How Brexit threatens Falklands’ economy — and Spanish fishermen

A no-deal Brexit would deal a severe blow to the economy of Britain’s Falkland Islands which is heavily dependent on squid exports — and to Galicia in Spain where almost all of the molluscs are sent.

Fully 94 percent of the catch, mostly squid, exported from the contested South Atlantic archipelago known to Argentina as the Malvinas and occupied by Britain since 1833, is sent to the port of Vigo in northwestern Spain, some 13,000 kilometres (8,000 miles) away.

There the squid are processed or shipped directly to other European nations. About a third of the squid eaten in continental Europe comes from the Falklands, according to the archipelago’s government.

Fishing accounts for 40 percent of the economic output of the island group which was at the heart of two-month war between Britain and Argentina in 1982. And Galician trawlers staffed mainly with Spaniards dominate the sector.

This trade is profitable because no customs tariffs are slapped on the squid since both Britain and Spain belong to the European Union — but that would end if Britain leaves the bloc without any agreements in place about what their relationship would be in the future.

In that case World Trade Organization (WTO) custom tariff which range from six to 18 percent depending on the nature of the product would apply, according to Richard Hyslop, senior policy advisor to the Falkland Islands government.

“It’s critical that we retain our tariff-free access (with the EU),” Teslyn Barkman, who is in charge of managing natural resources and Brexit related issues with the archipelago’s government, told AFP by telephone, adding it was a “life or death” issue for the Falkland’s economy.

– Rush shipments –

Fearing a no-deal Brexit before an initial March 29 deadline for Britain to leave the EU, fishing firms rushed three ships with 21,000 tonnes of squid to Vigo to try to avoid paying hefty customs duties.

Galician trawlers also worry a no-deal Brexit would mean they lose access to Britain’s fishing waters.

But British Prime Minister Theresa May last week asked fellow EU leaders to postpone Brexit for a second time, from April 12 to October 31, giving London a chance to negotiate an exit deal — and the three trawlers loaded with squid more time to reach Galicia.

The first trawler to arrive began unloading its cargo in Vigo this weekend.

“We create jobs, wealth” but “there is total uncertainty, we don’t know what will happen to the Spanish fleet” if there is a no-deal Brexit,” said Javier Touza, the president of fishing vessel owners’ cooperative Arvi at the port of Vigo.

“What we ask is that we can continue to fish. We have the biggest ships in the Galician fleet over there,” he added.

– ‘Frustrating’ –

Forty-three trawlers which belong to Arvi currently operate in the waters of the Falklands Islands.

Twenty-four fly the Spanish flag while the rest use the flag of the Falklands even though “the majority of their crew is Spanish and 100 percent of their cargo ends up in the port of Vigo,” said Touza.

The regional government of Galicia estimates around 1,700 crew members of fishing trawlers could be affected if Britain crashes out of the EU without a divorce deal.

This figure combines crew deployed on ships in the waters of the Falklands as well as those on the 66 trawlers that operate in British waters in Europe.

Against this backdrop of uncertainty, fishermen who work in the waters of the Falklands are on track for another record haul of squid this year, after catching 78,913 tonnes in 2018.

The archipelago, which is also heavily dependent on sheep farming, is home to just 3,000 people — which is why it relies on Spanish fishing crews.

“Europe wants to buy, eat and enjoy our world quality premium calamari. It’s frustrating to be in that position but it makes sense to keep that relationship,” said Barkman.


The UK is becoming happier, but its workforce isn’t

Last month, the seventh World Happiness Report named Finland as the happiest country in the world. While the UK didn’t make the top 10, it did manage to make it into the top 20. And as a nation, we are happier, climbing four places since 2018. 

Although this is positive news, there’s still much more to be done, since it appears that UK workers aren’t all that happy. In fact, research from Sodexo Engage found that only 12 per cent of UK employees are completely happy in their job. Worse still, 8 per cent of those questioned strongly disagreed with the statement ‘my job makes me happy’.

Stats like these are a clear sign that businesses need to be doing more for their employees. But how can employers keep their staff engaged and happy, and is it really the same thing?

Employee engagement 

Employers want their staff to be happy and to enjoy their work, but more often than not, businesses view happiness and engagement as the same thing. The truth is, being happy doesn’t always mean being engaged and productive. 

Happiness is an emotion that is hard to manage and measure. Engagement, on the other hand, is what drives a company forward; it’s what encourages employees to rise to the challenge and go the extra mile each and every day. 

If an employee is engaged, they’re also much more likely to stick around and advocate for the company too. In fact, businesses with highly engaged employees receive 100 per cent more job applicants – so not only does it do wonders for retention, but it also helps to draw in new staff too.

What makes us unhappy? 

From credit cards to overdrafts and from mortgages to student loans, debt is a huge problem for many. In the UK, the average personal debt is now close to £30k, so good money management has never been more of an important topic for employees. 

After all, what goes on outside of work has a clear and definite impact on employees’ productivity and happiness at work, and that includes any financial woes. The good news is that employers are in a unique position to offer support in this area – anything from managing the day-to-day costs of living, such as annual season tickets, to providing employees with external expert financial advice. Making sure that employees don’t form unhealthy working habits, such as working long hours or weekends, can also help relieve job-related stress.

Boosting engagement with purpose and recognition

Businesses can do a lot to make their employees’ lives easier outside of work, but they can also make the workplace more attractive too, by putting a recognition strategy in place. Clever employers know that they need to keep their people engaged at work, since getting it right means that people will stick around and bring huge benefits to the business as a whole. 

Giving employees a true sense of purpose by having ownership of projects, letting them run with ideas and see their work through is a great first step, as this can have a tremendous effect on boosting engagement. Also don’t underestimate the power of saying thank you for a job well done – high ‘recognition culture’ organisations have been found to have 30 per cent lower voluntary turnover. Social recognition and praise also have a big role to play in employee engagement.

Happiness isn’t something that employers can regulate, but employee engagement is well within their control. Striking the right note between support and helping employees to find meaning, belonging and purpose will not only make staff feel happy and engaged as individuals, but will also ensure the business sees the benefits too.  

By: Ian Thomson – Source:

5 Tips for Better Email Marketing Performance

Email is a powerful marketing tool, but too many businesses miss out on its potential. Is yours one of these?
Email is one of the most effective ways for businesses to advertise their services. While many businesses still use direct mail, their budgets might be better spent on email marketing. According to a partnership study conducted by the Data and Marketing Association and United States Postal Service, more than half (57 percent) of mail being sent at the time of the study was still direct mail.

But this strategy, the researchers said, produced a return on investment of just 7 percent. In comparison, email marketing offered an ROI of 28.5 percent. In terms of value, studies have found that email marketing offers businesses $44 for every $1 spent.

Still, some businesses fail to realize email marketing’s full benefits, so to convince them, here are five of the best ways for any business to improve its email campaigns.

1. Personalize your email content.

Most marketers are aware of the benefits of personalization, but many don’t take it seriously. Personalized email content is by far one of the best ways to increase email marketing effectiveness. According to statistics, personalized emails offer six times higher transaction rates than emails without any personalization. Other studies have shown click-through rates are 14 percent higher and conversion rates are 10 percent higher when personalization is part of the general email content.

However, personalization for many businesses means they’re just including the name of the contact in the content. This is far from perfect as a strategy, and many subscribers are now fully aware of this tactic. Instead, personalization needs to be taken to the next level.

One way of doing this is to segment your audience into groups. Then you can send more relevant content to each group. A wedding specialist website that attempted this asked one question: Are you shopping as the couple or for the couple? This simple question split the website’s audience into two groups, but the results showed a 244 percent increase in open-rates and 161 percent increase in click-through rate.

2. Avoid certain words.

Spam filters are there to stop malicious emails from reaching audiences. Of course, spammers usually use words that businesses themselves would like to use. So filters are growing more sophisticated, and allowing more genuine content to gain access into inboxes. Still, there are times when your email might be mistaken for something malicious.

Therefore, you need to minimize the use of certain words that are considered spam by these filters. For instance, words like “bargain,” “50 percent off” and similar keywords will likely send your email to the spam folder.
When you do want to use a typical spam word, because it is relevant to your content, be inventive with your subject lines. Also restrict yourself to just one high-level spam word per email within the content and email subject line. This will reduce the chance of your emails being blacklisted.

3. Change the times you send your emails.

The aim here is to catch people who are just about to check their inbox or are in the process of doing so. This will put your email close to the top of their inbox. The more time between your sending it and customers checking it, the less likely it will be that your email is read.

You also don’t want to be sending your promotional content at the same time as everyone else, so sending your emails on the weekend might be the best option. Research has shown that many businesses don’t start campaigns on weekends, so you’ll have less competition, and more people are checking their emails on the weekends now than ever before.

4. Ensure you’re building an engaged email list.

It is often the pride of some entrepreneurs to promote how many people they have on their email lists. However, long lists mean nothing if those people aren’t engaged.

There are many ways to ensure that your list is engaged. It requires removing old and inactive subscribers, but in the end, it will help you achieve more profitable campaigns. The first thing is to check for addresses that have bounced three or more times. Ensure that a simple typo such as .con instead of .com is not responsible for the error.

You can also use email verification services. Those services will identify emails that bounce or are inactive, and they can help to remove spam traps: old emails that ISPs use as a tool to identify businesses that send spam.

5. Optimize emails for mobile.

The number of people who open emails on their mobile varies depending on the study being cited. One study said that 46 percent of people opened emails on their mobiles while another found that 59 percent of emails were being opened on these devices. Very few people actually use a desktop mail client to open emails (15 to 18 percent).

To support your efforts, ensure that your campaigns are optimized for these devices. If your campaigns don’t look good on a mobile device, people aren’t going to read them and take action. Therefore, check to make sure you have great mobile templates. A few quick tips include:

  • Have short subject lines.
  • Use one-column email designs.
  • Keep your email design under 600 pixels.
  • Usie a larger font (13 or 14 pixels).


Email marketing could be the best way to make your business grow. For over a decade now, it has remained the most profitable form of digital marketing. Yet, too many businesses are failing to optimize their campaigns to maximize potential revenue. So, ensure that you are personalizing your emails as much as possible and make sure you avoid the traps your competitors are falling into. Most of these changes can be made without too much disruption to your current campaigns. So, why not implement them right away?

By: Thomas Smale – Source:

Greece boosts its tourism brand

Diving around Patmos, climbing on Kalymnos, rafting on the Arachthos River, windsurfing off Paros, walking through mastic groves on Chios. An increasing number of international travelers are ditching their all-inclusive bracelets in search of fresh and more authentic experiences, and for those looking for something different, the possibilities in Greece are endless.

New types of holidays are on offer under the catch-all “alternative tourism” – ranging from sports, cultural and religious tourism to agritourism, medical tourism, rural tourism and more.

Greece is expanding its tourism identity. On top of styling itself as the ideal destination for the sun-and-sea experience, this friendly country offers countless options to explore areas of natural beauty, walk in the footsteps of the ancients and embark on other adventures. Meanwhile, the country has decent infrastructure, competitive prices and a great climate, while it consistently ranks high in lists of the safest global travel destinations.

A selection of Greece’s alternative tourism offerings have just been showcased in The Hague. The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is currently promoting Greece as a year-round tourism destination, and alternative travelers from the Netherlands represent an important market.

“This is the type of traveler who will spend holiday time discovering the country’s authentic side and experiencing unique moments that combine exercise, a healthy lifestyle and love for nature,” said Eleni Skarveli, GNTO head for the Benelux countries.

The 1st Greek Alternative Tourism Workshop was aimed at Greek private companies and public sector organizations that want to establish or strengthen their presence in global growth markets by promoting their alternative tourism-related products and services.

The Greek delegates met up for a few hours with Dutch travel agents and tour operators in B2B meetings. The event also addressed representatives of the media, thus enabling the GNTO to advertise the country’s diverse tourism product to the Dutch market.

Despoina Ouzouni, marketing director of Tourism Today, the company which organized the event in collaboration with GNTO Benelux and The Hellenic-Dutch Association of Commerce and Industry (HEDA), told Kathimerini why the Netherlands was picked as the host country.

She explained that Greece saw a record 924,434 arrivals from the Netherlands in 2018, a 18.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, 82 percent of the Dutch population took foreign holidays in 2017, an average on 2.82 trips per person. “It is worth noting that [on average] the Dutch choose alternative forms of tourism twice a year. In addition, the fact that the country offers direct flights to destinations around Greece throughout the year is a strong incentive for them,” she said.

Ouzouni added that Dutch visitors tend to be disciplined with their money. “They love nature and adventure. They are fond of cultural events. After their first visit, when they mostly enjoy the sun and the sea, [the Dutch tend to] return to explore local communities and taste local products,” she said.

About one third of Dutch tourists in Greece are repeat visitors. “Their original motive may have been to take part in some kind of activity. However, when they meet [Greeks during their travels], they form an emotional bond – that’s what alternative tourism is all about: people,” she said.

Ouzouni believes that for the average Greek entrepreneur, there is simply no alternative to tapping into the alternative tourism market. “If we succeed in reaching out to people like the Dutch, we will experience huge growth,” she said.

Ahead of the workshop, organizers contacted a wide range of enterprising people across Greece – from Samothrace and Mesolongi to Agrinio and Kos. “Either individually or representing tourism professionals, [these people] are passionate about promoting their country,” Ouzouni said.

“Sadly, we heard local town officials saying to us, ‘It’s a pity, we would love to attend, but we just don’t have any English-speaking staff to represent us.’”


Airbnb leads $160M investment in hospitality platform Lyric

Airbnb is leading investment in business travel hospitality startup Lyric, which has just announced a $160 million Series B round.

In addition to the home-share giant, investors in Lyric include Tishman Speyer, RXR Realty, Obvious Ventures, former Twitter CEO and COO Dick Costolo and Adam Bain, respectively, and existing investors Barry Sternlicht, NEA, SignalFire, FifthWall and Tusk Ventures.

San Francisco-based Lyric, which partners with real estate developers to turn multifamily buildings into short- or long-term rentals with hotel-grade amenities for business travelers, has in total raised $185 million.

For Airbnb, the deal arrives just weeks after it confirmed investment in Indian hospitality brand OYO for a rumored $100 million to $200 million, as well as its acquisition of HotelTonight in March.

Its interest in Lyric comes as it gets its ducks in a row ahead of an eventual IPO, and as it continues to navigate urban regulation concerns, which Lyric skirts by working directly with real estate companies and landlords.

“At Airbnb, we have seen how hospitality entrepreneurs like the team at Lyric can help deliver amazing experiences and help guests feel like they can belong anywhere in the world,” says Airbnb president of Homes Greg Greeley in a statement.

“Lyric has combined the latest technology, strong partnerships with the real estate community and cutting-edge design, and we are excited to support their work.”

Lyric says it works with 20 of the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Top 50 multifamily owners, managers and developers and provides owners “economic advantages by offering a professional, end-to-end experience built for the future of real estate and the changing shape of the modern traveler and resident.”

“We’re incredibly excited to have Airbnb, the company that reinvented how we travel, along with renowned real estate partners and elite investors believing in us at Lyric to create a new category of accommodations for the modern traveler,” says Andrew Kitchell, co-founder and CEO of Lyric.

“When people search for beautiful spaces or experiences, what they’re really looking for is a connection to a local community. From the music and artwork we hand-select, to the wallpaper we curate, our job is to be a storyteller for that community or building, and to help guests feel like they are a part of it.”

Its “Creative Suites” for professionals are available for stays of from one night to more than 200 nights, and each suite is curated by an in-house design team for optimal productivity and inspiration.

Lyric uses its proprietary technology to determine site locations and to manage revenue as well as safety and cleaning operations.

It’s currently available in New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, but more markets will be added thanks to the new funding. The capital will also be used to build out Lyric’s technology and data platform.

Lyric joins others in the apart-hotel space receiving investment attention such as Sonder, which has raised $135 million, as well Domio, which counts $67 million in funding.

Added to the mix yesterday was Austin, Texas-based Locale, which landed $2.5 million in funding.

By: Jill Menze – Source:

Should you fly with a carrier that scored lower on the Airline Quality Rating report?

I recently did several interviews about the annual Airline Quality Rating, which ranks the nine major U.S. airlines from best to worst. Since then I’ve been getting questions from folks who wonder if they should fly lower-ranked carriers.

Here’s what fliers need to know, but first things first:

Which airlines are ranked highest and lowest?

All airline evaluations were made on the basis of 2018 performance, and Delta came out slightly ahead of the pack.

  1. Delta
  2. JetBlue
  3. Southwest
  4. Alaska
  5. Hawaiian
  6. United
  7. Spirit
  8. American
  9. Frontier

Who came up with the Airline Quality Rating list?

It’s an ongoing ratings system published each year by two professors, Dr. Brent Bowen with Arizona’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Dr. Dean Headley of Wichita State University in Kansas. This is the 29th annual report.


What criteria is used to determine an airline’s rank?

Four main areas: On-time performance, denied boardings (involuntary bumpings), mishandled baggage (missing or lost luggage) and customer complaints. And all of this information is gleaned from Department of Transportation data, which is published monthly.

So if I want to get somewhere on time, this list tells me which airline to choose?

Not necessarily. Hawaiian topped the list for best on-time performance, but it does a lot of flying in Hawaii — and weather delays like snowstorms are pretty rare there. United had the worst on-time record in this report, but the carrier ran into a lot of bad storms last year. Bottom line? There are some things airlines can’t get around, like weather, mechanical problems, or even airplane groundings such as those involving 737 MAX 8 planes this spring.

What about the complaint category. Did lots of people have gripes?

Not too many, really. The overall average number of complaints per month last year was a little over one complaint per 100,000 passengers. Not bad, huh? But this data only includes gripes formally filed with the Department of Transportation; it does not include complaints posted to social media, and these days, that’s where people go to vent. (Tip: Most airlines react quickly to concerns seen on social media. If you run into problems, start there.)

What does this report tell us about lost baggage?

It tells us the airlines are improving. We’ve actually seen steady improvement in this area for years. Plus, even the airline with the worst baggage record – American – only mishandled an average of less than four bags per 1,000 passengers each month. Will airlines continue to lose bags? Of course, but travelers are generally reunited with their suitcases within hours, or at worst, within a day or two. It’s a rare bag that is gone for good.

Should I use this report as a guide when choosing airlines?

Let’s say that safety is a given (and air travel is still “the safest mode of transportation in the world” according to the 60,000-member Air Line Pilots Association). So, you could use the Airline Quality Rating as a general guide, but first, ask yourself these three questions about carriers you’re interested in:

  • Does the airline go where I need it to fly?
  • Does it offer tickets I can afford?
  • If my flight is even a little bit late, will my trip be ruined?

You’ll find the answers to the first and second question by using an airfare comparison site (there are several out there). If flying in the U.S., also go to Southwest’s website, because it’s the one airline that does not share its fare info. And if you want to save even more and your travel dates are flexible, use a deal-finding tool that zeroes in on the best prices in a month or season.

Now, to answer the third question, the chances of having an on-time flight on any of the airlines in questions is good, but what if your flight is late? Stuff happens no matter what airline you fly, and whenever there’s a problem, your best bet is to get in touch with the airline immediately, whether that means standing in line for a rep at the gate, getting on the phone, or contacting the carrier via social media.
Finally, you’ll rarely have to worry about a late flight ruining a trip if you always give yourself plenty of time. When you book, schedule plenty of time to make a connection, and schedule plenty of time to make a morning event, even if it means flying in the night before. Most flights do arrive and depart on time, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that will happen every time.

By: Rick Seaney – Source:

Uncertain times demand a new approach to strategic people management

Is the management of people in organisations today really about growing the long-term value of an employers’ most important asset in an increasing uncertain and skills-short labour market? Or is it more to do with continuing to drive costs down and shareholder returns up; and meeting the bare minimum standards required by legislation? The Institute for Employment’s (IES) latest research, carried out in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), looks at the reality of people management and comes up with some generally positive findings and conclusions.

An earlier academic literature review from the IES highlighted the difficulties of implementing many HR policies as intended in today’s rapidly changing and flatter organisations, and in the aftermath of a decade of real pay cuts and the growth of more insecure work models.

This new research concludes that a variety of techniques are being used to make a strategic approach to people management a successful reality in these organisations.

Key findings include:

? The uncertain Brexit-battered context and the scale of the challenges this presents – of sourcing and retaining labour, developing talent, managing the risks presented by new employment legislation, and of making change happen – actually seems to be increasing the influence of the HR function.

? People management has become increasingly integral to business strategies and their delivery for all employers, in low paying sectors such as retail and care homes, just as much as in knowledge-driven public service and higher education employers.

? Medium to long-term workforce plans, covering the numbers and skills and competencies of future staffing, are becoming more common and important components of the people management strategy.

? Diversity, inclusion and employee health and wellbeing have become critical components of the people management strategy, as employers increasingly recognise their contribution to the performance of their organisation and of the national economy.

? Employers are also recognising and being forced to recognise the importance of a multi-stakeholder-driven agenda, and HR policies play a vital role in delivering on this.

? Similarly HR policies are regarded as key to avoiding the dreaded ‘say:do’ gap in actually practising an organisation culture and values.

Even more challenging times ahead

Key capabilities required by HR professionals delivering on their people management ambitions include: clear prioritisation of goals and effective HR metrics to track their delivery; managing the interplay between short term operational activities and longer-term policy goals in a flexible way; an effective HR function operating model; a focus on line managers and developing their people management skills and exceptional communications and political skills.

Leaders need to be politically savvy, flexible and tactical in how they pursue and deliver on their long-term vision of building an engaged, high performance organisation

IES’ Head of HR Consultancy Duncan Brown said: “The heart and the soul of people management seems very much alive and well in our case study employers, with the organisation’s purpose, values and culture being an integral part of business and HR strategies. This explains the focus we found on employee wellbeing and developing appropriate leaders and leadership behaviours. But HR leaders need to be politically savvy, flexible and tactical in how they pursue and deliver on their long-term vision of building an engaged, high performance organisation.”

CIPD’s Head of Research and Thought Leadership Edward Houghton said: “In uncertain times we know organisations must look to their strengths and invest to survive. This research showcases some fascinating data as to how HR functions are responding to the challenging context, looking at their medium and long-term plans and developing their capabilities for the future. It is hugely insightful to see HR functions in this research looking beyond their traditional stakeholder groups to explore their impact in a more holistic way. This appears to be clear recognition of the growing strategic value of the function, and the ongoing role it must play through the challenging times ahead.”

By: Neil Franklin – Source:

Marketing budgets make surprise return to growth

Marketers increased marketing spend in the first quarter as they look to protect their brands amid rising uncertainty, but the growth is not expected to last.

UK companies revised their marketing budgets up markedly in the first quarter of 2019, a stark contrast to the final quarter of 2018 when spend stagnated, as they made efforts to protect their brands amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

According to the quarterly IPA Bellwether, a net balance of 8.7% of marketing executives reported increasing their budgets, up from 0% in the final three months of 2018 and the highest level since Q3 2017. More than a fifth (21.6%) reported spending growth, while 12.8% said budgets had been cut.

The internet was once again the best performing category, with the net balance of those increasing spend jumping to 17.2%, up from 2.1% in the prior quarter. In particular, search/SEO saw a swing from cuts of -3.9% in Q4 2018 to growth of 14.2% last quarter.

There was also a renewed drive for big-ticket ad campaigns with a net balance of 5.2% of marketers increasing spend, a turnaround from the 6.2% decline in the prior quarter. Events also saw expenditure growth of 3.4%.

However, sales promotions, market research and direct marketing budgets all took a hit, while PR spend was reported as flat.

Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general, says: “This sharp increase following Q4 2018’s flatlining signals that UK marketing budgets have received a much-needed kiss of life in an economy gripped by Brexit uncertainty. The smart marketers realise that to grow their businesses, they must invest in them, particularly in mass reach, long-term media.

“While the forecast for the year ahead remains uncertain given the seemingly endless Brexit negotiations, those that want real competitive advantage should follow the proven rule that if you increase your share of voice above your share of market, you should expect to experience growth.”

Despite the uptick, marketers are still erring on the side of caution with forecast for marketing spend in the 2019/20 financial year. A net balance of just 3.4% expect budget growth, down from 18% who expected growth for 2017/18 and the lowest level since 2009.

Main media and events are both expected to see growth, with brand building initiatives put in place in the first quarter continuing in the coming financial year. However, there was a negative outlook for other marketing, PR, sales promotions, market research and direct marketing.

This negative outlook is shown in the downbeat outlook respondents have for their own company’s financial prospects, with a net balance of 2.7% saying they are pessimistic about the future. Industry-wide financial prospects are also negative, with a net balance of 22.6% saying they are pessimistic.

Given this negativity, and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) downgrading its growth projections for the UK by 0.4 percentage points since October, the IPA has cut its forecast for ad industry growth this year. It is now forecasting a modest 1.1% annual increase in ad spend in 2019, down from a previous estimate of 1.3%.

“Our downgrade reflects the challenging environment caused by Brexit uncertainty, slowing global growth and rising competitive pressures,” says the report.

However, with the OBR increasing forecasts for consumer spending and capital expenditure between 2020 and 2023, the IPA has also increased its forecasts. It is now expecting growth of 1.8% in 2020, rising to 3.1% in 2023.

By: Sarah Vizard – Source:

The Future of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Increasingly Is Likely To Be Chinese

If you buy into the politically, culturally and commercially popular “Demographics are Destiny” theory – and not everyone does – you probably should begin learning Chinese. Korean would be good to learn, too, especially if you now work or expect to work in the future in the travel or hospitality industries.

      That’s because Chinese consumers collectively spent nearly $258 billion on international travel last year. That’s more than twice the combined amount spent on international travel by people from the United States and Germany, the next two biggest-spending nations, combined. And the Chinese are relative newcomers when it comes to venturing beyond their nation’s borders. A smallish percentage of them travel outside of China each year, though given the size of that nation’s population even that small percentage represents well over 100 million Chinese travelers to foreign destinations.

Yet Chinese citizens flew, on average, just 65 miles last year vs. the 227 miles flown on average by U.S. residents, the 285 miles flown on average by Germans, the 271 miles flown on average by those from the United Kingdom, and the whopping 632 miles flown by the average Canadian last year.

               That’s all according to a recent report issued by GetGoing Travel Insurance, one of the globe’s most prominent providers of short term travel insurance coverage.

               What China’s high total spending on international travel and its low average number of miles flown on international travel tells us is that while only a relatively small percentage of China’s residents actually do travel outside their homeland, those who do spend a lot of money and don’t tend to go all that far.  China has approximately 1.4 billion, making it the most populace nation on Earth.  But it’s low average of miles travel on international trips is the function of two factors:

·        A relatively small percentage of Chinese now have the financial ability to travel internationally, though the numbers who do travel outside of China are growing rapidly every year.

·        A relatively large percentage of Chinese travelers beyond their nation’s borders stay relatively close to home. In fact, a big share of them go to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. They go there either to visit friends and relatives who live in those places that historically were – and in some cases technically are – a part of China, or to gamble in the casinos andor enjoy the entertainment venues in Macau and Hong Kong. Hong Kong attracted 44.5 million Chinese visitors, Macau 17.2 million and Taiwan 10.7 million.

Those numbers imply strongly that as more and more Chinese attain middle class status and the financial ability to travel internationally, and as Chinese become more and more interested in traveling visiting destinations farther and farther away from home their spending on international travel and the average distances flown will both rise exponentially.

               American’s last year collectively spent about $135 billion on foreign travel last year according to the GetGoing report, for second place on the top 10 list of foreign travel spending. Germany ranked third at $89.1 billion. The rest of the top 10 include: the United Kingdom ($171.4 billion); France ($41.4 billion); Canada ($31.8 billion); South Korea ($30.6 billion); Italy ($27.7 billion); Australia $34.2 billion; and Russia ($31.1 billion).

               Like China, South Korean’s average number of miles flown internationally is noticeably low. Right now that’s mostly because South Koreans’ most common foreign destinations are Japan, China, Thailand and the U.S. But as more South Koreans’ are able to afford international travel – as expected, given the strength and growth rate of that nation’s economy – and as they become open to venturing further away from home and to less obvious destinations, they too, like the Chinese are likely to see a large increase in combined foreign travel spending and international miles flown.

By: Dan Reed – Source:–hospitality-increasingly-is-likely-to-be-chinese/#669441246591

The loss of Notre Dame is devastating – but we should restore, not despair

The destruction of Notre Dame cathedral is lamentable. A wonderful icon has been largely destroyed by fire. However, we should not despair.

Part of the reason this loss is so upsetting is because we are immersed in a Western way of thinking that equates authenticity with preserving the original materials used to create an object or building.

But not all societies think like this. Some have quite different notions of what is authentic. Iconic buildings such as the Catherine Palace in Russia and Japan’s historic monuments of Ancient Nara have been successfully restored, sometimes after great damage, and are today appreciated by millions of people.

The preamble to the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, (the Venice Charter 1964), states that, “Imbued with a message from the past, the historic monuments of generations of people remain to the present day as living witnesses of their age-old traditions… It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity”.

But in our diverse world, the definition and assessment of authenticity is a complex matter. The World Heritage Convention guidelines state that properties may be understood to meet the conditions of authenticity if their cultural values “are truthfully and credibly expressed”.

Accordingly, a building’s authenticity is determined in relation to its location and setting, use and function, spirit and feeling, and well as form and materials.

Japan’s historic monuments of Ancient Nara – comprised of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the excavated remains of the great Imperial Palace – provide important insights into the nation’s capital during the 8th century. These buildings are not less authentic because they were extensively restored after the enactment of the Ancient Shrines and Temples Preservation Law in 1897.

A palace gutted

The Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin), south of Petersburg, was gutted during the second world war. When Russian people first saw the damage, they must have despaired.

Nevertheless, the government provided the resources to allow room-by-room restorations. The restoration of the Amber Room, one of the most famous palace interiors of the 18th century, is a triumph.

Panels that had been looted by the Nazis were recreated over 25 years with an investment of $11m. Today, the Palace is fully restored, a spectacular icon that attracts millions of visitors a year.

What about the relics and artworks?

The fire at Notre Dame has endangered a vast collection of Christian relics and artworks housed within the building and on its grounds, including the crown of thorns. First responders saved many, but not all, objects. We do not yet know which ones have survived.

Does the argument regarding authenticity also apply to these relics and precious artworks? Well, yes and no.

There are two scenarios. The first is that the relics and artworks are partially damaged by fire, smoke and falling building materials. Within this scenario, the focus will be on restoration – and marvellous things can occur in the realm of materials conservation.

The second scenario is that relics or artworks are virtually, or entirely, destroyed. Within this scenario, the artworks can only be replicated, not restored. Such replication would have a precarious tie to the original works.

From the viewpoint of restoration, there is a crucial difference between portable and non-portable artefacts. Other than those that were part of the fabric of the building, the relics and artworks were not made on site. The building itself, however, has a continuity of identity and function through being located within a specific landscape.

What now for Notre Dame?

One way forward is to use the Venice Charter (1964) to guide restoration. This would mean that the new materials used in preserving this historic structure would be kept distinguishable from the original construction.
Another way forward would be to restore the structure in a similar manner to that of Catherine I’s palace, in which an untutored eye finds it difficult to distinguish between the old and new parts of the structure. Given the extent of the damage, this would be the more aesthetically pleasing and less jarring approach.
Unlike other places of deep cultural significance, which may be destroyed forever due to commercial development, Notre Dame can be rebuilt. With modern technology, it is entirely possible for the cathedral to be recreated with near-accuracy to the original. We can do this and keep the previous building’s spirit and feeling.

By: Claire Smith and Jordan Ralph – Source: