The Economic and Social Impact of Stoke City FC

The English Premier League is a global brand. Stories abound of travellers from Stoke-on-Trent travelling to far flung corners of the earth, getting into a cab, pub, or conversation and being asked; “Where are you from?” the traveller responds; “I am from Stoke” only to be told; “I know Stoke FC!”, a list of players is usually reeled out including Peter Crouch and co, and from then onward, the conversation takes on a new dimension of familiarity and friendliness.

Peter Crouch Goal Celebration

 

English Premiership Clubs have fans in all corners of the world. Jerseys are sold in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Australia. Matches are watched on all sorts of devices and football players are household names with kids dreaming of growing up to be like their heroes or even just meeting them someday.

 

Beyond the pitch however, there is another dimension that is closer to home. Football clubs are generating huge revenues and investing these in a variety of ways with a huge impact to their local economies. For example, Stoke FC’s revenue was £11 million in the 2007/2008 football season and then Championship promotion boosted the Club’s revenue even more from commercial, match day and broadcast streams. In the 2015/2016 Stoke FC’s total revenues rose to £119 million, making them the 9th in the Premier League. The growth in the Club’s income since joining the Premier League has enabled it to significantly increase its investment in the region and grow the profile of the Club and the city at home and abroad.  Some key regional and social impact statistics for Stoke FC for the 2015/2016 season are shown in Table 1.

 

Table 1: Key Regional Economic and Social Impact of Stoke City FC Statistics (2015/2016 Season)
2,391 international visits
119,000+ domestic tourists
£7 million visitor spending
301 direct Club employees (FTEs)
£1.3 million spent on local community initiatives
£29 million spent on Club supply chains (some local)

 

In addition to the impact highlighted in Table 1, the Club has also expanded its stadium to boost match day attendance and attract more visitors to the region, invested in players from the UK and abroad to extend the reach of its fan base to other areas of the globe, invested around £4million into its academy providing local young people with opportunities to develop their football careers at the Club, and invested in the Community Trust to work with the wider community to target individuals who want to get back into education, employment or generally improve their health or mental well-being.

 

Not only does success on the pitch attract visitors to the region who spend on travel, accommodation and food and drink, there is the indirect effect from the supply chain and the induced impact from increased employee spending. Analysis from Ernst & Young LLP shows that Stoke City FC generated a total Gross Value Added contribution of 132 million to the region during the 2015/2016 season. £108 million was directly contributed via the club and its tourism, a further £13 million was generated via indirect effects in local supply chains and £10 million was generated via induced effects. This activity also attracts businesses to locate their operations within the area.

Staffordshire University students and staff with Tony Scholes (CEO of Stoke FC)

 

Granted that a lot of the players might not live in the region, the activities of Stoke City FC resulted in an estimated £66million total liability to the Exchequer in 2015/2016. The presence of Stoke City FC also supported many FTE jobs in the regional economy during that period. 301 people were directly employed by the club, 853 people were employed by relevant supply chains, 401 people were employed via tourism to watch Stoke FC, and a further 682 were employed because of induced effects.

 

Beyond these, the Club supports a variety of initiatives to improve the lives of individuals and communities, working with a number of stakeholders including schools, local government and wider supporting organisations (e.g. the premier league). Community activities are delivered by Stoke City FC’s Community Trust (SCCT) which was founded in 1989 and became a registered charity in 2004. Ernst & Young LLP estimate that around 10,900 people have participated in community and charitable programmes in 2015/2016. 119,600 day trips were organised and 304 people have gained at least one qualification as a result of the Clubs initiatives. During the period under review, 10,246 hours of volunteering community work was done with the result of £8.7 million savings for the local community on physical wellbeing and £2.9 million savings on mental well being from increased physical activity.

 

With these key statistics, it is not hard to cheer for our local team. The sporting and commercial success of the Club in recent years, which includes breaking their transfer record twice in the 2015/2016 season, has allowed Stoke FC to further embed itself as a key member of our local economy. We at Staffordshire University will continue to cheer for the club. You should do the same too 😊😊😊!!!

 

Sustainable Supply Chains in the Tourism Sector

The fundamental principle of a Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) rests on collaboration between companies and their suppliers, and their willingness to link their aims and essential operational processes to create unique, international, market satisfying resources that will satisfy their customers and help them gain competitive advantage.

Companies from various sectors have come up with different strategies and tools to influence their suppliers towards better environmental and social practices. All these companies believe that no enterprise can exist independently, and the success of every enterprise depends on its supply chain partners. The nature of the strategy adopted (collaborative or forced compliance) depends upon factors such as the type of business, levels of competition, and size and influence of buyer and supplier businesses.

The action

The most basic action that a company can take is to develop its own environmental policy or any other document with which the company can communicate its environmental goals and expectations to its suppliers.

The next common approach to SSC is gathering information that indicates the suppliers’ environmental compliance status, and on the existence and status of suppliers’ environmental management systems and the type or quality of materials used by them.

Tour Operations and SSC

Tour operators provide holiday packages comprised principally of accommodation, transport, excursion/activity providers, ground handlers, and food and craft production. A distinction is here made between mass-market and specialist operators. Mass-market operators typically sell standard beach holidays based holidays in mainstream destinations, and specialist operators typically offer niche products based on specialised activities in less mainstream destinations.

It can be argued that sustainability in tourism depends strongly on the development of better linkages between supply and demand. As intermediaries in the supply chain, tour operators are in a position to influence destination management on the supply side, and consumers on the demand side.

This requires management of environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues through the supply chain. Environmental aspects include sustainable transport development and sustainable use of resources; reducing, minimising and preventing pollution and waste (e.g. solid and liquid waste, emissions to air); conserving plants, animals, ecosystems and protected areas (biodiversity); and conserving landscapes, cultural and natural heritage. Socio-economic and cultural issues encompass a number of aspects, including contribution to the economic development and the well-being of local communities; preservation of cultural identity; respect for human rights local communities’ and indigenous peoples’ rights.

Some operators have built supply chain initiatives on the production and distribution of local sustainable food and crafts, but some work with local suppliers to promote local sourcing. For instance, local sourcing is often a key part of the product, and it also features as part of a portfolio of tourist attractions for mass operators in excursions and promotion of local bars and restaurants.

Most large hotels that have worked with local food producers have found it requires constant supervision and commitment, and success is often linked to championing of local sourcing by hotel chefs. It may also require training and technical support and investment in order to gather supplies from different producers that meet the quality and quantity required.

The key aspects in SSC initiatives depend on good working relationships with suppliers, organisational cultures that are supportive of sustainability principles, and organisational resources to invest in sustainability. Initiatives to date have focused more on setting environmental, rather than socio- economic criteria, and industry-wide approaches play an important role in encouraging and supporting implementation of SSC.


The Benefits

So why might a business wish to apply a sustainable tourism supply approach – what are the principal benefits?

All supply chains can be optimised using sustainable practices. Sustainability in the supply chain encapsulates a number of different priorities:

  • Environmental stewardship
  • Conservation of resources
  • Reduction of carbon footprint
  • Financial savings and viability
  • Social responsibility

Managing supply chains in a sustainable manner can help businesses in not only reducing their total carbon footprint, but also in optimising their end-to-end operations to achieve:

  • Improved credibility, visibility and brand reputation
  • Improved access to markets
  • Greater operational effectiveness leading to cost savings and profitability

We have created a free online tool to help you develop. Our training tool was developed by and with the tourism industry. This free online training covers 11 modules to complete with short quizzes at the end of each module. This tool helps you to design your own strategy in relation to your individual business needs.  All you need is an internet connection.

Click here to register and start your free online training today:  http://smartour.dcnet.eu/

Marzena Reszka

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References:

Davies, T. & Chaill, S. (2000). Environmental implications of the tourism industry. [Online] Available from: https://www.csu.edu/cerc/documents/EnvironmentalImplicationsTourismIndustry2000.pdf

BSR. (2003) Supplier Environmental Management. [Online] Available from: scholar.google.co.uk

Lippmann, S. (1999). Supply chain environmental management: elements for success. Environmental Management. [Online] 6 (2), 175-182. Available from:  http://www.sciencedirect.com

Miller, G. & Twining-Ward, L. (2005). Monitoring for a sustainable tourism transition: the challenge of developing and using indicators. Oxfordshire: CABI Publishing.

Crotts, J., Aziz, A., & Raschid, A. (1998). Antecedents of supplier’s commitment to wholesale buyers in the international travel trade. Tourism Management. [Online] 19 (2), 127-134. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517797001040

Tapper, R. (2001). Tourism and socio-economic development: UK tour operators’ business approaches in the context of the new international agenda. International Journal of Tourism Research. [Online] 3, 351-366. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

TOI & CELB (2003). Supply chain management for tour operators: a handbook on integrating sustainability into the tour operators’ supply chain systems. Paris, Tour Operators Initiative, Center for Environmental Leadership in Business.

 

Useful links

https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/business/2017/04/10/service-quality-in-tourism-the-road-less-travelled/

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/
Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR
Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

Social Media and Marketing

Social media networks are incredible resources for businesses looking to promote their brands online and increase sale. The platforms themselves are free to use, but also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. But just because your business should be on social media, that doesn’t mean you should be on every network. It’s important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business, so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.

Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.

Become a social media maestro and grow your business

If you want to create a successful social strategy, you should familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach on that network and how your business can best use each platform.

Social media can help you find prospective customer that are engaging in conversations relating to your business. Participating in those conversations can help you increase your business’s visibility and drive traffic to your website.  Especially when you are starting out, word-of mouth referrals on social media can be an effective way to direct prospective customers to your website and grow your business. Social media can help you receive feedback from your customers. Your quick and appropriate response through social media can help strengthen your brand, build trust, improve reputation and reinforce your credibility with current and prospective customers.

Why social media works

Social media fulfils a fundamental human need: to communicate. We are social animals. We like to communicate with each other. Social media facilitates this by helping us to communicate more easily, to more people, whenever we want. That is why social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and blogs are so successful. It simply lets customer communicate with each other and organisations communicate with customers (this incudes listening).

Use social media for your marketing

Nowadays, people use more and more TripAdvisor, Trivago, Instagram and other similar platforms as information sources when planning their trips, finding information on the destination, make decisions etc.  Social media platforms offer to small businesses a lot of opportunities to target and access markets at low cost, and achieve business sustainability goals.

Marketing doesn’t have to be left to the professionals charging large sums of money or commission for creative media. There are a few simple rules of how you market with extremely limited resources on social media.

You can create marketing strategies and select appropriate online and traditional marketing communications activities/customer groups, target markets and businesses, taking into consideration the size and type of that business.

We have created a free online tool to help you develop. Our training tool was developed by and with the tourism industry. This free online training covers 11 modules to complete with short quizzes at the end of each module. This tool helps you to design your own strategy in relation to your individual business needs.  All you need is an internet connection.

Click here to register and start your free online training today:  http://smartour.dcnet.eu/

Marzena Reszka, Staffordshire Business School


Reference

Smith,P.R.; Zook, Z. (2012). Marketing communications integrating offline and online with social media. 5th edition.

Useful links

https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/business/2017/04/10/service-quality-in-tourism-the-road-less-travelled/

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Webinar: Practical Training For Sustainable Tourism: Hints and Tips – SMARTOUR

21th Sept Tuesday, 2:00 pm (GMT)

Registration form:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D782834839 

The 2017 International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development is a call for action for all the stakeholders of the tourism value chain.

The “Practical Training for Sustainable Tourism” webinar will provide practical knowledge and tools to implement sustainable actions at business level and will support professionals and SMEs in defining a sustainable operational model.

The webinar will introduce 10 training modules that the SMARTOUR Project has designed  on key sustainable topics: Accessibility, Sustainable Supply Chains, Sustainable Food and drink tourism, Social media and marketing, Seasonality, Quality, Training, EU Quality Principles, Energy Controls, Interpreting Energy Bills, Indoor Air Quality.

A particular focus will be given to the module: Sustainable Food and drink tourism.

We suggest to register to the SMARTOUR platform before attending the webinar: smartour.dcnet.eu  

Duration: 40 min presentation, 20 min debate

Speaker: Jon Fairburn, Professor of Sustainable Development, Staffordshire University Business School

Facilitator: Silvia Barbone, Sustainable Tourism International Expert and PM4SD Author

Registration form:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D782834839    

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

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Can we trust what we see?

What is ‘quality’- standards, atmosphere, experience, reputation, education, consistency and doing it right no matter what. In a forever changing environment how are businesses meant to keep up with quality standards, changing standards and awarding bodies. Ford cited in Andersen (2013) stated ‘Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.’  Is looking the same as seeing? And who can we trust when it comes to quality?

We have to get it right no matter- what, who, how many staff have phoned in sick or when the tea spoon fairy paid you a visit.  Quality is based on opinion and expectation rather than star rating, price or quantity. We have brand reputation and businesses are forever trying to encourage staff to not just meet expectations but to exceed! To stay on top you must stand out, and one way is to exceed customer expectations.

We are now living in a very ‘personal age’ it’s not just a burger it’s your burger. Your name is on products and services are tailored to your individual needs. Businesses need to get staff to understand what guest expectations are and to understand it’s the personal touch that guest will remember and share.

It’s really hard on a busy shift when we have to serve a guest, answer the phone and close the fridge door all at the same time! This is why is it harder than ever to actually see rather than just look! Guest have their own expectations and we have to try and surpass these without even knowing what they are! When I see a restaurant that has dirty plates on the tables, I think wow they’ve been busy. But others might see- staff aren’t being very efficient. Expectations and perceptions are different and very hard to manage.

If you want to try and understand how to manage guest expectations and find out more about quality and exceeding customer expectations  register and complete a quality module for free using our on line training tool. There are 11 modules to choose from: – Quality, Seasonality, Training and Energy Controls. Click here to register and complete for free: – http://smartour.dcnet.eu/

Tonia Barrett, Staffordshire Business School

 

Reference

Andersen, E. (2013) 21 Quotes from Henry Ford on Business, Leadership and Life. [Online] Available from: – https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2013/05/31/21-quotes-from-henry-ford-on-business-leadership-and-life/#5dd7a464293c [accessed 19.07.2017]

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Sustainable Food and Drink Tourism

‘Tourist choices are increasingly influenced by sustainability considerations’
(UN World Tourism Organisation – 2012)

The UN regards food as an ‘intangible cultural asset’

Food is part of a destinations ‘persona’

Source: World Food Travel Association, 2016 FoodTrekking Monitor

Food sustains life; without food, humans cannot survive. It is, therefore, important for our future to protect the natural resources that supply food. However, what people eat not only matters for individuals and their environment, but for the economy and society in general. At the same time, food is an important component of a holiday. For hotels and cruise ships, good food has the potential to become a competitive advantage while bad food can damage a hotel’s or cruise ship’s reputation for years. This is why it is of great importance for tourism businesses to manage food in a sustainable way.

Sustainable food consumption is a growing field of interest. One reason is the constantly and rapidly growing demand for food in a world whose population is expected to grow to over 9 billion people by 2050. At the same time, food producers around the world often do not get a fair share of global food trade and in many instances work under poor conditions. Additional pressure arises from the greenhouse-gas emissions caused by food production, which play a crucial role in climate change. Furthermore, the health aspect of food is a major concern, especially in modern societies. Finally, rapid socio-cultural changes in many countries raise the question of the protection of food cultures and traditions.

Food and drinks consumption is seen by most tourists as an important part of their trips and tourism often takes place in ecologically, socially and culturally sensitive destinations. Through food consumption, it is not only possible to support your health and well-being while on holiday, but also to interact directly with the ecological, social and cultural resources of a destination.

Some key facts

  1. For 44% of traveller’s food is one of the top three criteria they consider when deciding where to travel.
  2. 1 in 5 international visitors to Europe are involved in gastronomic activities on the trip.
  3. Food and drinks is the second largest spend by tourists (after accommodation) whilst on holiday. 

At the same time, unsustainable food consumption has the potential to cause harm for tourists, local inhabit- ants, and destinations in general. Over use of scarce resources, excessive food waste and poor labour conditions are some examples of areas, where touristic food consumption has negative consequences for a destination. Understanding and managing food in a holistic, sustainable way is therefore one key for the future success of tourism businesses around the world.

Dimension: Local Food

Local purchasing supports a destination’s economy both directly through payments and indirectly through the creation of jobs. Also, from an environmental point of view, local sourcing makes sense, since it lowers transport emissions and packaging waste. Local sourcing also helps protect local food cultures and might provide healthier options of less-processed and -preserved food.

The primary challenge to tourism businesses in holiday destinations is, therefore,
to find access to local produce and to build up a reliable food supply. However, there is no official definition of what local food actually means. For example, the Green Restaurant Association (USA) defines local food as food that comes from a distance of below 400 miles (643 km) away, while Viabono (Germany) regards food from less than 60 miles (96.5 km) away as local.

What is considered local also depends on the destination: for a hotel on a small island, the local radius is probably smaller than for a land-based hotel in extensively populated areas. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, you should look for the closest food supply you can get.

Local ingredients and food seem to play a key role, when it comes to customers attitudes. More than 60% of German package holiday travellers prefer local dishes to familiar ones and strongly agree that food and drink are a good way to become acquainted with other cultures.

So what can you do?

 You have to understand the growing importance of food and drink in the tourism industry and its importance to your customers. Than, identify and apply actions to address customer needs and promote your business using sustainability as the message.

We have created a free online tool to help you develop this area. Our training tool was developed by and with the tourism industry. This free online training covers 11 modules to complete with short quizzes at the end of each module. This tool helps you to design your own strategy in relation to your individual business needs.  All you need is an internet connection.

Click here to register and start your free online training today:  http://smartour.dcnet.eu/

Marzena Reszka, Staffordshire Business School.

Reference

UN World Tourism Organisation (2012). Annual Report. [Online] Available from: http://www2.unwto.org/publication/unwto-annual-report-2012

World Food Travel Association (2016). Food Trekking Monitor. [Online] Available from: http://www.worldfoodtravel.org/articles/world-food-travel-association-2016-annual-report

Useful links

https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/business/2017/04/10/service-quality-in-tourism-the-road-less-travelled/

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Sustainable Supply Chain

Operating ethically and operating profitably are no longer mutually exclusive concepts. Leading companies are “walking the walk,” balancing the goal of achieving profitability with gaining social and environmental advantages.

Companies stuck in a mind-set of “what’s the minimum I need to do” are missing out on opportunities to use ethical business practices as an integral part of what makes them unique.

Achieving responsible and profitable supply chains is about gaining a triple advantage creating a clear business case for organisations, as well as benefits for the environment and society. Those focused on this “triple advantage” is supply chain operations can increase competitiveness through increased revenue and brand reputation while decreasing cost and risk.

To sustain competitiveness, companies need to recalibrate their strategies towards ethical behaviour—moving from a focus on compliance to differentiation. Companies engaged in responsible supply chain efforts often refer to their “license to operate.” That implies they’ve established trust with local governments and society by complying with regulations and establishing health and safety programs that give them tacit permission to do business.

So you may think what is a supply chain?

Supply chains are present in every economic sector – they are made up of connections between suppliers of all the goods and services that go into the delivery of products to consumers.

A sustainable supply chain is one that involves the incorporation of socio-cultural, environmental and economically viable practices placed into the full lifecycle of the supply chain. The full lifecycle of the supply chain means all the steps from product design and development, to selection of appropriate materials, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, storage, supply, consumption, and recycling.

What are sustainable tourism supply chains?

In the context of the tourism sector, a sustainable supply chain includes all suppliers of goods and services;

–        either contracted straight from tour operators and associated ground handlers

–        or via suppliers including accommodation providers

A holiday is the end product most commonly purchased in a tourism supply chain.

Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) encapsulates the trend to use purchasing policies and practices to facilitate sustainable development at the tourist destination. Most research has focused on environmental aspects of manufacturing, while other aspects of sustainability or the challenges for the service sector are largely ignored. Yet SSC is particularly important for tour operators, as the product depends on the activities of suppliers such as accommodation, transport and activities. Therefore, tour operators’ contribution to sustainable tourism will be more effective through the definition and implementation of policies that acknowledge responsibility for the impacts of suppliers.

Across tourism supply chains, research has suggested that the process of implementing sustainable practices is most challenging in the area of transport, and most straight forward in accommodation. Attempt to generate sustainability at the scale of a destination need the combined efforts of the widest partnership of stakeholders.

It is therefore important, when supporting and connecting to a local destination, for businesses to have a strong grasp of the whole holiday experience and the type of advice that will be useful for customers. Each destination has its specific setting, but a general summary of links looks like this:

© 2003 Richard Tapper, Environment Business & Development Group

The Benefits

So why might a business wish to apply a sustainable tourism supply approach – what are the principal benefits?

All supply chains can be optimised using sustainable practices. Sustainability in the supply chain encapsulates a number of different priorities:

  • Environmental stewardship
  • Conservation of resources
  • Reduction of carbon footprint
  • Financial savings and viability
  • Social responsibility

Managing supply chains in a sustainable manner can help businesses in not only reducing their total carbon footprint, but also in optimising their end-to-end operations to achieve:

  • Improved credibility, visibility and brand reputation
  • Improved access to markets
  • Greater operational effectiveness leading to cost savings and profitability

We have created a free online tool to help you develop. Our training tool was developed by and with the tourism industry. This free online training covers 11 modules to complete with short quizzes at the end of each module. This tool helps you to design your own strategy in relation to your individual business needs.  All you need is an internet connection.

Click here to register and start your free online training today:  http://smartour.dcnet.eu/

Marzena Reszka, Staffordshire Business School


Reference

Accenture Consulting (2017). Walking the Walk Driving Competitiveness Through Ethical Supply Chains. [Online] Available from: www.accenture.com

Useful links

https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/business/2017/04/10/service-quality-in-tourism-the-road-less-travelled/

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Winter Is Coming

Winter is coming, and I just can’t wait. I don’t mean log fires, mulled wine and snow on the ground – I mean Mr. Jon Snow on our screens! I’ve been looking forward to season seven of Game of Thrones since season six ended! This is just one kind of season I look forward too, closely followed by Spring, Rugby and Pimms season. Seasons are very important to our businesses, adapted from Corluka (2017) Tourism as an integral part of global business and are highly dependent on seasonal changes, economic activities as well as human behaviour and society in general.

Agricultural, Tourism, Hospitality, Sporting and Construction industries all have different peak seasons and the down time is equally as important to manage as the money making time. It’s not an easy task to manage fluctuations and imbalances of weather, guests, staff, stock or equipment. It is more than an art and a career to manage seasonality and all the impacts they have on different parts of your business.

Winter is not a season it’s an occupation – the hospitality industry really looks forward to Christmas when families, friends and business associates gather to celebrate the festive period. We rely on and look forward to serving the guests and we enjoy the busy demands of figuring out the master puzzle of where is the entire matching cutlery gone from last year! It’s a long, hard slog to get everyone served and to keep everyone happy. When the quiet New Year months arrive we can enjoy a hot drink ‘hot’ which is a real novelty. With our hot drink in hand we have time to look at the business and reflect on the successes and potential improvements to be made for next season. We need and rely on this quiet season to plan and conduct training and development, as well as rewriting and reviewing policies, procedures and making organisational changes for future successful seasons. Within the sporting world the best athletes are made during the ‘off season’ and this should be the same for us.

Our industry needs the down-time to reboot, recharge and regenerate and we must use this time wisely. So if this is your quiet season and you are actually waiting for the real winter season and the festive period why not get some training under your aprons! We have developed an online training website where you can choose from 11 modules to complete for free. All you need is an internet connection, there are short quizzes at the end of each module and they are designed around your individual business needs. It only takes a few minutes to register and log on and then you have 11 fantastic modules at your fingertips.  Some of the modules include: – sustainable food and drink tourism, Social media and marketing, Seasonality, quality and training. Anyone can use the system, it is designed around Tourism and the Hospitality industry and is 100% free to register and complete. Use this on line tool to spring forward!  Click here to register and start your free online training today:-  http://smartour.dcnet.eu/

Tonia Barrett, Staffordshire Business School

Reference

Corluka, G. (2017). Seasonality in Tourism- causes, implications and strategies. [online] Available from:- www.academic.edu [Accessed on 17.07.2017]

Useful links

https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/business/2017/04/10/service-quality-in-tourism-the-road-less-travelled/

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject/

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Free online training tourism tool now available – SMARTOUR

Thinking about going into the tourism industry ? Or maybe you work there already but have never had training?

We have a free online tool to help you develop. It was developed by and with the tourism industry – here is the list of topics available:

  • Accessibility – what is the scope and potential of this growing market for those with access needs?
  • Sustainable Supply Chains – what are the actions needed to get the most from your local supply chain?
  • Sustainable Food and drink tourism – how important is food and drink for the tourist offer? and what simple low cost actions can you take
  • Social media and marketing – developing your markets and guidance on social media
  • Seasonality – developing a plan for seasonality
  • Quality – what is service quality and how does it link to the visitor experience?
  • Training – planning and thinking about training for staff
  • EU Quality Principles – a simple and practical guide to EU Quality principles
  • Energy Controls – why you need to control energy
  • Interpreting Energy Bills – looking at energy bills and saving money
  • Indoor Air Quality – what affects customer comfort in rooms?

Each unit last between 30 mins and 1 hour – a simple test is available at the end of each module.

The tool can be found here smartour.dcnet.eu

and here is some guidance on the registration process to get started. Fill this out correctly and the tool will generate a certificate you can print out (depending on your results).

SMARTOUR Online Training Tool ppt 

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

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Tourism: large scale funding opportunities

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” Aldous Huxley

In my opinion Aldous Huxley is correct when he said that tourism is a way to learn and get about other countries. In fact, tourism is a major economic activity in the European Union with wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment, and social development. A demonstration that in Europe there is a lot to learn!!

Tourism has been recognised as a powerful tool in fighting economic decline and unemployment. Nevertheless the tourism sector faces a series of challenges. These are due not only to the classic economic issues Europe faces nowadays. The fact is that tourism is a very diversified economic activity and it encompasses a great variety of sectors and sub-sectors.

Culture, Sport, Food and Beverage, Industry, Agriculture, Arts&Crafts, Blue economy are just a few topics which can be collected under tourism umbrella. What about the opportunities in this sector?

What is out there for tourism businesses and services providers?

The European Union sets a series of funding scheme which can help tourism and its sub-sector to develop and growth.

Here we will analyse some of them which might be interesting. For a full information you can check this publication: EU FUNDING FOR THE TOURISM SECTOR 2014-2020

 

EUROPEAN FUND FOR STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS

Any type of useful transaction or investment for the development of legitimate (SMEs) activities. Everywhere in the EU, including cross-border projects (no geographic quotas).

 

EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND

These programmes may for instance support:
– Tourism-related research, technological development and innovation, including service
innovation and clusters (tourism service incubators, living labs, demonstration projects)

– The development of tourism-related ICT products (apps, data mining)

– The development of innovative tourism services, in particular in less favoured and peripheral regions with underdeveloped industrial structures and strongly dependent on tourism (new business models, exploitation of new ideas)

– The development of high value added products and services in niche markets (health tourism, tourism for seniors, cultural and ecotourism, gastronomy tourism, sports tourism, etc.) by mobilising specific local resources and therefore contributing to smart regional specialisation

– Clustering activities among different tourism industries as well as with creative industries, to diversify regional tourism products and extend the tourism season (e.g. in the nautical and boating tourism industry, as well as for the cruise industry).

– Activities connecting the coastal regions to the hinterland for more integrated regional
development

– Measures to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy use among tourism SMEs

– The protection, promotion and development of natural and cultural tourism assets and related services

– Small-scale cultural and sustainable tourism infrastructure

– Measures in favour of entrepreneurship, self-employment and business creation as well as the internationalisation of tourism SMEs and clusters

– Vocational training, skills upgrading

 

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND

ESF is providing grants. All projects have to be co-financed, with a maximum EU contribution of 50% to 85% (95% in exceptional cases) of the total project costs depending on the relative wealth of the region (“More developed regions”, “Transitions regions” or “Less developed regions”). The level of funding varies widely, depending of the project and the Operational Programme. Examples listed below range from EUR 50.000 to EUR 3 million.

EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE FUND FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT

– Vocational training and skills acquisition actions (courses, workshops, coaching for instance on how to develop rural tourism), demonstration activities and information actions

– Advisory services to help farmers, forest holders, other land managers and SMEs in rural areas to improve their economic performance

– Business start-up aid as well as investments for non-agricultural activities in rural areas (rural accommodation, shops, restaurants, guided tours)

– Drawing up and updating of plans for the development of municipalities and villages in rural areas

– Investments for public use in recreational infrastructure, tourist information and small scale tourism infrastructure

– Studies and investments associated with the maintenance, restoration and upgrading of the cultural and natural heritage of villages, rural landscapes and high nature value sites, including

– Related socio-economic aspects, as well as environmental awareness actions
co-operation involving at least two entities (creation of clusters and networks; co-operation
among small operators in organising joint work processes and sharing facilities and resources and for the development and/or marketing of tourism services relating to rural tourism)

 

EUROPEAN MARITIME AND FISHERIES FUND

– Studies
– Projects, including test projects and cooperation projects
– Conferences, seminars, fora and workshops

Public information and sharing best practice, awareness raising campaigns and associated communication and dissemination activities such as publicity campaigns, events, the development and maintenance of websites, stakeholder platforms;

– Professional training, life-long learning and the acquisition of new professional skills enabling professionals of the fisheries sector or their life partners to enter into tourism activities or to carry out complementary activities in the field of tourism.

 

LIFE

– Pilot projects assess the effectiveness of a method/approach that is new or has been used in a different (geographical, ecological, socio-economic) context; they compare its results with those produced by best practices, in order to determine if the method should be tested on a larger scale (i.e. in a demonstration project) and inform stakeholders

– Demonstration projects test and evaluate a method/approach that is new or has been used in a different context; they inform other stakeholders of the results and, where appropriate, encourage them to apply these methods/approaches

– Best practice projects apply appropriate, cost-effective and state-of-the-art techniques,
methods and approaches taking into account the specific context of the project

– Information, awareness and dissemination projects related to one of the priority areas.

 

HORIZON 2020

LEIT & REFLECTIVE. For “Research & Innovation Actions”, grants for projects typically lasting 36 to 48 months, with an average EU contribution of € 2 to 5 million over that period. The grant may cover 100% of the total eligible costs. For “Innovation Actions”, grants for projects typically lasting 30 to 36 months, with an average EU contribution of € 2 to 5 million over that period. The grant may cover 100% of the total eligible costs for non-profit organisations and 70% maximum for profit-making entities (companies …). For “Coordination and Support Actions”, grants for projects typically lasting 12 to 30 months and an average EU contribution of € 500.000 to 2 million over that period. The grant covers 100% of the total eligible costs.

SME INSTRUMENT. For feasibility assessment, grants of € 50.000 (lump sum) with a typical duration of 6 months, covering maximum 70 % of total cost of the project. For innovation development & demonstration projects, grants of € 500.000 to 2,5 million (indicative range), with a typical duration of 1 to 2 years, covering 70 % of total cost of the project as a general rule). As for risk finance, this instrument allows financial intermediaries to offer SMEs better loans, guarantees or counter-guarantees as well as hybrid, mezzanine or equity finance.

 

COSME

TOURISM ACTION PLAN

Some of the Tourism Action Plan’s objectives are pursued through calls for Proposals and calls for tenders open to the tourism sector. These may concern, among other things:

– The development and/or promotion of sustainable transnational thematic tourism products (linked, for instance, European routes dedicated to specific aspects of our cultural and industrial heritage, cycling trails, eco-tourism, maritime and sub-aquatic areas, etc.).

– The development and/or promotion of niche products exploiting synergies between tourism and creative industries at European level (e.g. European Route around high-end products)

– Transnational public and private partnerships developing tourism products targeting specific age groups (e.g. seniors and youth) to increase tourism flows between European countries during the low and medium seasons

– Capacity building schemes for “accessible tourism” (i.e. to all, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age) whereby destination managers, entrepreneurs, can learn from experienced and successful ‘accessible’ operators, create synergies with other operators along the supply chain, explore new market opportunities and way to make business.

 

CREATIVE EUROPE PROGRAMME

TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS
The “Culture sub-programme” funds transnational activities within and outside of the EU, aimed at developing, creating, producing, disseminating and preserving goods and services which embody cultural, artistic or other creative expressions. This encompasses activities to develop skills, competences and know-how, including how to adapt to digital technologies; to test new business and management models; to organise international cultural activities, such as touring events, exhibitions, exchanges and festivals; as well as to stimulate interest in, and improve access to, European cultural and creative works. The programme will not support projects including pornographic or racist material or advocating violence.

EUROPEAN NETWORKS
The “Culture sub-programme” supports European networks (i.e. structured groups of organisations) that strengthen the capacity of the cultural and creative sectors to operate transnationally and internationally, adapt to change and promote innovation. A limited number of networks with broad coverage will be supported across a balanced range of sectors. Greater synergies between existing networks are welcomed in order to reinforce their organisational and financial structure and avoid duplication of efforts.

EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF CULTURE
The title of “European Capital of Culture” is awarded each year to one city in two Member States, according to a chronological list of eligible Member States set for 2020-2033 (Croatia and Ireland in 2020; Romania and Greece in 2021 …). These cities have to create a cultural programme specifically for that year. The “Culture sub-programme” supports the implementation of this programme which has to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures and the features they share, as well as to promote greater understanding between European citizens.

 

ERASMUS+

– Learning opportunities for individuals through Mobility Projects for Higher Education Students and Staff, a loan guarantee scheme to help Master’s degree students financing their studies abroad and Mobility Projects for VET Learners and Staff (Vocational Education and Training)

– Cooperation between educational institutions, businesses, local and regional authorities and NGOs, mainly through Joint Master Degrees (i.e. high-level integrated international study programmes of 60, 90 or 120 ECTS); Strategic Partnerships (allowing organisations from different socio-economic sectors to develop and disseminate, among other things, innovative practices leading to high quality teaching, – training, learning and youth work); Knowledge Alliances (a/ to develop innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning; b/ to stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills among teaching staff and workers; c/ to facilitate the exchange, flow and co-creation of knowledge between higher education and enterprises); and Sector Skills Alliances (to design and deliver joint vocational training programmes and teaching / training methodologies, with particular focus on work-based learning, providing learners with the skills required by the labour market);

– Not-for profit European sport events encouraging participation in sport and physical activity.

 

Antonella Tozzi, Project Manager at Eurocrea Merchant SRL

About me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/antonella-tozzi-7ab49645

 

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/ includes links to our online training tool and events in England and Italy

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject/

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