Monday, 23 December 2013

Effective websites

steps to a good website
Steps in Southwold
Take a look at Sarahinsuffolk's Blog for some reminders of what makes an effective website. Sarah's blog is focused on the clients of Suffolk Tourist Guide, Suffolk Hotels Guide and Suffolk Weddings Guide to help them understand what she calls 'the bewildering online world.' However, there are some real generic gems in her postings on what it takes to make websites and social media work effectively.

The Suffolk Guides have over 50,000 unique visitors a month so, as a practitioner and as someone running her own business, Sarah has a pretty shrewd idea about digital marketing and the online world.   

Sunday, 8 December 2013

New chairman for Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group

NNick Booker Welsh Highland Railwayick Booker, a director of Attract Marketing has been appointed chairman of the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group (WHRHG). The Group with some 300 members, works closely with the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways operating companies and other supporting organisations to conserve, preserve and restore the physical and documentary heritage of the Welsh Highland Railway and its predecessors. One of the Group's major projects current is the re-building of Tryfan Junction Station.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Coffee shops and cafés

tea room and cafe food
"How to run a coffee shop" is an excellent  website on setting up and running a coffee shop.  It might be a sales web site for selling courses but there are some really useful nuggets on what you - museum, attraction, heritage site, gallery  or whatever -  should be doing and not doing  - in operations and marketing.

Thoroughly recommended even if you are making a complete success of your catering, tearoom, café etc. Allied with the Association of Independent Museums' pdf download on running Successful Museum Cafés, how can you fail? 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Trends for Museum Cafés to look at?

museum cafes
Not just a frothy drink
As the UK coffee shop market continues to grow, brands are searching for ways to stand out from the competition and meet consumers’ rising expectations says consultancy Pragma following research published in Marketing Week in August this year.
Coffee chains are struggling to encourage brand loyalty among consumers as convenience becomes an increasingly important factors.

As museum cafés attempt to become destinations and stand out from the crowd and the V&A's campaign from 1988  is still remembered by some  - 'Where else do they give you £100,000,000 worth of objets d'art free with every egg salad?; V & A an ace caff with quite a nice museum attached' - there may be some lessons here in this research. For example the research shows that ‘milky’ varieties of coffee such as cappuccinos and flat whites are the most popular with 47 per cent of drinkers selecting this category as their favourite. ‘Full strength’ is second with 29 per cent while ‘cold speciality’ drinks like frappucinos are third with 6 per cent. According to the study, nearly half of those who prefer milky coffees say they find this variety ‘comforting’.

See more at Brewing up plans to beat the competition


Friday, 30 August 2013

Mobile messaging and the tourist industry

Hiker and mobile phone
Hiker receiving a text
According to research commissioned by Text Local, one of the UK's leading mobile messaging companies, almost 1,000,000 mobile phone users across the UK want to hear from a travel company once a month.  
Opportunity: There are 4.74 million mobile users across the UK that would welcome communications from travel companies. By 2015, that number will increase to 5.2 million.
The number of opt-ins on a smartphone will increase from 2.7 million to 4 million over the same timeframe.
CRM key stats: Males account for 58.1%of opt-ins. In total. 1.71million opt-ins in the UK would want to hear from a travel company more than once a month. The demographic most likely to opt-in is the 35-44 year olds. 
Around the UK: The south of England (West Country, Meridian and London) will account for 1.59 million opt-ins. Of these opt-ins, 948,119 would want to hear from travel companies once a month or more.
Text Local say that the travel and tourism industry is seeing a huge increase in profitability through mobile messaging, due to its powerful viral capabilities. Ticket sales often come from friends and family who have been forwarded an SMS text. Sending e-tickets mobile vouchers and coupons via text – all with bar codes for data capture -  ‘is a perfect medium for this sector removing the need for expensive printing and postage.’
Attractions, tour operators and travel agents can then build up an ever growing database from customers opting-in to receive offers and information, 'there’s no better channel to get the message across than mobile.' And it can be used for research, sending web links etc

Monday, 12 August 2013

Do overseas tourists venture outside London?

VisitBritain Report
London and beyond 

Delivering greater ‘regional spread’ is one of the challenges for inbound tourism to Britain. VisitBritain recently commissioned research agency Olive Insight to conduct a study into -  why many visitors do not go beyond London what the barriers are and also what attracts those that do go beyond London to do so 
The research was undertaken in four established markets (France, Germany, Norway, and USA) via a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, focusing on the views of recent visitors to Britain. The caveat is that these findings reflect views and behaviour in these markets only and which may be very different in other markets  - especially emerging markets 
Overall findings  
  • London remains the key draw within Britain, even for those who have visited before, but many would want to see other places in Britain as well as London again when they return  - ‘London Plus ‘ appeals to the majority   
  • Knowledge of destinations drives desire, but knowledge of British destinations other than London can be low, although this varies notably by market  
  • Those who visit London are often want to ‘see’ / ‘do the sights’’ rather to have a particular type of holiday experience. This is different from behaviour when choosing competitor destinations and does not reflect the growing importance of ‘experiences’  
  • The most common practical barriers to going outside London were concerns about transport / access  
  • Most common draws for going outside London were heritage, variety, countryside, unique places to stay and the British people
  • Travel agents remain important for a minority, especially in Germany and the US, but the majority in each market report booking independently, with Britain particularly attracting independent travellers. However there is a gap for tours, packages and agents, or at least suggested itineraries, to enable trips outside London which many lack the knowledge to make the most of  
  • There is no one ‘ideal’ itinerary when combining London with other destinations  - ‘London Plus’ but  most are willing to travel 2-3 hours to / between destinations, preferably by train

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Heritage railways £250m boost for economy

Llangollen Railway  tourism
Llangollen Railway
Heritage Railways are worth £250m to the UK economy, a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail has revealed. Over 100 heritage railways and tramways attract tourists and provide local employment as well as valuable skills training and apprenticeships.
The Group concludes that apart from the economic benefits, heritage railways also provide employment for over 3,700 staff nationally and a productive outlet for a staggering 18,500 loyal volunteers.

The study also concludes that there is more scope to run public transport services on some heritage lines and recommends simplified planning processes to help them expand and particularly to connect with Network Rail.

A six month study by MPs and Peers heard from heritage railways, main line train operators, museums and tourism experts and the Heritage Railway Association.

45 years after the end of steam on BR, over 750 steam locomotives remain on heritage railways. More surprisingly, a total of 520 steam charter trains (more than one a day) ran on the national rail network last year in addition to the heritage lines.
Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest and Chairman of the Group commented: "Britain pioneered heritage railways and is unique in the extent and richness of its railway heritage. This report is the first time the extent and success of the heritage railway movement has been fully assessed and the results are impressive.

"What has been achieved has been remarkable and with a few recommendations to Government and the continuing enthusiasm of the army of railway volunteers and the loyal staff, we believe a lot more can be achieved in the future "  The Minister of State for Transport, Simon Burns MP said: "Britain has a great rail heritage and as well as preserving an important aspect of the nation’s history, heritage railways also make an important contribution in supporting tourism and local economies. We are looking closely at the report and will consider its findings."
 Attract has undertaken a number of marketing consultancy assignments involving heritage railways and similar heritage attarctions

Click here for the Heritage Railways Report

Severn valley Railway tourism
Severn Valley Railway

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Heritage tourism boosts UK economy

heritage tourism
Broadway Tower - Cotswolds
Heritage-based tourism is now worth £26.4bn to the UK economy - £5.8bn higher than the previous estimate published in 2010 according to new research released by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The new report by Oxford Economics also suggests that heritage is playing an increasingly important part in the choices of Britons who decide to stay in the UK for their holiday – over a quarter of all UK holiday activities undertaken by UK residents now involve heritage -  the ‘heritage staycation’
HLF published its first report on heritage tourism, Investing in Success, by Oxford Economics, in 2010, based on data from 2007. The report analysed the impact of the heritage-based visitor economy and established that the sector made an even bigger contribution to UK GDP than the advertising, car manufacturing or film industries. Those findings clearly highlighted the importance of heritage tourism and its ability to help the UK economy.
The new report drawing on the latest visitor statistics from 2011, demonstrates the power of heritage in attracting visitors even more clearly.
The higher figure of £26.4bn is explained by a number of factors:
  • An overall increase in visits: Between 2007 and 2011 there was a rise of 13% in both international visits to the UK for holidays and the number of overnight holiday stays in the UK made by UK residents. Domestic day trips (over the longer period 2005-11) rose by 47%
  • People were spending more on these trips: International visitors on holiday were spending 28% more per visit in 2011 than in 2007, and UK residents on holiday were spending 7% more
  • Heritage has become more important in people’s holiday choices.
The most recent survey data provides a more accurate picture of what activities people undertake whilst on holiday.
For UK residents on holiday in the UK, 28% of the total activities they undertook were to a heritage site or attraction. Previous survey work put this question in a slightly different way, by asking what activities people planned to undertake, so the latest research gives us a better indication of the importance of heritage
Railway Heritage
Two kinds of heritage - Bulleid Pacific and new Morgan
Three Wheeler at the Severn Valley Railway

Sunday, 2 June 2013

New idea in interpretation

Short Sunderland in grass
A bird’s eye view on the ‘Green Sunderland’
PICTURE: Sue Clarkson.
A novel and economic way of interpreting and showing the size and shape of a long lost aircraft is on show at Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales.

A huge green Sunderland Flying Boat is signposting Pembroke Dock’s very popular Flying Boat Centre Workshop - but only the birds, and the occasional pilot, can really get a grandstand view. But those on the ground will certainly get the 'feel' for the size of the aircraft.

The grassed area alongside the Centre, located inside the walls of the former Royal Dockyard, has been marked out with the exact dimensions of the famous Short Sunderland - length 85 ft and 112 ft wingspan.

Created by members of the Sunderland Trust’s enthusiastic Volunteer Team, the Sunderland’s unique shape stands out because the grass is mowed at two different heights.

This aerial view was taken by Sunderland Trust Volunteer Sue Clarkson from an aircraft flown by husband Graham - also a volunteer. Plans are now being formulated to make best use of the grass Sunderland.

Ground level views of the ‘Green Sunderland’ can be had when visiting the Flying Boat Centre Workshop which is open Tuesdays to Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm. Entry is free.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Creating Social Media Content - Using Windows Moviemaker

If you are small attraction (or even a large one) and looking to develop your presence on the web, a YouTube account in your attraction's name, gives you the opportunity to raise your profile. However you are then faced with what to post. You may well have hidden talents as an amateur moviemaker but we have all seen those dreadful films on YouTube with unsteady handheld cameras that do nothing to enhance anyone's reputation, let alone promote the virtues of a visit.

However, Windows Movie Maker, bundled with most Windows releases or available to download  provides even still photographers with the opportunity to animate some of all those photographs taken of the marvels of visiting your museum, heritage site, theme park, attraction or wildlife reserve. All you need is a bit of time, as Windows Movie Maker has the ability to automatically create a movie and match the music to the pictures. As it 'says on the box' on the Windows website:

Import and edit slide shows and videos
Quickly add photos and footage from your PC or camera into Movie Maker. Then fine tune your movie just the way you want it. You can move things around, speed it up or slow it down—it’s up to you.

Edit the soundtrack and add a theme
Enhance your movie with audio and a theme. Movie Maker adds transitions and effects automatically so your movie looks polished and professional.

Share your movie online
Once your movie is ready, share it online on Facebook, YouTube or other social networking and video sharing sites. Send a link to your movie in an email to family and friends so they won’t miss it.
You just need to be careful of copyrights for both photographs (and other media of course) and music and YouTube has guidance on this issue. YouTube has some copyright free music you can use. For an example of what can be done with old photographs and music by the Hollywood composer Erich Korngold see the short animation for the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust's 'Fleets to Flying Boats' heritage attraction here   
Get shooting and animating! And don't forget - post it on Facebook as well
Copyright Picture from the cover of  'The Making of Feature Films - A Guide' Ivan Butler - Pelican - 1971

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sustainable Visitor Management

Some of the issues in sustainable visitor management and looking after well trodden outdoor sites are illustratd and highlighted in an excellent series of photographs on this Flickr account

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Generating Income - Museum Shops

modern museum shops
Innovative Retail Techniques in Museum Shops
Simon Neville of the Guardian writes
'Think about a museum shop and the image that springs to mind is unlikely to be inspiring. An unavoidable obstacle, blocking the exit, stuffed with an assortment of overpriced teapots, wearisome books and a collection of plastic rulers, pencils adorned with tassels and cheap notepads masquerading as special mementoes.
But thanks to a combination of the financial crisis, government cuts and the changing landscape of Britain’s high street, museum and gallery shops are turning into thriving commercial hubs, generating sales of £100m last year.'
This may have been true of some museums in the past and may still be in some cases. But what he should be saying is that many privately owned (including charitable trusts) museums/visitor attractions have been driving secondary spend up ie retail and catering sales for years. They have had to do so as they have received little or no funding from the public purse. Many heritage railways for example have had thriving traditional and 'on line' shops for many years, the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway bookshop at Porthmadog, North Wales being just one small example.
Neville in his article goes on to say -  'As cuts have hit arts funding hard, the answer for many museums has been to raise their retail game – by moving upmarket. At the Victoria & Albert Museum, for example, a vast array of David Bowie paraphernalia is on sale, linked to the new exhibition. How about a limited edition of Terry O’Neill’s famous Bowie and rearing dog publicity shot for the Diamond Dogs album, signed by the photographer, for £4,800? Or a print of the Ziggy Stardust album cover for £2,250? Too much?
At the other end of the price scale is a guitar pick, with an image of Bowie as Aladdin Sane on one side and the pattern from one of his 1970s jumpsuits on the other for a mere 75p.
Museum shop
Shop at Victoria & Albert Museum
John Stachiewicz, chairman of the Association for Cultural Enterprises, said: “Cuts in the cultural sector have been deep since the recession hit and institutions have quite simply had to rise to the challenge. One of the ways we have witnessed the sector doing this is by creating unique and relevant products to sell to visitors.”

Some of the more creative items appear to have been thought up in several eureka moments. St Paul’s Cathedral harvested some of the rubble from recent refurbishments and set it into cufflinks. For £210 owners can now decorate their shirt cuffs with marble from the starburst under its famous dome.
Over at the National Theatre shop, the success of Warhorse – turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg – led to the offer of a £2,500 half-size replica of the geese puppets used in the stage show, created by the puppeteers who made the originals.
At the Science Museum, shoppers can buy vases shaped as Thomas Edison’s iconic light bulb, made from recycled incandescent bulbs. The museum has asked its inventor in residence, Mark Champkins, to create more unique items for it to sell.
However, perhaps leading the way in terms of creativity is the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. To celebrate London Underground’s 150th anniversary, the creative heads there have salvaged luggage racks from old Metropolitan line trains – selling them for £250.
Mike Walton, head of trading at the museum, says the best-selling items include wallets and bags made from off-cuts of the fabric used on the seats of tube trains and buses.
He said: “The fabrics are ingrained into the subconscious of Londoners, but the patterns are distinctive and immediately recognisable. They have been so popular that we’ve even started selling cushions and rugs in the same patterns as the Victoria line seats or old Routemaster bus seats.”
The increase in the variety and range of products has meant sales topped £2.5m last year, with Christmas trading up 15% in store and 47% online. All profits are pumped back into the museum. A new website, which includes the entire digital archive of 5,000 transport posters from 1908, means online sales now make up 20% of total revenues.
Walton, who has worked at LTM for more than 30 years, said: “Having a shop used to be a necessary evil for many museums. It’s always been much more about the institution itself, and the commercial activities were seen as a sideshow with no great interest to those who ran the museums.
“We were near the bottom of the pile in terms of importance. But now it has become vital for virtually all cultural institutions, whether they are in the public domain or independent, to raise more and more money as government and local authority grants dry up. So, in order to thrive and prosper, our operations are now absolutely essential.”

Secondary spend  Museum Shop
London Transport Museum Shop
As well as the cuts to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council, local authorities have also wielded the axe to cultural projects in order to protect other spending. Manchester city council is planning a 10% cut to cultural grants to save £390,000, while in Sheffield, the local authority is cutting 8%, affecting its Crucible and Lyceum theatres. Most controversially, Newcastle city council planned to scrap its entire £1.2m arts grant to local theatres, galleries and museums. It performed a U-turn at the last moment following an intervention by Harriet Harman, but not before cutting funding by 50%.
Jon Walker, trading manager at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, which runs 10 institutions across the north-east including the Laing Art Gallery and Discovery Museum, said: “We are all currently experiencing funding pressures. We have always generated our own income, through retail sales, catering, venue hire and e-commerce, but the need to fully exploit these opportunities is now greater than ever.
“The sharpest increase has been generated from venue hire. Corporate clients are taking the opportunity to use the fantastic spaces that we have available in our museums and galleries.
“The increased pressure on us to generate cash has mean we are now far more flexible with the use of our spaces. For example, you can now get married at the Laing Art Gallery on a Saturday afternoon, an opportunity we hadn’t even considered offering a few years ago.”
It is these unique experiences and products that appear to have given museum and gallery shops a much-needed boost, mixed with a combination of the high street decline and a desire from shoppers to buy from local cultural landmarks. Stachiewicz said: “I believe that the generic and homogenous nature of our high streets has been displaced by the unique variety we now have to offer in museum and art gallery shops.
“Up until fairly recently, we had these extraordinary venues not running their commercial enterprises to the best of their ability.
“Stuff was quite simply piled up in the shops and service in the restaurants and cafes was somewhat homespun and of varying degrees of quality.”
Old Operating Theatre Museum London
The Shop at The Old Operating Theatre Museum London 
An interesting example of a small museum shop is that at The Old Operating Theatre Museum in London. Denise Barrett's review of the Museum for 'Health Matters' complimented it as being "like a mini V and A shop"...hmmm! They have health and medicine as the theme of the Shop but also have items of more general interest. A good supply of books on the history of medicine and on herbal medicine; lots of idiosyncratic science toys and games including biros mascarading as syringes; tee-shirts, guide books, information sheets and books on local history.
But now, as a result of institutions improving their offering, takings topped £1bn last year from membership, admission, sponsorship, corporate hire and retail sales – with the shops alone taking around £100m.
It is not just the museums and galleries that are benefiting from the growth in sales, as many of the gifts are now sourced from British manufacturers and suppliers. At the transport museum, Walton explained that the moquette fabric is produced in Yorkshire, with the offcuts added to bags and purses at factories in Shropshire. New furniture made from the fabric is produced in Nottinghamshire.
Production has doubled in the last three years as a result, while porcelain memorabilia adorned with transport motifs are once again being made in Stoke .
Walton said: “Customers are becoming more interested in knowing where things are being made, so while we would in the past have used suppliers from Asia and Turkey, we have shifted much of that back to the UK.”
With further government spending cuts expected – last month officials hinted that the comprehensive spending review due in the summer could include another 10% budget cut to each department – the demands on cultural institutions to raise more of their own cash can only intensify. That is a big ask for museums and galleries when their visitors’ budgets are also strained – but one welcome side effect is that at least the grim shops blocking the exit have improved.'
One example of a museum shop that has been transformed with some innovative merchandising including new lighting and a bit of help from Arts Council money is at Coventry's Herbert Museum & Art Gallery. Here with dedicated staff (most important) and better buying, both margins and sales are on the increase. One product tactic that has paid off is commissioning short runs of well priced jewellery from local suppliers.  
At the British Postal Museum & Archive, the commercial team working as Postal Heritage Services Ltd  is preparing to develop the licensing and product opportunities arising from the new museum and Mail Rail project  by exploiting the huge amount of unique intellectual property in the archive - and it's not just stamps!
BPMA on line shop
BPMA On line Shop
One thing that museums who operate as charitable trusts need to be aware of is to trade through a separate but wholly owned subsidiary.  This both protects their integrity as charitable trusts in the eyes of the  Charity Commission and the law and allows the Trust to claim gift aid from the surplus that the trading company (hopefully) donates to the trust each year.  Finally both trusts and their trading companies need some 'commercially savvy' trustees and directors who can provide the necessary strategic direction.
One of the other aspects of museum shops is of course positioning and display, driving the visitor past the merchandise as they leave and also having a variety of product available at different price points.
For more information on generating income and secondary spend  contact Attract on 01926 864 900 or drop an email to
Thanks and copyright acknowledgements to The Guardian and Simon Neville whose article inspired this blog and to where my colleague Janet Lang found it.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Could new research change holiday habits?

Writing in the tourism trade magazine Destination UK, Christina Eccles says it has been claimed groundbreaking research taking place at Manchester Metropolitan University could change the way tourists behave on holiday forever.

Senior lecturer in eTourism Dr Timothy Jung is currently working on a pilot scheme in Dublin that would allow visitors to scan buildings and receive real-time information in the form of text, pictures, animation or video. Known as Augmented Reality Tourism, the technology offers richer information updated minute-by-minute beyond the smartphone apps currently available.
Museum of London
For example the Museum of London's StreetMuseum is a free augmented reality iPhone app that allows the user to browse historical photographs in various parts of the city.The app leads one to various locations around London using either the map or GPS. Once there, clicking the “3D View” button, the app will recognize the location and overlay the historical photograph over the live video feed of the real world, giving a brief glimpse into how the past looked. See examples at  Streetmuseum view

Working with Loma Maxwell of the Economic Development Unit at Dublin City Council and Alex Gibson of the Dublin Institute of Technology, Dr Jung is testing the technology on buildings including hotels, restaurants and cinemas on Dublin’s O'Connell Street. They will be looking at using different levels of media, one will be text only, another will use photography and the third will use video or animation.

Their view is that the technology will change the way tourists experience cities,  encouraging visitors to spend more and contribute further to the tourism income of the city they are visiting. Dr Jung says the idea could spread across the globe and be really groundbreaking.

Developments in Augmented Reality Tourism could also provide a host of new real time marketing opportunities for businesses - such as local advertising to tourists

How do you think developments in technology could boost tourism in the UK?
Would you like to see this idea take off in our towns and cities?
Send your comments to the Destination UK editorial team by emailing and they will print the best comments in the next issue of the magazine.
Or comment on this blog

Thanks to Destination UK and the Museum of London


Monday, 11 March 2013

Birmingham Airport Expansion

Emirates at Birmingham Airport
Emirates land at Birmingham International Airport
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by focusing purely on the South East and Heathrow in particular.” said Paul Kehoe, Birmingham International Airport's CEO at the Birmingham Business Breakfast Club meeting on the 20th February 2013. With the runway extension available in 2014, a new horizon is opening up for travel and business opportunities at Birmingham Airport. The extended runway gives the opportunity of adding about 2,000 nautical miles to flights. From Birmingham, that takes the traveller“about everywhere you need to go – Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore." Not surprisingly Mr Kehoe is a keen supporter of HS2 which is a key element increasing the number of flights using the airport and usage byLondon and the South-East travellers. HS2 will reduce journey times to Birmingham Airport from London to under 40 minutes. 

Paul Kehoe and
the Birmingham Business Breakfast Club Commitee

Birmingham Business Breakfast Club
L to R
Nick Booker (Attract Marketing)
 Celia Adams (Celia Adams Associates)
Tony Taylor (Anthony Taylor Chartered Accountants)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Game changer for the travel Industry? SoLoMo means social local mobile

travel and mobile phone
SoLoMo means social local mobile – and is especially important for the travel industry as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets become the primary way to access the internet.
The research company Euromonitor International  has looked at the implications of this trend that have  resulted in several intersections of two trends, such as social media usage via smartphones and the rise of geo-social networks allowing users to “check in” their current location.
 The mobile dimension has also resulted in a new development for the online world – the emergence of the local aspect. Through GPS technology, the location of users can be detected in order to offer them location-based services (LBS). These use information on the geographic location of mobile device owners to offer them tailored services based on it. This opens new opportunities for local businesses.
The range of location-based services is very wide, including location-based m-commerce, promotional offers, information services, games and loyalty programmes.
SoLoMo can be seen as the third step of the evolution of online travel, which first saw the introduction of travel websites and online reservations, then the popularity of social media and finally, thanks to the possibility to access the internet via mobile devices, the rise of the SoLoMo

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Get yourself connected in Tourism

Get yourself connected by James Lang
Fascinating article by James Lang that has implications for how we will access tourism sites and how attractions will  connect with their customers/vistors and gather data on them

get yourself connected article

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Help for leisure and tourism sector businesses in the West Midlands Region

European Regional Development Fund
Innovation 1st


The  Innovation 1st Project aims to help leisure sector SMEs (small companies, charitable trusts and similar organisations) in the West Midlands Region explore and adopt new technologies that will have a positive impact on their business.
The scheme provides two days of fully funded business assistance i.e. at no cost to the client  for SMEs in the leisure and attractions sector, focused around the introduction of technology including for example, the use of social media and online reputation management. ICT and innovative marketing and management techniques.

The Innovation 1st Project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under Priority 1 - Promoting Innovation and Research & Development.
The West Midlands includes Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the predominantly rural shire counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Nick Booker a Visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton’s Department of Leisure and a director Attract Marketing is delivering the Innovation 1st programme. SMEs signing up for the scheme will also benefit from a range of other services and opportunities from the University of Wolverhampton.
Nick is a strategic thinking marketing and business specialist, leisure, museums and heritage attractions consultant, non executive director, interim manager and mentor. He has expertise in strategic planning and marketing including social media, audience and business planning, market research, project management and options appraisals. He is a board member of two major museum trusts.

Please visit the university website at: for more information
Or contact

Nick Booker – email:    Tel: 01926 864900

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

50 Ways to Get More People to Like your Facebook Page

50 Ways to Get More People to Like your Facebook Page

50 Ways to Get More People to Like your Facebook Page is a very good list of hints and tips for using Facebook to increase exposure of your website and your other social media
Click here

Sunday, 6 January 2013