Stonehenge - Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figures

Stonehenge - Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figuresEarly autumn is often the first opportunity holiday homeowners get to take stock and review their performance from a frantic summer.  For many, the feeling has been that it’s been a good one; a heatwave which at one point showed no signs of ever ending meant that it was not only one of the hottest since records began, but also one of the driest. But what did that really mean in terms of the sector as a whole? Does great British weather lead to more heads on beds? Has the reality been as positive as the perception? We take a look at the latest statistics from the VisitEngland ‘Tourism Business Performance and Confidence Monitor’.

A strong summer for the tourism sector as a whole

The good news is that the figures released by VisitEngland have been every bit as positive as the general perception.  92% of those surveyed indicated that they were confident of their business performance during the peak summer months, with more than half of accommodation providers indicating that their bookings would be up on 2017.

VisitEngland said: “It is encouraging to see that accommodation providers and visitor attractions have experienced a strong summer with bookings up on last year and confidence sustained beyond the peak season. These results are testament to the quality and range of experiences on offer year-round across England.”

Trips taken in England at highest level for nine years

The ‘staycation’ has been a term that’s been bandied about for many years, with previous promises of BBQ summers suggesting that Brits would flock to the shores and countryside of the UK for their summer holidays rather than venturing to venues across the European peninsula.

So was 2018 the actual return of the ‘staycation’?  Well in terms of trips made in England over the first six months of the year it may well be; 16.2 million domestic holiday trips were made in England even in advance of the peak summer season, the highest for more than nine years!

The impact of ongoing good weather into October

Great weather in the summer often means better bookings in the shoulder months; it is after all much more tempting to book a holiday in England when there’s wall to wall sunshine outside! So the good news is that the boom seems set to stay a little longer. 67% of those surveyed by VisitEngland are reporting very good advanced bookings beyond the October half term.

And a final positive…

It’s been a good year for holiday homeowners, with 52% of those surveyed indicating 2018 has been better than 2017.  Let’s hope these figures can continue to move in the right direction.

Boshers are specialist providers of holiday home insurance. For information on specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

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

Stonehenge - Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figures

Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figuresAs the summer of 2017 drew to a close the anecdotal feeling throughout much of the industry was that it had been a busy one, and we’re delighted to say that the latest Visit Britain tourism figures make very pleasant reading for those within the UK’s thriving tourism sector.

The number of tourists visiting the UK from abroad during July 2017 stood at a whopping 4.02 million. The first time the four million mark had been topped in a single month, and the largest figure since records began in 1961!

Industry experts have suggested that the weaker pound against the euro and dollar during the past twelve months has contributed to an increase in international visitors seeking to take advantage of great deals and currency leverage, which when combined with more brits staying within the UK for their summer holidays, has led to an overall swell in visitor numbers and nights during the peak months.

Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the latest figures…

Record-breaking Visit Britain tourism figures

The latest figures (which are for July 2017) show that the first half of the summer (May through to July) saw an increase of 4% in overall visitor numbers, making it the busiest opening to a UK summer season on record, with 11.1 million overseas visits made to Blighty during the period.

Spending is up

There is even more good news as data shows that tourists have also been spending more than ever before. During July 2017 spending associated with tourism rose by 3% compared to the same month last year, reaching a whopping £2.8 billion. With record-setting results in six of the first seven months of the year, inbound visitors spent a record £13.3 billion in the first seven months of 2017, 9% more than during the first part of 2016.

Director at VisitBritain, Patricia Yates, said “Very often people budget in their own currency. They’re getting more pounds for their money, and we can see their spend going up.”

Where are the visitors coming from?

The two core long haul regions are the US and China. Both have seen significant increases when it comes to making trips to the UK. They’re up 19% and 29% respectively year on year.

“We’ve seen the American market coming back,” Yates said. “They are high spenders so we like them. Even smaller hotels in Wales are saying they are seeing American visitors. Not only do they go to London, they travel around and explore the regions. They are great visitors to have.”

The UK is also proving a popular choice for EU holidaymakers. 8.3 million visits recorded during the first quarter of 2017, which is an increase of 7%.

What does all of this mean?

The increase in visitor figures will come as a welcome relief for the industry in light of previous fears that recent terror attacks on Manchester and the capital could lead to international travelers staying away, as had been seen with visitor numbers to Paris and other areas of France after similar events.

Patricia added; “This sustained growth demonstrates Britain’s continued ability to compete internationally for visitors and shows that tourism, one of our most valuable export industries, is an increasingly important driver of economic growth across our nations and regions,”.

It will be interesting to see the figures for August and see if the records continue to be broken.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444.

self-catering holiday cottages scotland

self-catering holiday cottages scotlandRecent figures from VisitEngland have painted a pretty rosy picture of the tourism sector South of the border. So it’s encouraging that the latest indications are that this rude health also extends to self-catering holiday cottages in Scotland.

Figures provided by The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) have highlighted the importance of the sector. Not only in terms of the amount of jobs it creates and retains, but also the amount of money that incoming visitors spend during their stay.

Let’s take a look at the headline figures from that report…

Employment and self-catering holiday cottages

Tourism has long played a central role in Scotland’s economy. That is borne out by the fact that 11% of those living in the country are employed within the sector. It is believed that there are currently more than 16,000 self-catering holiday cottages available to paying guests visiting the country. 23% of us will stay in one of these when the time comes for us to book our stay.

What do people spend their money on when in Scotland?

When you consider that 76% of self-catering bookings are made in cottages situated in rural areas it will come as no surprise that the highest levels of expenditure for visitors (outside of of the cost of their accommodation) come in travel to and from the property, as well as around Scotland during their stay.

Travel expenditure accounts for £118m each year. Whilst spending in bars, cafes and restaurants comes in at a distant second at £66.3m. However, when combined with money spent in supermarkets, and other local shopping outlets the total of this expenditure soars to more than £170m each year.

£27.8m is spent by tourists visiting Scotland’s unique tourist attractions.

Foreign visitors buck the rural trend

Whilst three quarters of the overall visitors to Scotland will stay in a rural location, it is different story when it comes to overseas stays. Edinburgh gains the majority of its tourism from our European counterparts; Dutch, German and France account for a significant proportion of all stays in the capital, further bolstered by people also making the trip from England.

For more information on this report please follow the link on this page:

For further information on the ASSC and their work with Scottish holiday homeowners please take a look here: ASSC Website  

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

UK visitor numbers show increasing trend

UK visitor numbers show increasing trendThere has been much conjecture over the potential impact of Brexit on the UK tourism sector since the EU referendum. One thing is for certain, all of the statistics now being released on last year’s visitor numbers are incredibly encouraging.

Recent reports have largely focussed on the perceived renaissance in domestic travel and the ‘staycation’. Whilst now a rise in overseas travel that is also being celebrated. The latest industry statistics from Visit England, with a 3% increase on 2015 meaning more than 37.3 million tourists flocked to our shores in 2016.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at where these visitors are coming from, and the potential reasons underpinning this upturn…

Visitor numbers up

Although the UK continues to be a popular holiday destination for many around the world, it’s those travelling from across the Atlantic that have seen the largest increase.  A whopping 4.3 million US citizens visited the UK in 2016, a 7% increase on the previous year.

The reason for this may have been the competitive exchange rates between the two countries during this period. Thus allowing Americans seeking a slice of Britain competitive rates on accommodation and other expenditure during their time here.

EU Visits break previous records

Despite the United Kingdom opting to leave the European Union in June, visits from the other 27 member states broke the record books for a second consecutive year. 25.3 million visits were made from our European counterparts, an increase of 4% on the figures enjoyed in 2015.

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The strong growth in inbound visits demonstrates British tourism’s continued ability to compete for international visitors and deliver economic growth across our nations and regions.

“We must seize the opportunity to build on this, boosting visitor spending by driving home the message of welcome and value particularly in our high spending markets such as China and the US and the valuable European market.”

Winter trips increased

Holiday visits to the UK saw a boost towards the end of the year, resulting in an 11% increase between October and December. That’s 3.2 million visits during the winter season and a large area of growth for many accommodation providers.

It also looks like Brits have been inviting their nearest and dearest to join them on holiday. Inbound visits to friends and relatives rose a huge 10% to 11.5 million visits. The vast majority of these visits were made outside of the Greater London area, which commands a large proportion of international visits and is a great indicator of the growing strength of the UK’s tourism market.

Looking ahead

2016’s end of year surge gives a positive outlook for 2017, despite uncertainties surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union. January 2017 saw an 11% rise on visitors from the previous year. This adds further indication that Britain’s tourism industry is set to have yet another fruitful year. Let’s hope for plenty of sunshine to help it along the way!

For more information on what this year could hold, read our previous post on UK inbound tourism in 2017.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Year of Literary Heroes

Year of Literary Heroes

2017 has been named the Year of Literary Heroes by VisitEngland and VisitBritain as part of a new tourism campaign. It celebrates the works, and lives, of England’s best loved authors, attracting tourist attention along the way.

A plethora of literary anniversaries are coming up, and the Visit team will be hosting plenty of activities and events throughout the Year of Literary Heroes. They’ll also be posting a variety of content across their main marketing channels (including social media and their website) which can be used freely. The hashtag #BookEngland is also being encouraged, so if you’re making use of the materials then be sure to join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram!

To help you get started, we’ve been doing our literature homework and have created a list of famous authors from across the UK. Find your local literary hero below and inspire your holiday cottage guests to explore the works of your area.


Topping the list in Scotland is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Born in Edinburgh, the author of Sherlock Holmes was a leader of the Crime Fiction genre, and today his work is still loved around the world.

Scotland is also home to current Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy who was born in Glasgow. She’s held her position since 2009, and is the first Scot to have the influential title.


Cardiff born Roald Dahl is most famous for his children’s books, including titles such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide!

The world can also thank Wales for Dylan Thomas, a poet whose work took the world by storm. He was so popular that he completed a three-year tour of America between 1950-1953.

Northern England

One of our Northern favourites has got to be Beatrix Potter! Her love of the region inspired her work and took her on a unique journey. Did you know that she was the President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association?

The North also gave inspiration to a poet, who created one of the first guides to the Lake District. Wordsworth’s ‘Guide through the District of the Lakes’ was published in 1820. The publication sparked off the first beginnings of mass tourism to the area.

The Midlands

Middle Earth – sorry, the Midlands, set the scene for JRR Tolkien during his childhood. The author grew up in Birmingham and one of his books, The Hobbit, has sold over 100 million copies and been translated into 50 languages.

Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole also called the Midlands home, and was born in Leicester. Her humorous style has had readers across the world laughing as they follow the life of one of Britain’s best loved characters.

South East England

This region can be thanked for numerous iconic characters; Oliver Twist, Miss Havisham, and Tiny Tim were all created thanks to Portsmouth’s Charles Dickens. Regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era, Dickens’ work has stood the test of time.

As well as the classic novelist Dickens, the South East gave Enid Blyton and her best-selling series The Famous Five and The Secret Seven to the world. The former was adapted into several formats, including theatre, film, and even video games.

South West England

It would be almost impossible to talk about authors from the South West without mentioning Dame Agatha Christie and her home in Torbay! The queen of crime published 66 detective novels as well as 14 short story collections.

Further down the coast we’ll find Winston Graham’s home of 34 years, Perranporth in Cornwall. This is where he penned Poldark which has since been turned into a popular television series.

Find out more about the Year of Literary Heroes here.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

VisitEngland Awards for Excellence

VisitEngland Awards for ExcellenceMany holiday homeowners and accommodation providers across the UK will use awards as a recognition of the quality of the product and service they’re providing their guests with. One of the biggest tourism awards for excellence reaches its climax for another year in the coming weeks. We take a look at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and the businesses they acknowledge each year.

What are The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence?

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence is now in its 28th year. The awards give recognition to some of the very best tourism businesses across England. This year saw a record number of applicants (more than 600), which have now been whittled down to 68 finalists which were announced last month. The competition for these awards is always fierce, with only the very best making it through to the final stages.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The awards shine a spotlight on an industry driven by the highest-calibre people and organisations who deliver unforgettable experiences for visitors, raising the profile of England as a world-class destination and driving the economic benefits of tourism across the regions.”

Who enters the awards?

The highly-acclaimed awards cover a range of areas across the industry. From boutique accommodation to guided tours, inclusive tourism to afternoon tea. Each category has three finalists from across England, only one of whom will take home the title for their area.

The main categories will also be joined by the ‘Tourism Superstar’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution to English Tourism’ awards; previous winners include HM The Queen, Sir Paul McCartney, and The National Trust.

When will we know who’s won?

Those still in the running for a gong will be holding their breath with anticipation on 24th April when they head to The Hilton Waldorf Hotel in London for a glitzy awards evening celebrating their efforts within the industry.

As well as a trophy, the Tourism Superstar award provides destination management organisations with the opportunity to participate in a national campaign. The campaign, which aims to champion careers in tourism for people of all ages. It also promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.

You can view a full list of the finalists here:

Boshers wish all of those involved in the awards the very best of luck for the big night!


Year of Legends Caernarfon Castle In Wales

It may be the Year of the Rooster in China, but in Wales it’s the Year of Legends!

Visit Wales has launched a new campaign for the year, which celebrates the past, present, and future of Wales. Embracing history and heritage, whilst promoting local tourism, the £5million campaign is aiming to make a real splash.

The Year of Legends campaign

The campaign, which is the result of research that revealed 61% of overseas visitors cite historic sites as a key reason for their visit to Wales, has really gone all out for this year’s theme, with actor Luke Evans headlining a promotional TV and cinema advert.

Year of Legends Caernarfon Castle In WalesUsing #YearofLegends on social media, tourist attractions, events, and visitors can all connect and spread the word about tourism in Wales. There will be special events throughout the year, and funding will be granted to projects over the course of the 12 months; 35 have already been given a total of £1.28million.

The campaign is being used across Visit Wales’ marketing, and local tourism businesses are encouraged to get on board too. Their website has been filled with useful information, including accommodation and local activities.  You’ll even be able to read and enjoy Welsh folklore tales and stories of real-life legends and trailblazers!

Getting involved

This campaign is all about promoting tourism in Wales. It’s the perfect chance for you to get your holiday cottage out there and contribute to the buzz. Last year’s campaign generated an increase of 40% in money spent by day visitors to Wales. This great result came from everyone joining together in their promotional efforts.

To join in with the conversations, make sure you’re always using #YearofLegends in your tweets and linking to the new content that will be added to the Visit Wales site throughout the year.

Have a blog on your own website? Why not promote everything in your local area, as well as its heritage credentials in order to ride the crest of the promotional wave!

For more information on the Year of Legends, events and funding please visit their website at

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Coastal tourism trends

Coastal tourism trendsWe believe that keeping an eye on national tourism trends allows us to better understand the holiday letting industry and as a consequence we’re able to develop our holiday home insurance offering to match changing needs. Whilst we speak to holiday homeowners and letting agents every day, taking a look at the statistics means we can see the bigger picture.

This month, we’re focusing on the latest coastal tourism trends for you to consider what opportunities they may offer the holiday cottage industry.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy has recently released its 2016 report on the challenges and opportunities for growth in the coastal tourism industry. We’ve read the report cover to cover and picked out the most important bits for you.

Short trips

Short trips are becoming increasingly popular as coastal tourism continues to battle with city breaks. Accommodation is becoming more flexible with start days and the length of stays allowing seaside towns and villages to find their place in the growing short break market. This flexibility appears to be a vital factor in obtaining short stay visitors.

52% of seaside breaks were just 1-3 nights long, 42% were 4-7 nights, and a mere 6% were 8+ nights. It’s clear to see that short stays are the popular thing to do amongst holiday makers.


Not surprisingly, the market is dominated by families. 41% of all seaside visitors are aged between 16-54 and have children. As the trend for inter generational holidays grows, more and more families are finding coastal breaks appealing.

As less families are visiting during term time due to government restrictions on absence from school, the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) recommend promoting visits in the autumn and winter school holiday breaks. Currently, 74% of breaks are taken between May and October, with only 4% being taken in February.

As summer holidays are expected to get busier, there is a big opportunity to draw families in during other school breaks.

Under 35s

Only 11% of visitors are aged under 35, despite 84% of the age group being classed as potential visitors. Research by NCTA shows that 53% of under 35s declare a lack of knowledge of what is available for them on the English coast.

Thankfully, awareness can be changed.

NCTA recommends short breaks, activity holidays, and romantic trips to draw the younger guests in.

The report shows the perceptions of the coast held by under 35s. This age group believes that the coast is good for fun activities, nostalgia, and an escape from everyday life.


One large issue addressed by the NCTA is awareness. 56% of people interviewed believe that “UK resorts are past their prime”. Potential visitors are often unaware of the product available on the coast, believing that once the summer season is over, the seaside closes for winter.

A large portion of those interviewed consider the coast as a national treasure, however it does not feature highly on their priority list of destinations due to this lack of awareness.

Often potential visitors are unsure how to get to coastal areas or they have general, negative perceptions.

One suggestion for drawing visitors in the off season is health and wellness. This growing industry is particularly popular amongst under 35s and has potential to bring in a new type of visitor.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Key trends for holiday homeowners

Key trends for holiday homeownersAs specialists in holiday home insurance we’re dedicated to making sure we have our fingers on the pulse of the industry; what’s affecting holiday homeowners, the key trends, and how we can help support you through these.

We take a look at some of the developments and Key Trends for Holiday Homeowners in the past year…

Confidence is high – good news for holiday homeowners

With 86% of holiday homeowners confident about their current performance we enter the busiest period of the year sporting a level of optimism and buoyancy.

A milder winter without the early-year storms which blighted the West Country and other parts of the UK in 2014, combined with rising visitor numbers and stronger off-peak performance have all contributed to this level of confidence.

Visitor levels are on the rise

Last year was a successful one for many holiday homeowners as more and more of us turn to self-catering holiday cottages in the pursuit of the perfect home away from home.

62% of cottage owners indicated visitor numbers had increased from the levels they enjoyed a year before.

Off-peak and shoulder months continue to be an attractive market

Tourism is no longer just about the summer; there has been a 5% increase in visitor numbers during the post-summer months, with the biggest year on year occupancy rise being seen during the months of September and November.

Attracting year round trade continues to be a growing and potentially lucrative market for holiday homeowners.

People are spending more

Holiday homes continue to play a key role in generating revenue not only for the owner but also for the local community and economy.

Overseas visitors spent a record £21.58billion during 2014, up 2% from the previous year.  Much of this expenditure will have been on local food and drink, attractions and other service providers.

The year of the staycation?

The renaissance of the ‘staycation’ has been highly publicised in recent times and this now appears to be supported by booking numbers.

38% of accommodation providers indicate there has been an increase in those staying with them from within the UK.

Get them coming back

45% of accommodation providers have seen an increase in the amount of repeat visits they are gaining.

Effective marketing and use of tools such as email and social media are vital in creating longer-term relationships with visitors, and ensuring they are incentivised to return to the same location.

Visitors are checking your site out on their mobile

With ever-increasing numbers of people now looking to find their perfect holiday destination on their smart phone, the importance of having a mobile version of your website increases with each and every day.

Mobile visits now account for 31% of all website traffic and it is estimated that around 27million people in the UK access the internet through their mobile every day.

Google wants your site to have a mobile version

Google has announced it will start penalising websites that are not mobile-friendly from April 21 2015.  If you consider that your site could rank much lower than a competitors for 30% of your traffic this move could have a large impact on booking enquiries.

*Tourism Statistics courtesy of Visit England.

If you have any comments to add to our post on Key Trends for Holiday Homeowners please leave a comment below.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday letting owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help provide you peace of mind as a holiday homeowner, please give us a call on 01237 429444.