13 great events from January to June in 2018

Here’s a good mix of events – comedy, music, opera, baking, jazz and festivals all happening within our local region

January

25th to 27th – Moscow City Ballet presents the Nutcracker, Regent Theatre

26th Circus of Horrors at the Victoria Hall 

February

6th Banff Mountain Film Festival at Victoria Hall

7th and 8th Bill Bailey – Larks in Transit Victoria Hall 

28th England Legends Live! – Peter Shilton and Sir Geoff Hurst presented by Pat Murphy of BBC Five LiveVictoria Hall

March

1st to 4th Lichfield Literature Festival 

3rd French Bread and Croissants with Phillippe Toquin at the Dorothy Clive Gardens

7th Ellen Kent – La Traviata March Regent Theatre

26th Russell Brand Re-birth Victoria Hall

29th to April 2nd Nantwich Jazz Festival 

April

7th An introduction to bee keeping with Alison Wakeman at Dorothy Clive Garden

May

4th top 7th Lymelight Music Festival Newcastle under Lyme (follow @newcastleBID  for more details as they come)

June 

8th to 10th Dovedale Arts Festival 

 

Keep up to date with events and tourism by following our twitter account @tourismsu 

If you are interested in studying tourism or events with us then have a look at our courses

rock concert

Which Social Media Platforms Are Right For Your Business?

Despite what people say, you don’t need to be on all social media platforms to promote your business. However, a lot of businesses fail to harness the power of social media, or waste time using the ‘wrong’ platform for their needs.

By picking the platforms that work for your company and utilising all of the features they have to offer you could be making a bigger difference with just one that you could be with six. Plus there are only 24 hours in a day and for a small business, it can be quite challenging managing all the platforms as well as business activities. But, how do you choose the right social media platform? Let’s get started!

 

WHAT TO CONSIDER?

When deciding which platform is worth investing your time in, there are a few things to consider – your target demographic, the style and ability of the platform and ultimately, what you want to achieve.
Below I’ve put together a list of the key purposes/demographics for the 5 most popular social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. Take a look and see which is most suitable for your business:

 

FACEBOOK –
Facebook is one of the most popular and powerful social networks out there. It has over 1.28 billion monthly active users. Due to its large number of users, the likelihood of your target audience being online is quite high. The platform has great targeting for both paid and organic content and you can almost completely control the way you want it to look – from the cover photo and profile picture to the about options, app integrations and featured images.
Almost any business can benefit from having a Facebook page. But Facebook isn’t primarily about selling. Facebook is ideal for giving your business a personality. Content works best when you portray your business in a friendly, sociable way. It’s the perfect place to show off what your team members have been up too as well as showcasing your products. “The best ‘bang for the buck’ in Internet marketing today is Facebook advertising. The targeting options are limitless and surprisingly inexpensive for businesses of all sizes.Facebook advertising can help marketers of all kinds get insights into how different demographic groups respond—and for a fraction of the cost of other alternatives,” (Chris Treadaway, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day).

 

TWITTER –
Twitter has become widely popular over the last decade and is known amongst businesses for being the place of conversation. Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter is very ‘in the moment’.
Twitter is the platform for you if you want to reach out to people regarding news, updates, questions for your followers or just want to see what your customers are interested in, choose Twitter.

 

LINKED –
LinkedIn is a B2B social media platform. Just imagine attending your busiest networking event from the comfort of your own office/home. LinkedIn is predominantly a platform that allows you make connections in the business world and utilise them as necessary.

It’s a fantastic platform for recruiters and any professional services. LinkedIn has good targeting options and allows you the make the most of people’s skills.
Service providers are more common on LinkedIn in comparison to manufacturers or retailers, because it’s easier to talk about what your business does, and it’s not a very visual medium.

 

INSTAGRAM –
If your business is B2C and very visual, Instagram is the platform you need to be on. Shops, travel agents, estate agents, designers and more are all on Instagram because they offer a ‘strong visual’ product that people will take an interest in.
Instagram has great integration with Facebook when it comes to advertising and due to its use of hashtags, posts are easier to find and target your customers.
You can drive traffic through to your websites/product pages and also show your company’s personality.

 

YOUTUBE –
We’ve all heard of YouTube, right? It’s the go-to place for reviews, how to’s and entertainment. Almost any business type can benefit from YouTube but it requires a lot of time and skill to build a following and to create engaging videos.
As with all platforms, YouTube can work better for certain industries including retail, health and more. It’s also a fantastic platform for influencer marketing. Not to mention it is the second biggest exarch engine and is still and expanding platform, unlike twitter.

 

So which platform will you be using for your business and why, share your thoughts bellow and thank you for reading this blog post.

 

By Richard Holland – MSc Digital Marketing Student

 

Contact –

Linkedin- Richard Holland

Instagram – Vission Design

Brand –

Instagram – Ricco London

Twitter – Ricco London

Facebook – Ricco London

Accessible Tourism and the Purple Pound

by Final Year Tourism student Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

With a value of around £249 bn to the UK economy (BBC, 2017) the power of the ‘purple pound’ cannot be underestimated. But what is the purple pound and why is it so important for organisations to consider its importance? Colours have long been attributed to the purchasing power of target market segments, with the grey pound referring to the disposable income of older people and the purchasing habits of the LGBT community known as the pink pound. The colour purple refers to the potential spending power of disabled people.

A 2014 report from the Department for Work and Pensions suggested that high street businesses could be turning away the custom of 1 in 5 people by not attracting disabled people. Whilst many tourism businesses are not found on the high street, it is imperative that the tourism industry should recognise the value and importance of the purple pound.

Trips and spend of the Purple Pound

Figure 1 – Trips and spend of the Purple Pound

According to VisitBritain (2017) disabled British and international visitors currently spend over £3 billion on overnight tourism trips in England each year (Figure 1). Add to the mix their travelling companions and the total tourism spend by this market in England annually is estimated to be around £12 billion per year. So, for tourism organisations, improving accessibility could improve business.

What is accessible tourism?

Accessible tourism is tourism that is available to every person regardless of disability, health or other issues UNWTO (2012). It is important to remember that only around 8% of disabled people use a wheelchair, meaning that over 90% have hearing, visual or other mobility impairments that do not require the use of more obvious support. Assumptions that all people with disabilities present obvious signs detract from the provision of appropriate services and support (see figure 2 for examples).

Figure 2 - Impairment help symbols

Figure 2 – Impairment help symbols

People with accessibility needs include those who are or who present:

  • Wheelchair users
  • Learning disabilities
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing loss
  • Mental impairment
  • Families with young children
  • Elderly
  • Autistic
  • Foreign language speakers

Needs they may require:

  • Lift
  • Disabled toilets
  • Blue badge holder parking space
  • Flat surface – (wheelchair friendly)
  • Automatic /extended/ double doors
  • Staff capable of speaking more than 1 language
  • Accessibility aids eg onsite wheelchair
  • Guide dog permit entry
  • Hearing impairment eg hearing loops

Research (Visit Britain, 2017) suggests that visitors who make up the accessible tourism market are:

  • More likely to take longer trips
  • Find seaside destinations particularly appealing
  • Anecdotally very loyal
Figure 3 World of Wedgwood

Figure 3 World of Wedgwood

As part of my final year Tourism project, l will be assessing accessible tourism provision in visitor attractions, with a focus on the World of Wedgwood. Consideration will be given to the extent to which the attraction meets the demands of the accessible tourism market. The aim of my study is to increase Wedgwood’s awareness of this rapidly growing market and to utilise Visit Britain’s accessible tourism toolkit to offer suggestions and recommendations for facilities and services on offer, in order to increase the chances of attracting more visitors with access needs.

Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

The author Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

Contact Details;

Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

Email: vlm.wisdom@hotmail.com

Facebook: Vionage Leyleen

LinkedIn: Vionage Leyleen Maziwa

References:

BBC News. (2017). The power of the ‘purple pound’. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-39040760/the-power-of-the-purple-pound-explained [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

Gov.uk. (2017). High street could be boosted by £212 billion ‘purple pound’ by  attracting disabled people and their families – GOV.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/high-street-could-be-boosted-by-212-billion-purple-pound-by-attracting-disabled-people-and-their-families  [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

VisitBritain. (2017). Providing access for all. [online] Available at: https://www.visitbritain.org/providing-access-all [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

UNWTO.org.(2017). Manual on  Accessible Tourism for All:  Principles, Tools and Best Practices [online] Available at: http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/docpdf/moduleieng13022017.pdf [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

Find out about our Tourism and Events courses on this link

Sign up to our next Open Day on this link 

Follow us on twitter @tourismsu

A time to have fun (and some research) at the World of Wedgwood Christmas Market

Christmas is a time that brings so much love and joy to friends, family and loved ones, so why not visit the World of Wedgwood Magical Christmas Market for festive treats and Christmas gifts.

 The event runs from the 7-10th of December.

The Christmas Market Fayre will consist of over 50 stalls selling hand crafted products and locally sourced and produced fine foods for festive treats and Christmas gifts, located in the Courtyard and the Darwin Suite. There will also be music and entertainment, along with Christmas lunches in the contemporary restaurant and a festive afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room.

In addition to the Christmas market, visitors can also enjoy the Wedgwood Museum or take a tour of the Wedgwood factory, where they can put their skills to the test in the creative studio by having a spin on the potter’s wheel or designing a unique Wedgwood plate.

The World of Wedgwood is situated in Barlaston in Stoke-on-Trent. It is not far from junction 14 (north) and junction 15 (south) which makes life a lot easier for tourists travelling from the motorway . The Christmas Market Fayre has free entry and there is also free parking available on the venue.

About me

My name is Charmaine Oputeri and I am a final year student studying Tourism Management at Staffordshire University.

I am doing my final year project on the World of Wedgwood’s Christmas Market Fayre. The aim of my project is to establish the customer profile and to broadly evaluate the marketing aspects of World of Wedgwood. This is vital to my project as it will enable me to understand what attracts people to visit the World of Wedgwood and how it can be improved for future visitors.

Data collection will be conducted by asking the visitors  at the Christmas Market Fayre to fill out a survey. This survey consists of various questions about the customer experience e.g. what they enjoyed the most about the Christmas Market and what they would like to see improved in the future.

I hope to pursue a career within the Tourism industry as l enjoy working with people. This final year project will enable to reach this goal because it is going to teach me interpersonal skills, good communication skills and lastly, it will enable me to use my own initiative.

Social media

World of Wedgwood on facebook 

World of Wedgwood on Instagram

@WorldofWedgwood on twitter

Charmaine Oputeri on twitter

Charmaine Octuperi on Instagram

 

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

SMARTOUR logo

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 

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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/

SMARTOUR logo

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 

SMARTOUR logo

The Importance of Employability Skills – Get Ready for Employability Challenge!

Without a doubt, one of the main challenges for students today is that different employers look for different sets of employability skills. However, it can be difficult for students to think about their employability skills whilst at university given busy schedules and pressure to meet assignment deadlines.

At Staffordshire University we take employability promise seriously. We want all of our students to graduate with the right employability skills and experience to enable them to follow their chosen career path. We promise our students to equip them with relevant employment skills and we deliver on our promise. We are proud about the fact that 97% of our graduates are in employment after graduating. When it comes to employability of our graduates, we are proud to be No. 1* in England for graduate employability. To achieve this, we work in partnership with many industry-leading organisations to help them tap into our home-grown graduate talent as well as helping students develop their employability skills through various initiatives and practices such as mentoring and work-shadowing. Global Entrepreneurial Week (GEW) event held at Staffordshire University every year plays the key role in equipping graduates with relevant work-related skills.

At Staffordshire University, we are committed to helping students maximise their employability and ultimately finding their dream graduate job, by offering a range of career-related events. In particular, GEW is an annual event at Staffordshire University that brings together a range of industry leading employers on campus during which students can meet and network with employers to find out about employment opportunities. Organised specifically for students, GEW and FutureFest event is designed to inform students about the future world-of-work. The Staffordshire University is committed to helping students maximise their employability, therefore the program is centred on topics that can help students succeed in every step of their career development process.

However, whilst we are committed to bringing leading business experts to share their expertise with students, there is also an expectation from students to actively participate in this event in order to get the most out of this unique opportunity for their career development. How to make the most out of this event? Network, network, network. Forward thinking students always have their CVs on hand to give out to potential employers. If you have never written a CV, you could get a professional help from the Career Office, who would assist you in writing a professionally looking CV, highlighting your transferable skills, and any work experience you have to date.

GEW and FutureFest event will provide students with an excellent opportunity to meet employers, discuss job opportunities, better understand career opportunities across various industries, get industry insights from recruiters, network with Industry leaders or simply get inspired. So, if you’re looking for your dream job or just looking to further enhance your employability skills, come along to GEW and FutureFest event held at Staffordshire University on November 13. We look forward to active participation of students in GEW and FutureFest 2017!

Dr Katerina Thomas, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School

www.staffs.ac.uk

 

*Joint with Bishop Grosseteste University, excluding specialist institutions. Source: DLHE 2017

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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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.