between them. Some participants commented that “if you solve the (tourism) problems of Halifax, you solve the (tourism) problems of the whole of Calderdale”.2 The success of ventures like Incredible Edible, the Elsie Whiteley Centre, Dean Clough and Eureka raised further questions which relate to the importance of learning more from local successes. The most immediate were the calls for greater private and third sector engagement in shaping and delivering policies and programmes to develop the Visitor economy. Policies and Programmes Two distinct proposals emerged from these comments. First, there was almost universal support for the creation of a Calderdale Tourism Board which brought together the main public, private and third sector stakeholders in the tourism economy. Just as the unmistakable, was the view that sustaining the commitment and enthusiasm of the private and third sector members depended on the Board “not merely being a talking shop” and having real authority. There were memories that “the whole support structure was withdrawn in a very peremptory manner some years ago”. Equally strong was the view that a Calderdale Tourism Board should not adopt a “little Calderdale” view of its roles and responsibilities but look beyond the Borough, actively collaborate at a West Yorkshire / Pennine Yorkshire and Yorkshire level. The second distinct proposal was for the creation of a Tourism Partnership modeled, in part, on the Creative Industries Partnership that already exists but working with and through the Tourism Board on some issues that the Calderdale Cultural Partnership currently 2 It should be noted that this view was disputed by some participants
  16. 16. 16 undertakes. Its membership would be much looser, while its priorities would focus more narrowly on issues such as: Maximising opportunities for joint working with all partners within the tourism sector and beyond, including the private, voluntary and community sectors Sharing and disseminating information within the tourism sector Developing effective relationships across the tourism sector in Calderdale – private, public, voluntary and community and other tourism stakeholders Advising the Tourist Board on the tourism indicators and associated indicators in the Calderdale Futures Plan 20062016 Acting as a representative voice of the private and third sectors across the Borough Promoting recognition for the significant contribution of tourism in enhancing the economic, social, educational and environmental life of the Borough Harnessing the views, skills and aspirations of all the stakeholders in the Visitor economy of the Borough Marketing and Promotion The Action Plan placed a great deal of emphasis on the importance of Marketing and Promotion. Particular attention was focused on building up the Borough‟s data on visitors to Calderdale -, who are they and why do they visit and undertaking additional research. Considerable progress, albeit using material gathered from the Welcome to Yorkshire Market Intelligence Team, has been achieved. This research highlights the skewed nature of the visitor profile with large numbers of day visitors and those visiting “family and friends” with relatively small numbers of overnight visitors and those, like business visitors, spending relatively large sums. Table 1 Visitor Profile Dominated by Day Visitors 89% 75% 68% 64% 64% 72% 71% 26% 14% 17% 6% 13% 16% 18% Irregular day trip from your home over 3 hours time…
  17. 17. 17 Perhaps the most striking feature of the Welcome to Yorkshire Market Intelligence Team data was the lack of visitors from London and the high proportion of visitors from the North West (see table 2). Table 2 Source of Day Visitors Source: West Yorkshire Regional Visitor Survey 08/09 Results There is, however, a continuing lack of substantive, time-series data at the micro level on visitors to the key, target local communities at either the level indicated in the Action Plan - Halifax and the Lower Calder Valley and the market towns along the Upper Calder Valley. Some data is gathered locally or by specific enterprises but this is not collated at a Borough level. The distinctive nature of the communities – from Brighouse and Elland, through Halifax to Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden – suggests that the visitor profiles may differ significantly. Aspects of these differences, priorities among target communities and ways of reaching them were raised repeatedly in the in-depth interviews and the focus groups. The size of the potential, “local” catchment area came up frequently. By road and rail, there are around 7.5M people within an hour‟s travel. Such a large population is inevitably diverse, which ought to complement the diversity within the Calderdale tourism communities. Without better data at this level, it is hard to answer the questions asked in the Action Plan on “how do we get information out”, the balance between local, regional and national advertising and promotion. The broad consensus was that the authority should integrate much more of its “borough” wide promotional effort within the Yorkshire or the Pennine Yorkshire brands, while enabling and facilitating local
  18. 18. 18 efforts. This would deliver two further benefits to the Visitor economy. First, it would capitalize on the “local pride” which was consistently highlighted as a major local asset. Second, it would tap the commitment to local volunteering as seen in areas like Todmorden. Relatively small sums of money could be used to great effect at this micro level such as Todmorden Pride. Todmorden Pride Taking a practical approach to the regeneration of Todmorden Product Development and Innovation The Action Plan placed considerable emphasis on the need for investment in product development and innovation. The plan highlighted the need for “A series of small-scale actions relating to immediate, opportunities for Calderdale to make the most of, its natural, and already existing product Long, term, over the next 5 years, decisions will have to, be made as to where to enhance development,, either built (hotels or additional attractions) or, more natural (new walking and cycling routes) for, the benefit of tourism.” Some progress has been made especially in developing immediate opportunities and in specific areas such as developing cycle routes. The integration of bridleways, walking and mountain bike routes was seen as moving forward positively while the mountain bike and equine interest groups were working together positively. No Room at the Inn Few issues generated a greater level of agreement or sense of concern than the lack of quality hotel, guest-house or related accommodation. During the in-depths, the conclusion was clear – “the overwhelming weakness (of the tourism offer) was the lack of hotel rooms”. Similar sentiments recurred throughout the focus groups with even “locals” saying how they had tried and failed to get quality accommodation for a family holiday. At every level the “absolute lack of accommodation” and “the shortage of hotels” was seen as a major constraint on improving the quality of the tourism offer, changing the profile of the local tourism
  19. 19. 19 market – from day visitors to overnight stays or from low spenders to high spenders - and increasing the economic returns from tourism. This problem was seen as especially taxing in those locations already seeing large numbers of visitors. “Large numbers of short stay/day visitors put more pressure on local amenities like car parks for little economic gain, than smaller numbers of high value tourists who stay overnight.” Some, limited changes appear to be occurring. There are reports of an increase in the number of B&Bs and more entrepreneurs opening small guest houses. Although this is encouraging, disseminating information about them is limited by: The rules imposed on local Tourism Information Centres Poor IT skills The existence of significant numbers of life-style business Local Tourism Information Centres can only recommend accommodation that meets the England Quality Rose standard and has been checked out by independent assessors. Similar constraints exist on the accommodation promoted through literature sponsored by VisitEngland. This inspection can cost around £1,000, which many smaller or lifestyle B&Bs and small guest houses are reluctant to pay. The lack of IT skills reflects both a wider sectoral and regional weakness. People 1st (the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism) has identified a range of human resource, behavioural and skills gaps as among the greatest challenges facing the tourism and related sectors3. The lack of IT skills poses particular problems for smaller businesses offering accommodation as the number of visitors booking on-line grows. The overall picture for Yorkshire is mixed with less tourism business using a computer to assist them operate their business (58% in Yorkshire against 71% nationally). There was, however, greater use of the web to promote their tourism business (74% within Yorkshire against 62% nationally). An even greater gap exists between those who can via the Internet without having to contact a member of staff via the phone, fax or email (48% in Yorkshire only 36% nationally). There is limited disaggregated data for Calderdale or locations across Calderdale. 3 People 1st (2009) Skills priorities for the Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism sector Uxbridge
  20. 20. 20 Table 3 Booking Accomodation Source: West Yorkshire Regional Visitor Survey 08/09 Results It is hard to see how some of the more ambitious long term goals for tourism in Calderdale can be met – especially those seeking to change the profile of Visitors or encouraging people to “stay longer and spend more” can be met without addressing the accommodation and skill shortages. Innovation Hitherto much of the work in this area falls under the remit of the WYTP. Calderdale is a very active partner and supports initiatives developing business tourism, group travel and a major rural campaign. During this programme of research the combination of a growing sense of the distinctiveness of many local offerings and the need for greater innovation in markets, products and services led to significant interest in locally focused innovations. These clustered around three areas: 1. Targeting largely untapped, growing or new tourism markets. 1.1. The heritage visitor economy locally provides significant opportunities for growth. These range from oldest “tourism” market – religious tourism illustrated by the designation of
  21. 21. 21 Minster status on the former parish church dedicated to St John the Baptist. 1.2. The growth of “activity” tourism means that almost seventy per cent of UK holidays, now involve participation in an outdoor activity and for more than 10% of, holidays; participation in a specific activity is the main motivation for, the trip. The fastest growth of Activity tourism has been in Scotland and, Wales but many English destinations including the Lake District, Peak District and Yorkshire, are seeing growth. Both the Lower and Upper Calder Valley with their bridleways, cycleways, towpaths and “ways” such as the Calderdale and Pennine Ways. 1.3. “New” tourism areas such as events – the lessons of Hay-on-Wye were flagged alongside local innovative Festivals like Halifax Food and Drink Festival at The Piece Hall, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and the annual Dock Pudding Competition. 2. Rethinking ways of considering the Visitor or Tourist client 2.1. This has led to a wider move away from traditional socio-economic to more lifestyle type analysis. One approach classifies tourism customers into four types – Mercenaries, Rebels, Apostles and Capitives - based on their satisfaction or loyalty. Mercenaries have no loyalty and constantly seek the best deals. Rebels are fickle and unpredictable, apostles have been converted and will evangelise while captives visit often but for personal reasons e.g. visiting family. 2.2. Other approaches focus on the travel and tourist track and routes followed by tourists. One suggestion was that significant numbers of tourists travelled a route from Chester to York through Calderdale. Another highlighted the importance of overseas tourists with an interest in literature who could be tempted to link visits to the Bronte country of south Pennine with Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath‟s association with Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd on to Beatrix Potter‟s property in the Lake District. 3. The use of new technologies notably; 3.1. Information technologies to identify, reach and engage with potential visitors 3.2. Presentational technologies to enhance the visitor experience 3.3. Amenities such as those linked with extreme sports Few aspects of the development of the Tourism economy rely more heavily on meaningful representation of the different stakeholder
  22. 22. 22 interests and effective support and advice than innovation and the underlying process of creativity. Representation, Support and Advice Representation Some aspects of the representation of different interest groups have already been addressed in comments about the creation of a local Tourism Board and the formation of a Tourism Partnership. These were seen as important mechanisms for ensuring effective representation of the Private and Third Sector in internal (to Calderdale) policies and programmes. It was felt both within and external to the council that outside bodies should play a major role in whatever structure was put in place. The view emerged that the Council (in the terms expressed in the Action Plan) had played an important representational role up to now in “influencing the Regional Economic Strategy, discussions over the City Region and Northern Way initiatives”. Complementary views were expressed about the Council involvement with “the Yorkshire Tourist Board … as well as the West Yorkshire Tourism Partnership.” Some participants in the in-depth interviews expressed the view that “bodies such as West Yorkshire Partnership, Welcome to Yorkshire, England‟s North Country and Visit Britain need more information about what is happening on the ground in the area. This would help them do a better job but would also make it more likely that Calderdale got more prominence in marketing materials and campaigns.” Two bodies mentioned in the Action Plan - British Waterways, the National Trust – were specifically identified during the Focus Groups as requiring stronger engagement with local, Calderdale interests. Support and Advice The Action Plan was quite specific in its proposals on support and advice. It said that: “We need to engage with businesses, understand their business and skills needs, provide advice on business creation, growth and longevity as well as relevant legislation and national/regional, developments. We need to establish regular, timely and beneficial communications with local, business, providing information and the, opportunity to network and learn from others,
  23. 23. 23 (We need) the creation, of management information systems, the, development of a newsletter and annual, networking event, and an audit of training needs.” In both the In-depth interviews and the Focus Groups it became clear that a high level of engagement with the private and third sector remains a priority. At the same time there were concerns that there was too much fragmentation in the organization and delivery of Council services. “The distribution of roles over different directorates with separate responsibilities is unhelpful especially in delivering the economic development and regeneration potential of tourism.” The divided responsibilities within the Council‟s support for tourism was seen to create a number of specific and identifiable problems notably: Blurred priorities Poor connectivity within and beyond the Council. Criticism of the recent Calderdale Tourism Guide centred on omissions that “could have been avoided” with greater internal cohesion Weak integration with other parts of the Borough‟s activities A failure to tackle a range of, seemingly minor, but together significant problems including; o Weaknesses in “micro-signage” for example Sylvia Plath‟s grave St Thomas a Beckett and St Thomas the Apostle Church, Heptonstall, Calderdale or on a larger scale the links between Eureka, the Piece Hall and the Minster in Halifax o Lack of parking spaces in key locations and poor signposting to available parking nearby o Problems of gathering specific local information of the type identified by Susan Stevens of Shire Cruisers. There was strong sense that a single or clearly “lead” arm of the Council would make it easier to ensure the development of themes to make destinations “hang together.” This need for integration of policy and delivery was expressed in several ways notably: “We have the (tourism) packages but not the packaging” “There is a need for a narrative at a local or borough level – telling me why I should come or stay” In the same way, a more integrated structure would facilitate the identification and promotion of the “hidden gems” that proliferate across the Borough.
  24. 24. 24 The creation of the Calderdale Tourism Board was seen a crucial element in efforts to integrate the Tourism offering(s) but greater cohesion with the Authority was facilitate this effort significantly.
  25. 25. 25 The Wider Context In England responsibility for tourism policy and resourcing tourism related activities is primarily the responsibility of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), but the Departments of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have important roles in the provision of resources, policies and programmes. The DCMS and DCLG generally view the leisure, visitor and tourism economies and the opportunities deriving from them as closely linked. In defining these sectors they note that : Tourism is generally perceived as holidays or breaks involving time away from home. Leisure is usually perceived to mean entertainment (in and out-of-home) including most attractions, formal and informal sports and outdoor activities. Cultural, heritage and hospitality facilities are perceived to overlap both sectors. Tourism is driven by many of the same forces as leisure. However, it has important characteristics that must be considered: o Travel is an integral part of tourism whereas in leisure it is generally a means of accessing a desired facility o Tourism includes business as well as leisure travel o Leisure (holiday) tourism is often motivated by attractions that are free goods e.g. historic towns, spectacular scenery and/or assets that are not primarily developed or maintained as tourism businesses, including most historic buildings. These attractions are not footloose, unlike most leisure activities (and) o Tourism is not a coherent industry. Rather, it creates economic activity across a wide spectrum of other industries e.g. transport, hospitality, retailing. For planning purposes DCLG makes it clear that leisure and tourism uses need to be considered as two separate sectors while appreciating the significant inter-relationships. The most important distinction is regularity of use. Leisure facilities are used on a regular, often spontaneous, basis from home, as part of an individual‟s normal leisure time. Tourism facilities are used on special, generally pre-planned, non-routine or longer trips including, but not limited to, overnight trips.
  26. 26. 26 Although many leisure facilities are used by tourists, and vice-versa, there are significant differences between the uses as defined here, in terms of their land-use planning effects. The Tourism Economy Globally, tourism is generally viewed as one of the largest industries in the world. Over much of the last decade, Tourism was the fastest growing especially in terms of employment. The Growth of Tourism Employment Internationally The impact of the global recession on travel and tourism demand, however, has been severe. In the first eight months of 2009, international tourist arrivals fell by 7%, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which is now forecasting a decline of 4% to 6% for the full year2009. The evidence of decline was equally marked in Europe with a sharp decline across the key areas of tourism.
  27. 27. 27 Growth returned to international tourism in the last quarter of 2009 contributing to better than expected full-year results. According to the latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals fell by an estimated 4% in 2009. Prospects have, however, improved with arrivals now forecast to grow between 3% and 4% in 2010. This outlook is confirmed by the remarkable rise of the UNWTO Panel of Experts‟ Confidence Index – “2009 – Last quarter sees return to growth”. International tourist arrivals for business, leisure and other purposes are estimated to have declined worldwide by 4% in 2009 to 880 million. This represents a slight improvement on the previous estimate as a result of the 2% upswing in the last quarter of 2009. There is considerable evidence that UK domestic tourism also saw significant declines in 2009 but these were partly compensated for a small growth in international tourism, largely attributed to the weakness of the £ against the Euro. Premium domestic tourism has, also, been assisted by the reduction in mortgage interest rates. UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said recently that “the results of recent months suggest that recovery is underway, and even somewhat earlier and at a stronger pace than initially expected”. Experience shows that tourism earnings generally follow
  28. 28. 28 the trend in arrivals quite closely, even if they suffer somewhat more in difficult times. In 2008, the UK tourism industry was estimated to have generated £85 billion (directly and indirectly) for the UK economy, with 80% coming from the domestic tourism market. This suggests that tourism contributes just over 3% to national gross value added. In 2008, overseas residents made an estimated 34 million visits to the UK, generating expenditure of approximately £18 billion. Employment In 2008, there were just over 1.5 million people directly employed in tourism (44% in restaurants, bars and canteens and 16% in tourist accommodation) with more employed indirectly, equal to 5% of all employment in the UK. Although this is believed to have dropped in 2009, it is expected to recover in 2010. Employment in tourism 4 2010 1513 1484 1496 241 245 245 247 638 136 648 138 659 141 642 140 647 141 152 86 218 154 87 221 157 88 225 155 85 216 157 86 217 Units Employment in tourism of which: Hotels and other tourist accommodation Restaurants, bars, canteens Transport Travel agents/tour operators Recreation services Rest of the economy 2006 2007 2008 (000s) 1466 1489 (000s) 237 (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) (000s) 2009 According to DCLG, tourism (alone) in Britain has a turnover of £53 billion a year (directly). In 2008, there were an estimated 180 000 businesses in tourism industries. International tourist arrivals in the UK grew by 34% between 2001 and the 2008 total of 33.0 million, while expenditure by tourists in the UK reached £18 billion in 2008, 28% higher than in 2001. The largest origin markets for the UK are the USA which contributed 11.5% of total arrivals in 2005, Germany (11.1%) and France (11.0%). Tourism accounts for 1 in 6 of all new jobs created in the last ten years. In certain regions, there is a high dependency on tourism income (e.g. in Cumbria it accounts for 17% of jobs and 18% of local GDP). 4 2009 and 2010 estimated
  29. 29. 29 Distribution of Employment in Tourism Rest of the economy 15% Hotels and other accomodation 16% Recreation services 6% Travel agents/tour operators 10% Transport 9% Restaurants/bars/ canteens 44% Beside the “core” tourism economy there are strong links to the leisure, culture and sport economies while links to other “economies” are often poorly understood. Although the Yorkshire Tourist Board using a different matrix, its figures are broadly in line, but with retailing a far greater percentage than would be implied by the UK figures. Distribution of Tourism Employment in Yorkshire Source: Yorkshire Tourist Board 2008 (unpublished) Linkages According to the OECD “tourism-dependent sectors of the economy are not homogeneous. They are in the business of creating experiences and are part of the new “Experience Economy”. A whole
  30. 30. 30 package of services is designed, developed and commercialised for visitors to enjoy as experiences. The tourism industry is a kind of “dream factory”, with the manufacture of unforgettable experiences requiring high quality levels. Indeed, productivity in tourism depends on the quality of the experience, reflected in the perceived satisfaction of the visitor which is a subjective judgment. Anything that contributes to the efficient production and marketing of quality experiences helps to promote productivity in tourism.”5 This latter point was vividly illustrated at the meeting with the Scrutiny Committee, where the importance of “religious” tourism was discussed. Halifax Gains a Minster Religious tourism accounts, for example, for some of the largest “tourism” events in the world, for example, pilgrimages to Mecca and many of the oldest tourism events viz Chaucer‟s Canterbury Tales. Across Yorkshire, however, although the number of visitors to attractions grew significantly during the 2000s, there was a drop in growth rates as the recession bit. 5 OECD (2009) TOURISM IN OECD COUNTRIES 2008: TRENDS AND POLICIES – ISBN 978-92-64-03967-4
  31. 31. 31 Trends in numbers of visitors to attraction (% change) Source: Yorkshire Tourist Board (2008, unpublished, quoted in Thomas, R ed (2010) Managing Regional Tourism: A Case Study of Yorkshire England Great Northern Books, Ilkley Potential visitors choose their travel destination on the basis of something special and unique about its attractions. The links with the distinct attractions – Eureka, Piece Hall, the Minster, Stoodley Pike, Hardcastle Crags, Shibden Hall, Dean Clough and Victoria Theatre are especially relevant in Calderdale. This also determines the willingness of visitors to pay. The more famous the destination the higher the price visitors are ready to pay for the services they will need. Building the Destination Offering The creative industries and heritage tourism have particular relevance today for Calderdale. The ASK studies of the creative and digital industries suggests that there are over 400 businesses in the creative sector with some degree of dependence or potential benefit from the tourism economy.
  32. 32. 32 These include Training & Development, Crafts, Design, Fashion Design, Heritage, Museums & Conservation, Multiple Arts Practice, Music, Performing Arts and Other. Currently, these businesses employ around 4,000 people (full and part-time, but not temporary staff) across Calderdale, but with potential to grow rapidly generating several times that number of net additional jobs. This growth potential is vividly illustrated in the preliminary results of the parallel study of the fastest growing companies in Calderdale. This indicates that upwards of 15% of the fastest growing 130 businesses identified to date operate either within the Tourism sector or in sectors linked to tourism. Multipliers It is not hard to see a Tourism sector capable of having a “Multiplier” effect on the wider Calderdale economy significantly greater than size of the “core” tourism economy. This potential multiplier effect can be seen across a number of indicators. Although the number of businesses in the core tourism sector appears to be less than 200, around 600 businesses seem to be directly or indirectly linked to the sector. Number of Businesses in the Core and Related Sectors Indirectly related e.g. transport, 123 Core Tourism Economy, 147 Closely Related e.g. Culture & Heritage, 313 The research referred to earlier by ASK suggests that the potential for growth and new firm formation is relatively high with over 50% of the businesses operating in the sector started in the last ten years.
  33. 33. 33 Age Profile of Businesses Pre 1980 21% 2008 14% 2006 7% 1980 - 1984 11% 1990 - 1994 4% 1995 - 1999 11% 2000 - 2005 32% Evidence from elsewhere suggests that newly formed businesses have the greatest growth potential especially in jobs but are most at risk of failure and need the greatest levels of support. This employment potential is illustrated by the preliminary data gathered on employment in the core and related economies. Employment in the Core Tourism and Related Sectors Indirectly related e.g. transport, 1750 Core Tourism Economy, 4200 Closely Related e.g. Culture & Heritage, 4600 The employment profile reflects the diverse nature of employment in the Tourism and Tourism related economy with some relatively
  34. 34. 34 large organisations but a preponderance of small and microenterprises. This pattern is, perhaps, more clearly illustrated by the turnovers achieved by companies. Turnover by Sector £Million Indirectly related e.g. transport, 118 Core Tourism Economy, 250 Closely Related e.g. Culture & Heritage, 295 The tourism sector in Calderdale according to the ASK study has some relatively large businesses with almost a third turning over more than £500,000pa but almost half turning over less than £50,000. The evidence gathered to date would suggest that not only is the tourism economy significant today, with real growth potential but there is a need and scope for additional services and support for the sector. This would appear to be the view of those currently working within the sector.
  35. 35. 35 Turnover Distribution of Tourism Businesses in Calderdale Over £1,000,000 14% £500,000 - £1,000,000 14% 19% £300,000 - £499,999 £150,000 - £299,999 0% £100,000 - £149,999 5% £50,000 - £99,999 5% £30,000 - £49,999 5% £20,000 - £29,999 14% £10,000 - £19,999 14% £5,000 - £9,999 10% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20% The ASK study concluded that around a third of organisations stated that they believe that more could be done to promote Calderdale with over ten per cent believing that there had been no attempt made by Calderdale Council to promote Calderdale‟s tourism industry with a similar number feeling that smaller companies should be included in the councils promotional activity. This latter point was raised at the Scrutiny Committee with particular emphasis on the need for user engagement and a client led approach to services. The Challenges and Opportunities In a real sense the economic challenge facing the Borough extends far beyond the tourism sector and has increased recently as: • Claimant count and unemployment in Calderdale has been rising quite rapidly The number of people out of work and claiming benefit rose from 6,319 in July to 6,459 in August, after a period of little change in spring and early summer. The “claimant count” unemployment rate has edged up to 5.2%; the gap between Calderdale and the region remains the same but the Calderdale rate is now 1% above the UK rate while the: • Number of people out of work and claiming benefit rose from almost doubled over the last year
  36. 36. 36 • Published total of vacancies over the last six months is 23% lower than the previous six months • Substantial rise in numbers receiving Council Tax and/or Housing Benefit is a major cause for concern • Over the 12 months from July 2008 to July 2009 there has been a 14% rise in the numbers in receipt of Council Tax and/or Housing Benefit, and a 7.5% rise in pupils receiving Free School Meals. • Average house prices in Calderdale fell by 14% in the year up to mid 2009 These challenges contrast sharply with the opportunities provided by tourism and related sectors. There assets within the Borough are significant and include: • Attractions like Eureka! The National Children‟s Museum, the Piece Hall, Dean Clough, Stoodley Pike, Hardcastle Crags, Shibden Hall and Victoria Theatre • Powerful industrial and cultural legacy • Dramatic landscapes • Diverse and distinctive local communities • Eight million people within a 2 hour drive. The successes achieved over the last few years allied to the new priority given across Yorkshire to the Tourism economy suggest that the potential exists within Tourism to – at the very least – alleviate the economic challenges facing the people of Calderdale. This will, however, depend on a combination of factors notably: Delivery of the right sort of support to businesses and others working in the tourism and related sectors Active engagement of these sectors Investment of resources in those sectors offering the greatest returns Some key aspects of the Tourism “community” in Calderdale will help to shape the opportunities that will emerge and the challenges faced. Central to this is the extent to which local tourism businesses are deeply rooted in the local economy and community. Over ninety per cent of the tourism businesses identified in the ASK study have always been based in Calderdale. This illustrates the extent to which these firms are committed not only to the Borough but its success.
  37. 37. 37 Distribution of Tourism Businesses by Postcode HD6 13% OL14 7% HX7 10% HX6 17% HX5 7% HX4 7% HX3 10% HX2 17% HX1 13% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% Equally important to a diverse community such as Calderdale, tourism businesses are spread across the Borough with a significant number of tourism businesses in each Post Code area. Unfortunately, however, evidence to date suggests that there is a general air of pessimism about prospects. The ASKE research reported that forty percent of Tourism businesses interviewed expected their turnover to decrease for the next financial year whilst only thirteen per cent of businesses expected turnover to increase. Part of the challenge facing Authority is to develop and deliver policies that: change this thinking, focus on the drivers of growth against a background of resource constraints and limited control of aspects of tourism support. Tourism: Economic Development and Regeneration The relationship between tourism, economic development and regeneration. Twenty years ago Christopher Law6 pointed out that: “Investment for tourism involves the development of facilities, physical environments and infrastructure which will have many benefits for the local community. It also involves marketing and the selling of an image, which will assist in the attraction of industrial and commercial activities. With the transformation of districts (see below) and the new image, it will be easier to bring middle-class residents back to the inner city. The money which tourists spend at facilities, such as concerts and theatres, may make these activities 6 Christopher M . Law (1992) Urban Tourism and its Contribution to Economic Regeneration Urban Studies, Vol. 29, Nos . 3/4, 599-618
  38. 38. 38 more economically viable and this in turn will be of benefit to the local community. Finally, the development of these facilities, the physical regeneration of areas and the arrival of visitors may increase civic pride, which is usually deemed a good thing. It is suggested that local residents who have civic pride will take much greater care of the environment.” Source: Saxena, G and Watts, M (2010) Regeneration Projects and Tourism in Yorkshire in Thomas, R ed (2010) Managing Regional Tourism: A Case Study of Yorkshire England Great Northern Books, Ilkley Saxena and Watts (2010) provide a neat model of how the positive and negative aspects of tourism related regeneration can be analysed. More recently a series of articles in Regeneration & Renewal have flagged this relationship in a range of environments. There is evidence, however, that these regeneration effects are especially important for communities like Calderdale because of their influence on the development of: • Small and medium sized firms (SMEs) • Technologies, skills • Other parts of the local economy.
  39. 39. 39 The potential for generating positive impacts is, in turn, affected by the willingness of policy makers locally to rethink the way they view the visitor economy and they way they approach other stakeholders. The Role of SMEs Small and medium sized firms play an especially important role in the Visitor and/or Tourist economy in Calderdale. In this they mirror the Tourist economy more widely. Across the UK over seventy per cent of all enterprises in the hotel sector are micro companies i.e. firms that employ fewer than nine persons. The share grows to over eighty per cent for restaurants, bars, travel agents and tour operators. Preliminary findings suggest that the SME share of the tourism sector locally is higher than this. In some ways more importantly, the relatively low cost of entry into many key sectors of tourism and the potential significance of sectors like hotels, restaurants and bars to both the development of the Visitor or Tourism economy and economic regeneration across Calderdale reinforces their value to SME development. SMEs in the Visitor or Tourism economy, however, face particular challenges and have specific needs if there are to realize their full potential. Research by the OECD7 indicates that: “to remain competitive, SMEs need to co-operate. In tourism, the success of an individual business often depends upon the success of a destination, a network or a global value chain. That being said, very often SMEs are unable to utilise the maximum potential of the value chains and networks due to lack of capital, time, human resources or experience. It is here that supportive public policies can help.” Authorities like Calderdale can help SMEs to 7 OECD (2009) ibid
  40. 40. 40 ● Enhance productivity and the rate of technological innovation ● Help to build a common view to influence policies ● Overcome some of the disadvantages of small size by undertaking co-operative actions (e.g. in marketing) ● Pool resources for human resource development ● Enhance growth and the competitive performance of firms. Facilitating the creation of partnerships, clusters and networks can enable SMEs across the authority to combine the advantages of small scale with the benefits of large scale. SMEs Key Assets, Challenges and Scope for Intervention Assets Focus Personal commitment Differentiation Personal service Local knowledge Challenges Lack of finances Skills Resources such as IT Weak alliances and partnerships Change management Marketing and branding Scope for Intervention Building capabilities and competences Technical support Creating alliances and partnerships Accessing resources Adding value Skills development Targeting resources Events
  41. 41. 41 E-Tourism The last decade has seen dramatic growth in e-tourism. Across Europe, online travel sales increased by at an annual rate of over 30% between 2003 and 2008 to reach almost €20 billion (just under 8% of the total market). Growth in the wider European online travel market is expected to slow, but its value was predicted to increase to more than €25 billion by 2008 – an expected 10% of the total travel market. There are notable differences in the levels of e-commerce and e-business activity among European countries and within individual countries. The UK is generally well placed for both access to the internet and other aspects of e-tourism but there are significant local gaps and specific weaknesses in SMEs. The internet, in particular, is transforming the distribution of tourism information and sales. An increasing proportion of internet users are buying on–line and tourism will gain a larger and larger share of the online commerce market. SMEs, however, are facing more challenging demands from customers and commercial clients who expect them to adopt new information technologies, in particular, e-business. Part of the problem relates to the scale and affordability of information technology, as well as the facility of implementation within rapidly growing and changing organisations. In addition, new solutions configured for large, stable, and internationally-oriented firms do not fit well for small, dynamic, and locally-based tourism firms. Despite these challenges, SMEs with well-developed and innovative web sites can now have “equal Internet access” to international tourism markets. This implies equal access to telecom
  42. 42. 42 infrastructure, as well as to marketing management and education. According to a UN report8, “it is not the cost of being there, on the on-line market place, which must be reckoned with, but the cost of not being there.” The main benefits of e-commerce for tourism enterprises are typically reported as „providing easy access to information on tourism services,‟ „providing better information on tourism services,‟ and „providing convenience for customers‟. This result implies that respondents are less aware of many other benefits of e-commerce, such as „creating new markets,‟ „improving customer services,‟ „establishing interactive relationships with customers‟, „reducing operating cost‟, „interacting with other business partners‟, and „founding new business partners‟ The main constraints range from „limited knowledge of available technology,‟ „lack of awareness,‟ „cost of initial investment,‟ „lack of confidence in the benefits of e-commerce,‟ and „cost of system maintenance, ‟ to „shortage of skilled human resources,‟ and „resistance to adoption of e-commerce.‟ In terms of market situation, one might also mention „insufficient e-commerce infrastructure,‟ and „small e-commerce market size‟. The Skills Challenge People 1st (the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism) has highlighted these human resource, behavioural and skills challenges as among the greatest challenges facing the tourism and related sectors9. The Sector Skills Council estimates of the size of the sector are broadly in line with those elsewhere with the sector itself accounting for approximately 4.8 percent of the UK‟s economic output. Their 2009 estimates of the indirect contribution of the „visitor economy‟ to the UK‟s Gross Domestic Product are slightly larger i.e. 8.2 percent (over £100 billion) that estimates elsewhere. People 1st suggests that the sector has grown substantially over the last 20 years and, despite the current recession, is predicted to continue to grow in the medium to long term. The sector is a significant employer across the UK, particularly in areas highly dependent on tourism. In total, People 1st believes that the sector provides employment for approximately two million people. 8 World Tourism Organization (WTO) (2001). E-business For Tourism, Practical Guideline For Tourism Destination and Business 9 People 1st (2009) Skills priorities for the Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism sector Uxbridge
  43. 43. 43 The sector has traditionally suffered from perceptions of low wages, unsociable hours and poor conditions, which can make it difficult for employers to attract talent. Recruitment difficulties can lead to inexperienced staff being recruited which then impacts on workforce skill levels and productivity10. Whilst many employers in the sector do pay the minimum wage and require people to work „unsociable‟ hours, this does not necessarily deter people from working in the sector if the work and working environment are constructed in an attractive way. In addition, within many businesses there are opportunities for good staff to be promoted quickly and increase their pay accordingly. The sector suffers from the highest rate of labour turnover of all sectors of the economy11.This is partly due to a reliance on a transient workforce of students and overseas workers. The constant need to replace leavers leads to high levels of skills gaps as it means there are always a large number of new recruits developing into their roles. Constant recruitment and retraining can be costly. Employers in the sector (the hospitality element in particular) have, however, traditionally operated with high labour turnover and many do not see it as a problem12. Public sector bodies including local authorities like Calderdale can play an important role in embedding strategies and support systems to address these issues. In a series of studies People 1st identified three main long term skill problems across the sector: 1. A shortage of skilled chefs 2. Poor standards of management and leadership 3. Poor customer service skills The economic downturn has, however, increased the importance of: Good customer service skills Good financial management as businesses struggle to survive, People management skills as managers need to maintain staff morale in uncertain times in order to provide good customer service. 10 According to the 2007 National Employer Skills Survey, 13 percent of sector employers with skills gaps attribute the gap to recruitment problems 11 Recruitment and Retention Survey, CIPD, 2008 and Sector Skills Agreement, People1st, 2006 12 People1st, (2009) Recruitment, Retention and Training Survey
  44. 44. 44 Multi-skilling (as businesses make job cuts or decide not to replace staff who leave, there is likely to be a need for remaining staff to undertake tasks for which they were previously not responsible) Entrepreneurialism (as the need to reduce costs and maximise profit becomes paramount), as businesses strive to win competitive advantage during the recession. The main tactics being followed in the sector include: Reducing costs such as staff costs (in some cases reducing hours, wages or laying staff off), marketing costs, training costs and energy costs. Offering more promotions such as two-for-one offers (promotions are often a more effective strategy than simply lowering prices as they do not devalue the product and it is easier to revert to the original prices when appropriate) Diversification (particularly in the pub, bar and nightclub industry where licensees are increasingly looking for innovative ways to attract customers) Increasing training and development to upskill staff and retain customers Increasing marketing to attract and retain customers While these are, in many ways, appropriate tactics nationally and locally to overcome immediate challenges, the available research suggests that more fundamental shifts in policies and thinking are needed for longer term advantage. Lifestyles A key shift in the thinking of the Yorkshire Tourist Board has been to rethink ways of considering the Visitor or Tourist client. One approach classifies tourism customers into four types – Mercenaries, Rebels, Apostles and Capitives - based on their satisfaction or loyalty. Mercenaries have no loyalty and constantly seek the best deals. Rebels are fickle and unpredictable, apostles have been converted and will evangelise while captives visit often but for personal reasons e.g. visiting family. Promotional activity seeks to move Visitor in direction of arrows.
  45. 45. 45 TRI*M Typology This has led to a wider move away from traditional socio-economic analysis to Lifestyle Analysis based on the Ark value based segmentation system. This sub-divides the Visitor or Tourist client base into eight lifestyle groups with distinct behavioural characteristics and aspirations. Arkleisure Segmentation System Lifestyle Groups Characteristics Style Hounds Young, free, single Impulsive Fashion counts Brand counts Looking for fun with friends Not seriously sporty High Street Mainstream early adopters of innovations Followers of high street fashion Care what others think Happy to buy “packages” Followers Strongly influenced by what others think Don‟t want to be seen as old fashioned Less active Slow to adopt Risk avoiders Habituals Largely inactive Low spenders Resist change Risk averse Value relaxation, people and quiet
  46. 46. 46 Cosmopolitans Strong, active, confident Style and brand important as expression of own identity High spenders especially on innovation Look for new experiences Globetrotters Discoverers Independent Little influenced by style or brand but like novelty Buy on function and value Look for new or educational experience Traditionals Self reliant Slow to adopt new options Traditional values Value individual attention and service Functionals Self reliant Price conscious Value function over style Hold traditional values but interested in new experiences Not risk averse Source: Arkenford Market & Modelling Research quoted in Coll, T and Royle, J Marketing the Region in Thomas, R ed (2010) Managing Regional Tourism: A Case Study of Yorkshire England Great Northern Books, Ilkley Culture, Heritage and Creativity This type of analysis has highlighted the range of behaviours, attitudes and factors that determine the who, what, where, when, how and why of the Visitor or Tourism economy. For a location like Calderdale it seems that culture, heritage and tourism have mutually beneficial relationships which can strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of the Borough overall and its specific locations within the wider Yorkshire brand. Culture and heritage are increasingly important elements of the tourism product as they create distinctiveness in a crowded global marketplace. The challenge for Calderdale is to develop a coherent and strategic way to prioritise, integrate and develop its culture and heritage assets while developing effective “attack brands” that can build long term value.
  47. 47. 47 Culture and heritage tourism are among the largest and fastest growing global tourism markets13. These are allied often to the creative industries and increasingly used to promote destinations. The increasing use of culture, heritage and creativity to market destinations allows for differentiating regional identities and images. A growing range of culture and heritage elements are being employed to brand and market regions. Cultural tourism is particularly attractive because of the raft of benefits it can deliver to local communities. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the U.S., these benefits include: Creating jobs and businesses. Increasing tax revenues. Diversifying the local economy. Creating opportunities for partnerships. Attracting visitors interested in history and preservation. Increasing historic attraction revenues. Preserving local traditions and culture. Generating local investment in historic resources. Building community pride in heritage. Increasing awareness of the site or area's significance. In its diversity Calderdale highlights the wider challenges and opportunities represented by the interplay of culture, heritage and creativity and the Visitor or Tourism economy. cultural and heritage-interested tourists are also assumed to visit destinations where other tourists do not usually go, helping to spread tourism to new areas and combating seasonality. There is some international evidence that cultural and heritageinterested tourists stay longer in locations, return more often and spend more per visit. 13 OECD (2009) THE IMPACT OF CULTURE ON TOURISM, OECD, Paris – ISBN- 978-92-6405648-0
  48. 48. 48 Spend by Holiday Type per Trip Calderdale‟s assets range from the tangible like the Minster, Dean Clough and the Piece Hall, through the symbolic such as its commercial heritage to its intangible notably the literary traditions established by Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Tourism Offers? Culture and heritage create authenticity and distinctiveness in the tourism market. In this regard, “tourism experiences” that can
  49. 49. 49 connect people and visitors to local cultures are very important. This is particularly true if tourist want to extract the full range of benefits from this relationship for people who visit, live, work and invest in the region. Among the issues that Calderdale will likely have to address are the following: Focus and priorisation Integration of offerings Funding culture and heritage Creating sustainable relationships Avoiding tourism damaging cultural resources The integration of cultural, tourism and national/local development strategies Engagement with partners Partnerships During the meeting with the Scrutiny Panel, much was made of the importance of collaboration with other stakeholders, notably in the private sector. This emphasis on “partnership” is in line with the most progressive thinking and research on the development of the Visitor or Tourism economy. In tourism destinations, the development and marketing of tourism products and services needs to be increasingly based on partnerships and clusters. This especially true of those designed to enable SMEs to position themselves better in the markets they serve. Provided that a cost advantage can be demonstrated over unilateral action, co-operation is a key way of achieving this. The People 1st study showed how public-private partnerships are critical to ensuring that education and training are in line with the needs of the industry. Investment in IT and other infrastructure in rural areas and small towns often lags behind tourism growth. Innovative partnerships between governments and developers are engaging the private sector in helping to finance the infrastructure and operate the services. Attracting larger hotels, encouraging the development of specialist or boutique hotels, events, festivals, sympathetic development of cultural or heritage assets, craft, creative industry related initiatives or projects also typically call on effective public-private partnerships. These initiatives are often able to increase a destination‟s carrying capacity, minimize risk and ensure effective development of assets.
  50. 50. 50 This approach is firmly embedded in Yorkshire Forward‟s Strategic Framework which makes clear that all its policies and programmes depend on “all partners working together.” This is reinforced throughout its structures and delivery systems which are based on “utilizing a partnership based approach throughout tourism structures and delivery mechanisms.” This is equally evident at the sub-regional level through the West Yorkshire Tourism Partnership and may prove even more valuable locally as firms struggle to achieve success against an economic environment that is still challenging. The latest The National Business Survey: Yorkshire and Humber Report by IPSOS-MORI pointed out that “more than a third (of Respondents) said that they had reduced the number of staff with the hotels/catering sector most likely to have reduced staff – around half of businesses in this sector. The Drivers of Growth Perhaps the most immediate challenge facing the Borough is to reshape the local tourism economy to maximize the economic and commercial returns, while focusing on the areas of greatest local advantage. The challenge inherent in these is vividly illustrated by the Visit profile of Calderdale especially against other parts of Yorkshire. The economic value of a visitor is largely driven by six factors: The length of stay with overnight stays generating 4 times as much income and 2.5 times as many jobs as day stays The location of stay with those visiting “friends and family” have a much smaller “economic footprint” than those staying in all forms of commercial accommodation The nature of the stay with business tourism involves greater expenditures (and incomes) than “backpackers” The profile of visitors with “silvers” (visitors aged over 50) spending more than school parties The Cost of Recruitment with repeat visitors costing less than new visitors. Each of these issues poses a challenge and creates an opportunity for the Borough with, for example, a relatively high proportion of its visitors as “day leisure visitors” or visiting friends and relations according to the latest research.
  51. 51. 51 Profile of Visitors TOTAL York & Selby Hull & Dales & Moors & Yorkshire West East Harrogate Coast South Yorkshire Yorkshire 64% 48% 61% Stays Day leisure visitors 43% 79% 72% 69% Staying visitor 26% Staying visitor elsewhere in 49% 9% 14% 22% 8% 5% 5% 9% 11% 7% * 1% * 1% 1% 1% 1% Day business visitors 31% 1% Staying visitor VFR Yorkshire 42% 8% accommodation in Yorkshire 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% the UK With over 3million visitors to the Borough, the potential economic impact that could be gained from persuading just 10 per cent of the 2million+ day visitors to stay overnight would be in excess of £50M. Age Profile of Visitors TOTAL York & Selby Dales & Harrogate Moors & Coast Yorkshire South West Yorkshire Hull & East Yorkshire 0-15 26% 18% 20% 23% 30% 31% 26% 16-24 6% 10% 3% 6% 7% 7% 7% 25-34 10% 9% 7% 7% 13% 11% 9% 35-44 16% 13% 14% 16% 17% 17% 13% 45-54 13% 16% 15% 14% 12% 12% 12% 55-64 16% 20% 22% 17% 12% 12% 14% 65-74 11% 11% 16% 14% 8% 7% 14% 75 plus 3% 3% 4% 4% 2% 2% 4% Age Group
  52. 52. 52 A similar picture emerges if we look at the Age Profile of visitors. Older visitors are more likely to stay overnight, use local amenities such as shops, restaurants and heritage sites increasing their economic impact. At the same time, these older visitors are likely to support the wider cultural and creative economy. None of this is to deny the value of day visitors or younger visitors, but it highlights the potential returns from changing the visitor profile to maximize the returns in jobs, business development and the wider economy. TRI*M Grid – Mapped Attributes Source: Coll, T and Royle, J Marketing the Region in Thomas, R ed (2010) Managing Regional Tourism: A Case Study of Yorkshire England Great Northern Books, Ilkley In the wider context, the powerful image and the factors shaping that image of Yorkshire itself are crucial. Integrating the portfolio of Calderdale offering with such a powerful set of attributes is crucial, not least because many of the most powerful, positive Yorkshire “motivators” – beautiful & unspoilt countryside, interesting villages and market towns are assets for Calderdale, but others high standards of service, quality serviced accommodation are challenges.
  53. 53. 53 The Next Steps Since the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, the project team has focused their efforts on: Detail analysis and response to Committee comments such as a review of “religious and heritage” tourism Preliminary analysis of key stakeholders in the local tourism community Research into the wider, linked economies Building links into key national and regional agencies such as DCLG, the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber, Yorkshire Forward, , West Yorkshire Tourism Partnership with a view to establishing a basis for the series on in-depth interviews, focus groups These with a view to: Refining the Tourism Strategy, Embedding the implementation plan Creating key local agencies such as the Tourism Network and a Tourism Board. In-depth interviews are already taking place with leaders of local tourism businesses as well as a sample of other stakeholders from within the Authority and its partners such as Eureka, the National Trust, Dean Clough, businesses like Incredible Edible, Berties Little Group Of Companies Ltd., festival organizers and retail partners, the Cultural Partnership as well as key members of the West Yorkshire Tourism Partnership Board Members especially those with a local focus. Particular attention is being paid to the views of smaller business and new entrants.