UK tourism figures

UK tourism figuresAlthough thoughts are now very much geared toward the summer season the UK tourism industry has had some good news. VisitBritain’s statistics suggests last December was one of the best on record for the UK tourism accommodation industry.

An extra 400,000 people enjoyed a stay with a UK accommodation provider when compared with the year before. (10.8 million domestic overnight trips in 2017 vs 10.4 million made in 2016). Those additional visits boosted overall spend by 3% to a staggering £1.7 billion.

Here’s a lowdown of some of the key figures from their latest report.

Defying winter weather and supporting staycations

Whilst it seems a distant memory with spring blossoming, December was characterised by strong winds and cool temperatures. Storm Caroline and Dylan brought with them gale-force gusts and widespread frosts.  However, this didn’t dampen overall tourism performance, with domestic overnight trips made throughout England increasing by 6% from December 2016.

There are strong indicators that the UK ‘staycation’ is still booming. Domestic trips and travel were up across the last quarter of the year. The weak pound against other currencies across the globe and continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit are both said to have potentially contributed to those looking a little closer to home.

Higher visitor numbers bring greater spending power

With bed nights up a whopping 12% year on year, it’s unsurprising that guest spend has also increased. In real-terms it’s up by around £50 million (that’s £70,000 every hour). This further highlights tourism’s importance to associated trades such as hospitality. This increase in spend is realised across the year, with spending 3% higher than across 2016 (up to £23.7 billion).

The age of those travelling

The greatest increase across the past year has been in trips taken by 25 – 34 year olds (up by 7%) and those that are 55 years and over (up by 3%).  As these two markets are very different in terms of potential needs, taste and requirements from a holiday home, it’s positive for the market and variety within it as a whole.

The biggest winners

When looking at the specific areas that benefited from higher bed nights and stays during December the biggest winners were the North West (up by 14%) and Yorkshire & Humber (up by 15%).  The North East also so a gain of 7% when compared to 2016 figures.

For full information on the latest trends and figures from Visit Britain please click on this link – PDF format: VisitBritain December 2017 Detailed Report 

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444

iStock_000013656730MediumInternet access via personal computers, tablets or mobile devices is an essential communication tool for all those letting their holiday homes to guests whether owner managed or let via a holiday home letting agency. Any disruption caused by computer viruses or malware is at the least a real inconvenience and worst, very costly. There is an opportunity for holiday home owners to protect from the threat of hackers, read on to learn more.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is urging individuals and businesses to protect themselves against powerful malicious software (malware), costing UK computer users millions of pounds.

The NCA in collaboration with other agencies, led by the FBI in the US has weakened a  global network of infected computers, giving UK computer owners a unique, two-week opportunity to rid and safeguard themselves from two distinct but associated forms of malware known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker.

Members of the public can protect themselves by:

  • making sure security software is installed and updated
  • running regular scans
  • checking that computer operating systems and applications are up to date
  • think twice before clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails

GOZeuS has been responsible for the fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of pounds globally. By disrupting the system used by the infected computers to communicate with each other, and the criminals controlling them, this activity aims to significantly reduce the malware’s effectiveness.

Individuals in the UK may receive notifications from their Internet Service Providers that they are a victim of this malware and are advised to back up all important information – such as files, photography and videos. Businesses should test their disaster recovery systems and work with their IT suppliers to educate employees on the potential threat.

Get Safe Online is providing advice, guidance and tools on its website at to help internet users understand more about the malicious software and how to protect themselves and their computers from attacks. A number of cyber security companies have supplied remediation tools, which can be accessed via Get Safe Online, to help clean up infected machines.

GOZeuS and CryptoLocker

Users are typically infected by clicking on attachments or links in emails which may look like they have been sent by genuine contacts and may purport to carry invoices, voicemail messages, or any file made to look innocuous. These emails are generated by other victims’ computers, who do not realise they are infected, and are used to send mass emails creating more victims.

If the file or link is clicked on an unprotected computer, GOZeuS is downloaded and installed and it will then link the victim’s computer to a network of already-infected machines, known as a BotNet.

The malware waits silently, monitoring the user’s activity until the opportunity arises to capture banking or other private information, which is then transmitted back to the criminals via the BotNet infrastructure.

Where a computer infected with GOZeuS turns out not to offer a significant financial reward, it can ‘call in’ CryptoLocker, to give the criminal controllers a second opportunity to acquire funds from the victim.

CryptoLocker works unseen in the background, encrypting the user’s files. Once that process is complete, the victim is presented with a pop-up telling them what has happened and a timer appears on their screen, which starts counting down. That is the time the victim has in order to pay a ‘discounted’ ransom, currently one Bitcoin (£200-£300 approximately) for UK users.

The NCA has been working with international law enforcement partners including the FBI and Europol, as well as partners from the banking, internet security and ISP sectors.

Information on ensuring security software is up to date can be found at Get Safe Online and Cyber Streetwise

Members of the public who think they have lost money through malware such as P2PZeus and Cryptolocker should report it to Action Fraud.

Boshers are specialist providers of insurance to holiday homes and cottages. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Regulatory Burden On Self-Catering Accommodation Providers. According to announcements should be expected soon on various issues affecting the regulatory burden faced by holiday home owners. On the one hand an independent group of industry experts have identified 53 regulations that can be repealed or revised to help tourism.

On the one hand announcements are pending on proposed revisions to the Controlled Waste Regulations which will allow local authorities to charge for the collection of waste from self-catering accommodation.

In addition an announcement is expected on the Government Equality Office decision on the implementation of the Age Discrimination section of the Equality Act. This could affect the ability of self-catering businesses to restrict bookings from groups such as stag, hen or graduation parties which it can be argued are age related.

Visit for more information.

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As all good holiday home agents and owners know, there are responsibilities that come with letting your holiday home commercially, one of the most important responsibilities at this time of year is gas safety – Boshers Ltd the UK holiday home insurance specialists says that agents and their landlords really must ensure that their gas appliances are safe. Landlords and holiday home owners can face large fines and potentially harm their tenants or guests if gas appliances don’t comply with gas safety regulations.

Recently a landlord was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay over £2,000 in costs after breaching Gas Safety regulations and failing to fulfil his responsibilities as a landlord, according to the Central Office of Information. 

Landlord Anthony Brownson persistently ignored requests by the council to produce a landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate and in the meantime his tenant had been left with a faulty boiler system and without a safely working fire during one of the coldest winters in recent times. 

The landlord pleaded guilty to a breach of gas safety regulations by failing to carry out an annual safety check on gas appliances between April 2007 and March 2011. He also admitted an offence of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice between December 2010 and March 2011. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,089.25 in costs. 

HSE Inspector Dr Angus Robbins, who investigated the case, said, “In addition to the risks of fires and explosions from faulty gas appliances, many people are made ill, and some 20 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year owing to poorly-maintained gas appliances. Landlords’ duties are very clear – they must ensure gas appliances are checked for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer and provide their tenants with a copy showing that the appliances and flues were operating operating safely at that time. HSE will not hesitate to bring landlords before the courts when they are prepared to risk their tenant’s safety for financial gain.”

Mark Lavington Cert CII, Director of Boshers Ltd, says, “Holiday home owners must, by law, make sure gas appliances in their rental properties are maintained and have a gas safety check carried out every 12 months by a registered Gas Safe engineer. If holiday home owners don’t ensure their gas appliances are safe, they could end up with a hefty fine, harm their guest’s health or even potentially kill them through Carbon Monoxide poisoning.” Guidance on gas safety for holiday home owners can be found at 

BBQ Safety for holiday home owners. Barbecue summer or not, if you provide a BBQ for your guests to use at your holiday home you would be wise to give this consideration in your risk assessment and provide some safety guidelines for your guests.

You may wish to consider some of the following tips:

Many people are injured each year because they did not take a few simple safety measures. The following guidance will make sure that your barbecue is a SAFE success:

  • Ensure that the barbecue itself is stable and located on level ground
  • If there is a wind blowing, make sure that the wind is blowing away from you when you light the barbecue (just in case it flares up).
  • Ensure that you are not wearing any loose clothing that could flap onto the lighted barbecue and ignite.
  • Keep the barbecue well away from overhanging obstructions such as tree branches, and keep a safe distance from fences, etc.
  • Under no circumstances use any flammable accelerant (such as methylated spirits, paraffin or petrol) that has not been recommended by the manufacturers.
  • Should you choose to use lighting fluid, the manufacturer’s instructions must be adhered to.
  • When lighting the barbecue, do so at arms length (rather like Fireworks) and do not put your face over the range.
  • Keep children away from the barbecue when lighted and after cooking has finished, as it may still be hot.
  • Dispose of the charcoal safely after the barbecue has cooled completely.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or garden hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Once lit, never leave a BBQ unattended.

Gas Barbecues

  • Always check the condition of all pipes and connections before lighting.
  • Make sure that the barbeque controls and cylinder are turned off fully before changing the cylinder.
  • If possible always change cylinder in the open.
  • Do not keep more spare cylinders than you require.

When you have finished with a bottled gas barbeque, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbeque controls, this ensures that any residual gas in the pipeline is used up.

  • If a gas leak is suspected check connections and pipes for leaks by brushing with soapy water and looking for bubbles. Tighten but do not over tighten joints. If unsure do not use and seek specialist advice.

Beware – many BBQ accidents and injuries have occurred as a result of drinking alcohol. Don’t cook and drink.


  • Buy food from reputable suppliers and ensure it is fresh
  • Wash salads and raw vegetables well to remove surface contamination. Do not prepare these foods too far in advance.
  • Cleanliness is important – make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and keep them clean at all times
  • Thoroughly clean out the barbecue removing any food memories of last summer
  • Defrost meat and poultry before cooking them
  • Keep raw and cooked foods apart and use separate utensils for each to prevent the transfer of germs
  • Don’t add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat
  • Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has been used for raw meat.
  • Cook food one batch at a time
  • Keep all meats and perishable foods refrigerated until you are ready to use them . If food can’t be kept in a fridge then place them in a cool bag or box with ice packs.
  • Barbecue meat thoroughly until the juices run clear and no pink bits remain
  • Check food is piping hot before serving
  • Keep serving bowls covered to protect them from dust, insects and pets.
  • Eat food as soon as it is ready and throw away any leftovers.
  • Remember: Meat that is burnt on the outside does not mean that it is cooked on the inside. If possible pre-cook chicken and sausages then transfer straight to the barbecue for that barbecue taste. When you reheat food on the barbecue, always make sure it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.

For other informative articles check out these blog posts of interest to holiday home owners. They contain information and guidance to challenges faced by you whilst managing your holiday home, holiday cottage complex or holiday apartments.

For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you: