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VisitEngland’s Business Confidence Monitor

80% of the UK MICE industry is confident about the Spring and Easter period

VisitEngland announced the first wave of findings from its new Business Confidence Monitor for accommodation providers. The findings highlight performance in 2009 across the sector and reveal 80% of the industry is confident about the Spring and  Easter period. 
English tourism made a steady start to the new decade with just over one quarter (27%) of businesses reporting a better Christmas and New Year than the previous year.  42% reported the same levels of business for the same period.  
2009 proved to be successful over-all with 44% of businesses reporting more guests than in 2008. However, this report shows that success was very much related to accommodation type.  65% of caravan and campsites attracted more visitors in 2009 than in 2008, while self catering accommodation also did well with almost half (47%) reporting an increase in  guest numbers.  Guesthouses and B&Bs experienced a less positive year with 40% reporting less guests.
James Berresford, Chief Executive VisitEngland commented: “VisitEngland already provides the industry with a raft of industry insights and research however, we hope the results from a new regular study like this will help businesses to better understand the rapidly changing economic climate as it relates to tourism, and better prepare for those changes.” 
He goes onto say: “Interestingly over 20% of businesses reporting an increase in numbers of guests say they were busier in 2009 because of their investment in marketing. In March, we launch England’s first national strategic tourism framework for ten years. By working together, pooling resources and expertise, I believe we can drive tourism in England forward, boost the industry, and support our partners in the year ahead."
Bookings for  the Spring and  Easter period are down year on year, however despite this, a quarter of operators (24%) are very confident and over half (56%) are fairly confident that business will be good with an expectation that last year’s trend for late bookings will continue.