Pestle Analysis- Should Caravan Club Invest in N.Ireland ?

| | | |The Caravan Club | |Business Enterprise | The Caravan Club Introduction. The Caravan Club is an organisation representing caravanners in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The Caravan Club is in its 103rd year and has a strong ethos of representing its one million members and providing them with quality products and services.

Whilst wanting to increase its presence in Northern Ireland, many factors must be considered will be evaluated using a PESTLE analysis tool. By implementing such a research framework; a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about particular target market, competition, and environment variables, the company will be better placed to understand the ‘meso-economic and macro-economic environments in which they operate and in this case help the company strategically plan for new development in Northern Ireland. POLITICAL Tourism in Northern Ireland has had to develop within the context of political unrest. This would be deemed one of the main reasons for a thorough analysis into a NI investment. [pic] Visitor trips (number) to Northern Ireland, nights spent (number), and revenue generated (? million), 1963, 1967, 1972, and 1988 to 2001 The political situation in Northern Ireland has improved noticeably since the days of ‘The Troubles. ’ The Good Friday Agreement signed in 1998 the governments of the North and South of Ireland has taken a more formally pro-active role in facilitating greater co-operation between their tourism boards.

Cross-border co-operation is now seen as part of a wider government Strategy in Britain and Ireland to support the peace process and a political settlement. Political will and clear government policy has, in the last number of years, helped to facilitate greater co-operation and give strong and unambiguous direction to the boards. Under this situation any overriding concerns about co-operation have been set aside as partnership is now priority government policy.

There is clear government commitment to cooperation and this has filtered down to the tourist boards and individuals within the organisations. (Greer 2002: 362) There will be the threat of potential dissident republican violence, but despite the possibility of isolated violence, to avoid N. I would be like avoiding L. A because there might be an earthquake. The Northern Ireland Executive and DETI have attached a priority to the Tourism sector. This reflects the fact that there is considerable scope to boost the contribution tourism makes to the overall economy.

For example, although the revenue generated by the tourism sector has almost doubled since the mid-1990s, its overall contribution to the economy (1. 9%) remains much less than elsewhere in the UK (3. 2%). (DETI, 2008-2011) Established in 1948, the NITB is one of the four agencies within, and responsible to, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) – the other three agencies are: Invest Northern Ireland; General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland. Arlene Foster (DUP)

I believe that tourism is the business not just of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Tourism Ireland and the Department but of everybody in the private sector as well. I very much hope that the capital investment that has been put into the signature projects over the past three years will now bear fruit for us, not least across signature projects such as the Titanic Quarter project, which is making great progress, as I am sure many Members have seen as they drive past it. We also see the way that the UK City of Culture, Londonderry, has been developing over the past years.

However, the Member is right: if there were more capital funds, I would certainly take them. Unfortunately, with the Budget as it is, I have to make do with what I have been given. I feel that we have been fortunate in so far as we have put a lot of capital investment into the tourism product over the past three to four years. We now need to get down to selling what we have and making sure that everyone is aware of Northern Ireland as a place to visit. (Northern Ireland Assembly debates, 17 January 2011)

The Forestry Bill which came in to operation on 13 September 2010 replaces out-dated forestry law with new legislation, which will support a wider role for forestry in modern society and allow the Department to obtain better value from the forest estate. The forestry bill allows for; The Department may enter into arrangements with any other person for the use or development of forestry land for any such purpose. Castlewellan Forest Park, Drum Manor Forest Park, Glena riff Forest Park ,Gortin Glen Forest Park, Gosford Forest Park, Tollymore Forest Park.

All these forest parks have Caravan sites, currently run by Forest service NI. Giving them ‘The Caravan Club’ brand would open up the sites to the million club members. The Club currently has market share and a standard of excellence, developing the product (Forest Park Sites) in a strategic alliance with NITB & DARD, would not only benefit Tourism NI but is a huge market for ‘The Caravan Club’ to tap into. “I am confident that this multi-faceted Bill will effectively support a modern and forward-looking forestry strategy.

It will give powers to deliver a wide and integrated spectrum of benefits- social and recreational, environmental and of course economic. ” ( Quote; Michelle Gildernew MLA, 2010) Describing the content of the Bill, the Minister added: “The Forestry Bill will retain powers to deal with day to day forestry matters and to protect trees from damage by wild animals or from fire risk from vegetation on adjoining land. There will still be powers to make bye-laws to ensure the safe and responsible enjoyment of the public forest estate. “

The forestry Bill is just a part of Tourism Strategies for NI, over the past ten years; Northern Ireland has fought hard for its share of the growing travel and tourism market and has done remarkably well, and is now seen as an industry that can make a significant contribution to the economy of the country. The Caravan Club also extends their brand as a franchise development, in the form of a Certified Location, which is a 5-van site for the exclusive use of Caravan Club members. They are covered by a special Act of Parliament and need no site licence or formal planning permission.

They can be on a farm or smallholding, at a pub or golf course, even on land attached to your house. If you think bigger; Affiliated Sites are a core part of The Caravan Club network, and benefit from close association with The Club. Affiliated sites remain independently owned or managed, and retain responsibility for bookings and pricing. Affiliated Sites have direct access to The Club, via the Regional Manager, who will be only too pleased to help and advise on operating and developing the site. Affiliated Sites are also featured on the website, in the Sites Directory and Handbook and in the Site Collection brochures.

In return, Affiliated Sites pay an annual fee, negotiated as part of a two year agreement based on location, facilities and size. If your business is, or will be, certified by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) as a provider of tourist accommodation, or if your business has commercial revenue streams from the supply of a priority tourism product or service, Invest NI is able to offer support as part of DETI. Invest NI supporting you we will adopt a twin track approach with advice and support for strategic and process improvement (Capability) and financial support for product development (Capital).

Mr Murphy, who is an adviser to the Tax Justice Network and the TUC on taxation and economic issues, said he believed it was “extremely unlikely” corporation tax would be devolved to Northern Ireland due to European Union rules He added that if there was a different tax rate in NI it would “put a barrier to trade” between Northern Ireland and Great Britain DEPARTMENT CONSIDERATION; MOTORHOME TOURISM. Representatives of the sector have been in contact with NITB and the department both directly and through elected representatives. Concerns are understood to be: (i) Access to vehicle parking; and ii) The provision of services specifically for motor home tourists known as ‘aires de service’. The provision of motor home facilities in Northern Ireland is governed by the Caravan Act (1963), all facilities for touring caravans or motor homes must conform with the requirements of the act. Councils have a key role to play in the resolution of these concerns relating to the provision of parking (and services) in Council-run tourism amenity car parks. NITB and DETI Officials have met with motor home lobbyists on a number of occasions to obtain an understanding of the issues faced by motor home tourists and what might be done to address these.

In September 2008 NITB facilitated a seminar for representatives of the motor home sector and local Councils. This was a positive step as motor home lobbyists had previously found Councils to be relatively unforthcoming regarding motor home parking and service provision in their respective areas. In May 2009 NITB facilitated a further follow up seminar for Councils at which a representative from the UK Caravan Club presented to Councils regarding key lessons in respect of motor home parking and service provision.

NITB and DETI Officials met again with one of the representatives on Thursday 28th May 2009, when she reiterated her concerns regarding: Car parking facilities for motor home users; and the provision of services to motor home users in Northern Ireland. In correspondence in June 2009 with an elected representative on behalf of the Northern Ireland Motor Home Association, Minister Foster has asked Robert Cully, Director of Business Development at the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to arrange a meeting to discuss motorhomes.

Part of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Invest NI offers the Northern Ireland business community a single organization providing high quality services, programmes, support and expert advice. Its business advisors are located in Enterprise Agencies in each district council area of Northern Ireland. Invest NI is committed to helping tourism enterprises boost the contribution of tourism to the economy in ways that enhance the visitor experience and nurture a culture of quality, government agencies must work hand in hand to complete the Tourism strategy and attract investment to NI. pic] ECONOMIC When the UK economy first entered a recession in mid-2008, this had a damaging impact across each of the UK regions and on all sectors of the economy. Unemployment rose, the previously buoyant property market crashed and consumer confidence reached an all-time low. The impacts of the downturn are still being felt today and are forecast to continue as the Coalition Government implements curbs on public spending as part of its plan to manage one of the largest UK budget deficits in history.

The Caravan Club had a 15 year steady rise in growth to its record high in 2009, this pre dates and includes the recession. (Tourism Insights) By 2012 it is estimated that around ? 300m will have been invested in tourism over the preceding five years on major projects including the likes of the Titanic Signature Building, Giant’s Causeway Visitor Experience, Ulster Museum and the Ulster Hall. NITB chief executive Alan Clarke says its research shows that for every pound the agency spent on promotion it got ? 14 back into the Northern Ireland economy.

Tourism offers incomparable potential to generate growth and create jobs across Northern Ireland. As a labour intensive industry it brings employment to all regions, new facilities to our towns and cities, creates opportunities in rural areas and is a source of pride for the people of Northern Ireland. To help the tourism industry achieve our goals those in the business need to collectively position challenges and priorities. The Draft Tourism Strategy for NI to 2020 was published for public consultation in February 2010.

In view of the significance of tourism to the local economy, the Minister invited all stakeholders to consider the consultation and contribute to the development of NI’s future tourism policy. The consultation period ended on 20 May 2010. The growth in targets would be achieved by: • Increasing visitors from 3. 2million to 4. 5million by 2020 • Increasing earnings from tourism by ? 520million to ? 1billion by 2020 • Progressively accelerating spend by visitors • Targeting specific markets and market segments • Supporting indigenous high quality businesses to grow Being visitor inspired in all our actions The strategy was accompanied by a detailed action plan that included timescales for achievement. (NITB, 2010) There has been strong potential for growth in the Northern Ireland economy. The economy benefited from the Northern Ireland peace process, although rapid growth was evident even in the decade before the Good Friday Agreement. Northern Ireland retains a number of strengths: • a relatively young population and a high quality education and training system by UK standards; • Competitive labour costs , below the UK average; An increasingly flexible and responsive skills system; • A successful track record in attracting inward investment though Invest NI; • 100 per cent broadband coverage; • Good transport links internally and with Ireland and the rest of the UK; • A relatively low crime rate for most crimes compared to the UK average; and • Strong tourism potential and an attractive natural environment. (Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy) Rebalancing the economy, with greater emphasis on private sector growth, is a long term objective for the next 25 years.

Important things to know about the Caravan industry NI The caravan sector is a significant and important part of the tourism industry- the 4th fastest growth area in the UK economy. Over 90,000 people in the UK work in the caravan industry which encompasses a diverse range of career & business opportunities including caravan parks, manufacturers and dealerships. The caravan sector makes a significant contribution to the 5. 6% of the Northern Ireland workforce working in tourism. The caravan holiday parks in Northern Ireland accounted for over ? 3. 65 million GVA in 2008. 3% of the sector work full time; 14% part time; & 14% are self-employed. Holiday habits have changed to accommodate the increased amount of free leisure time and demographic trends in the population which favours the caravan industry. There are approximately 15,000 static Caravan/holiday home pitches and 3,000 touring pitches (including 1,000 for tents) in Northern Ireland. The NITB Tourism Barometer for June 2010 indicates that the majority (55%) of caravan and camping establishments are experiencing growth in the volume of bed nights overall, primarily driven by the domestic market.

The Sector Skills Council for the Active Leisure, Learning and Well Being sector invited caravan park owners from across Northern Ireland to discuss their training and development needs with a number of key stakeholders, such as, Awarding bodies, Training providers, NITB, Department for Employment & Learning, Caravan Industry Training (CITO). As facilitators of this meeting, SkillsActive aim to increase the understanding of the Northern Ireland caravan industry from both an employer context and from the wider strategic context.

The main meeting aims will be: • Increase our understanding of the NI Caravan Sector from an economic, employer and skills context. • Provide an overview of the current training & skills landscape including potential funding opportunities for developing the workforce skills of the caravan industry. • Begin to explore how providers and caravan park owners can work together to improve access to affordable and appropriate training. Corporation Tax Debate: The main rate of UK corporation tax is 28%, double that in the Irish Republic.

The latest draft Treasury paper has said such a move “would, on its own, be likely to have a positive effect on local private sector investment. It added that it could “play a significant role in helping rebalance the NI economy”. Secretary of State, Owen Paterson said he had “listened” to many businesses in NI. “They are absolutely convinced it would help them,” he said. “It wouldn’t just bring in new investment; it would really radically help some of the very high class businesses we’ve already got. “

A think tank set up to advise the executive – research showed that while a cut in corporation tax could boost employment – the precise benefits of a reduction remained unclear. NI has less than a third of the high quality foreign investment south of the border. Due to EU rules mean the tax cut would mean a significant reduction in the budget given to the Stormont Executive. PwC’s investigation into the impact of Corporation Tax on FDI was prompted by a commitment from the UK coalition government to offer the NI Executive powers to “rebalance the economy. “

Its report ‘Corporation Tax – Game Changer, or Game Over? ‘ says that overseas investors already in the UK, rank corporation tax as 17th in a list of investment drivers, that “prioritise, in order: language, culture and values; infrastructure; skills; and proximity to markets”. PwC’s chief economist in Northern Ireland, Dr Esmond Birnie, said that in terms of its attractiveness to foreign investment, Northern Ireland already performed relatively well in terms of employment creation. “In 2009, with around 3% of the UK population, Northern Ireland secured 10. % of all the new FDI (foreign direct investment) jobs that came into the UK,” he said. The grants that Invest NI can hand out are being significantly cut, so the question is what’s the alternative? There are no statistics for the number of motor homes brought to Northern Ireland (or the Republic of Ireland) by tourists. It is therefore not possible to make an assessment of the economic contribution of this sector. However, the statistics which are available illustrate that this is a growing sector with, for example, a 68% increase in motor home registrations in the UK during the period 2002 to 2008.

Product Partnerships (November 2010) Partnerships or strategic alliances play a key role in helping to boost revenue across a number of sectors. The tourism sector in particular lends itself well to partnerships and brings with it advantages and economies of scale for promotion and providing an enhanced visitor experience. Both large and small operators can often get lost in the myriad of promotional avenues and channels. Partnerships create greater visibility than what can be achieved by operators acting alone.

This publication provides insight into partnerships and intends to inform the reader about the purpose of partnerships in the tourism sector, examples of successful partnerships, and best practice for how tourism operators can create and sustain partnerships. It aims to incite tourism professionals to work collaboratively to raise the quality of the visitor experience and understand their role in the visitor journey as well as build networks to enable them to grow and cluster more products in partnership [pic] NI to NI • The growth we saw in 2009 has continued in the first half of this year, although to a lesser extent. Trips grew by one fifth, and there was over 100,000 additional home visitors compared with last year. • So far they have spent ? 89m which is ? 2m more than in 2009. • The trend for shorter 1-3 night breaks at home continued, increasing by over 50% compared with Jan-June 2009. • Longer (4+ night) holidays declined (-12%). Rest of report highlighted below: Domestic performance was strong up to July 2010, however the declines evident for trips taken in August 2010 continued into September, although they were less significant.

This follows strong growth in August and September 2009 compared with the same months in 2008. Social Staycation is a relatively new word combining the words ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ to describe the trend of holidaying or vacationing at home and locally due to the tough economic climate. Over two thirds of people asked said they will choose to holiday in the UK instead which is great news for the UK holiday industry. Decisions were influenced by poor exchange rates, impact of increasing Air Passenger Duty, environmental concerns and positive UK weather predictions.

These findings are supported the strong rise in self catering bookings, and There is renewed optimism that 2011 will be an even better year for caravans than 2010 was. In the current economic climate, the rise of the staycation grew to prominence as more and more families and friends swapped the holiday abroad for a break on the British coast or amongst the verdant countryside. This saw the caravan industry enjoy a renaissance of sorts and, ahead of the annual Caravan Extravaganza (National Caravan Council) – thought to be one of the biggest exhibitions of its kind – optimism amongst organisers is igh. David Ritchie, one of the organisers of the event said: “It has been a much better year than last year when a number of companies went into administration. Most have come out again and the outlook is a lot better. But of course there’s a lot of nervousness. “With more travel companies going bust more people seem to want to have holidays in the UK so that’s good for the caravan industry. ” With caravan dealers and caravan park owners arriving from all over the UK, and Europe, it is thought there will be plenty of business conducted during the event.

This might lead to an increase in requests for caravan insurance. Last year, the Yorkshire Post report that 24,000 people attended and it is estimated that ? 100million worth of business will be conducted in the first five days.. Businesses are able to use positive action to target their goods, facilities or services to a particular group that is either disadvantaged or currently under-represented in their consumer base, or that has particular needs. Businesses should research their potential consumer base to work out which, if any, groups are under-represented, as they may wish to target these groups.

Do not just assume that a particular group is under-represented. Market trends Figures released by the NCC showed that a total of 7,362 touring caravans were produced between September and November last year, which represented a 14. 1% increase over the total in those months during 2009. This brought the moving-annual-total (m-a-t), at the end of November 2010, to 26,005 tourers, 28. 5% above the figure at the same point twelve months previously. Invoiced sales, from the factory gate, between September and November 2010 totalled 7,049 tourers, 12. % higher than for the same months in 2009. This left the m-a-t of invoiced sales at 25,420 tourers, 23. 7% above the total twelve months previously. Retail sales between September and November 2010 totalled 8,620 tourers, 2. 6% higher than during those three months in 2009. At the present time, a moving-annual-total is not available as the dataset is still building Community spiritSociety is currently being slandered as dangerous, selfish and, essentially, falling apart. Caravanning, on the other hand, restrains and embraces it’s traditional vibe of community spirit. There are local clubs that act under the umbrella of the Caravan Club, and these hold rallies where members meet, sometimes for themed rallies and sometimes just for the sake of being somewhere different for the weekend. ? There are 70 Centres (Local groups) throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and they are the core of The Caravan Club community. If you are keen to pursue your interest and to spend time with likeminded caravanners your Centre has lots on offer. ? The majority of Centre activities, and the most popular, are rallies.

A rally is a gathering of Club members meeting in a friendly and social atmosphere. Although it has in the past had a bad name – Jeremy Clarkson has a known hatred for caravans, and holiday makers dislike getting stuck behind caravan-car convoys – recent technological advancements and an increasing desire amongst the public to see the world at their own leisure has meant that caravanning is quickly becoming a popular way to travel. Many caravanning enthusiasts love the chances they get to meet new people, to see new places, and to feel part of a big extended family of fellow caravan fans.

The truth is if own a caravan and stop to spend the night at a caravan park, chances are you will get to talking with other holiday-makers and you will quickly form bonds and lasting friendships. Technological The Caravan Clubs aim or brand may not have changed in these years but the ways in which people communicate and gather information have changed dramatically due to computer technology advancement. Facebook – An innovative way for brands to work with web communities is to use them as an online focus group whose views and opinions go on to shape product development.

Social networking sites bring together like-minded people who can be your advocates. Build a Presence. Connect with your audience, share your story and participate in real-time conversations quickly and easily on Facebook. Be personal not promotional. Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, and company blogs all show up in analytic programs such as Bit. ly and Google Analytics as referring links. Check out and benchmark before starting a campaign and watch the referring link traffic quality grow. Involving your users and keeping the site interesting and inviting.

It will give you a major boost as knowledge grows and builds your online community. Members can keep in touch at all times. Promoting various Club sites to one another. Giving advice and getting advice, so there is added value. You get knowledge and on-going information in what people want to know or want help with. Identifying customer’s thoughts feelings and concerns. Twitter – lets users create formal friendships which collectively establish numerous and interconnected network of users. In addition Twitter works well with mobile phones and other SMS clients, making it easy to tweet virtually anywhere.

Tweets can be used as a form of real time research. An account with Twitter would help drive members and non-members through to Caravan Club website. Not only does Twitter give you a chance to monitor, but it also gives you a chance to provide instant customer service. This is where The Caravan Club are letting rival companies, take market share as ‘Tomorrow will soon be code for too late’. The website hosts over four million visitors per annum and has 200,000 registered users. Caravan Club members made more than 300,000 online bookings during 2007 and over seven million Site searches. 0,000 members have used The Club’s Online Trader and it is one of the largest online trading services for caravans and motor caravans in the UK. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the travel and tourism industry. (JITT) To respond to members’ increasing requirement for internet access when away from home, The Caravan Club is almost doubling the number of sites offering Wi-Fi coverage, while at the same time upgrading the service at existing ones. The great joy of caravanning is the chance to travel that it brings.

With caravan sites all across Europe, these days the possibilities for caravan holidays have greatly broadened. Satellite television, microwave ovens and all the other technological advances have made caravanning even more appealing, to the extent that it’s common to see long queues of caravans on the roads almost every weekend. Caravanning allows for spontaneity. If you don’t like a site or an area you can simply drive on and find somewhere else. If the weather’s bad there’s somewhere to stay out of the rain-or you can simply turn around and go home.

Caravanning has changed the way we view holidays. It’s become an industry worth ? 1 billion each year, which says a great deal about its importance, and its growth. Legal . OFMDFM has implemented the following policies and procedures with regard to Employment and Management of Staff: • Registration – all private sector employers with more than 10 full-time employees (working more than 16 hours per week) are required to register with the Equality Commission. Specified public sector employers are automatically deemed to be registered. The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (FETO) makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the ground of religious belief or political opinion. This includes a person’s supposed religious belief or political opinion and the absence of any, or any particular, religious belief or political opinion. • Gender Equality – the Belfast Agreement has a vision of a “peaceful, cohesive, inclusive prosperous and fair society, firmly founded on the achievement of reconciliation, tolerance and mutual trust, and the protection and vindication of the human rights of all. This is based on “partnership, equality and mutual respect as the basis of relationships. ” • Racial Equality and Good Relations – NI Vision – ‘A society in which racial diversity is supported, understood, valued and respected, where racism in any of its forms is not tolerated and where we can all live together as a society and enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection. The aim of this Unit is to promote racial equality in Northern Ireland. It has central responsibility for policy relating to people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay – the anti-discrimination branch has responsibility for providing and updating legislation which tackles unfair discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender. The Caravan Club must adhere to all NI regulations, as some may differ the rest of the UK. All private sector employers with more than 10 full-time employees (working more than 16 hours per week) are required to register with the Equality Commission. Specified public sector employers are automatically deemed to be registered.

The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (FETO) makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the ground of religious belief or political opinion. This includes a person’s supposed religious belief or political opinion and the absence of any, or any particular, religious belief or political opinion. Disability Action is the only Northern Ireland-wide, pan-disability organisation working with people with various disabilities; physical, mental, sensory and hidden.

This work is important, as one in five people in Northern Ireland has a disability. Disability Action aims to ensure that people with disabilities attain their full rights as citizens. It offers a range of services to businesses including Access Auditing, Disability & Diversity Training, Communications Auditing and Policy Advice. These services are available throughout Northern Ireland. Pertinent information is the lifeblood of businesses. Regulations such as health and safety , licenses and contacts specific to tourism; nibusinessinfo. co. k provides an immediate, accurate and free source of up to the minute information covering all major areas of business and commercial activity. The site allows businesses to keep actively informed about all current changes and updates within their sector. Environmental. The Caravan club is the market leader of its type, with 56% market share. It has a very strong etho’s and standards of excellance for its 1 million members. The Caravan Club’s Sites network contains a huge and valuable wildlife resource by providing habitats for diverse species of flora and fauna – some of which are endangered.

The Caravan Club take our stewardship of this land and its residents very seriously and in 2002 embarked on a programme of wildlife audits on Club Sites using professional ecologists (JUST ECOLOGY) – an initiative which has been welcomed by staff and members alike as it ties in with their own interests and concerns about the natural world. The Caravan Club has developed alliances with a number of organisations we believe have shared interests. We work with these groups on a wide range of initiatives for mutual benefit, as well as to ensure we offer members a choice of enjoyable holiday activities, these groups include- The National Cycle Network which offers 12,600 miles of signed cycle routes throughout the UK. • RSPB; The Club is the Species Champion of the Song Thrush, and sponsors the RSPB’s protection of the bird. • The National Trust • The Heritage Center. • The Woodland Trust. We also work with closely with UK tourism bodies (including VisitBritain, VisitEngland, VisitScotland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board) to promote domestic tourism. The Caravan Club is an active member of he Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Tourism Forum and the Wales Tourism Alliance. Gaining Investor in People status, increases the productivity of ‘The Caravan Club’ by improving the way in which organisations manage and develop their people, leading to business improvement and better public services. All stakeholders would benefit from an Investor in people Award. o Use Investors in People to improve the core area of the business that affects everything the company does, namely its employees. (Reduce turnover of Seasonal & f/t staff. ) (Case study Pontins) Encourage more volunteers. o Forest service NI Have already gained Investor in People status, as do all government agencies that the club would be affiliated with in NI. Truly motivated staff can make all the difference to a business. [pic] [pic] Evaluation Creating quality visitor experience in NI depends on the actions of many government departments as well as individual businesses such as The Caravan Club. The potential to grow must strike a balance between development and conservation; sustainability must be a guiding concept.

The rural development strategy realises the need for diversification both in farming and forestry. As the forest service actively develops activity tourism establishing a commercial partnership with the club and its many members can only lead to the high quality provision of tourism facilities throughout Ulster. Santander Bizguides are designed to help you start-up and grow your business, in their BIZguides section they note that the caravan sector has been on a steady rise since 2000 and are giving helpful information on how to start a Caravan park.

Industry trends have been on the rise and things just seem to be getting more fashionable for example –Glamping. If we continue to encourage the development of mutually supportive activities, commercial; such as Arts/heritage visits, food, and transport, developmental; such as simple information distribution to the development of cultural sector venues within tourist servicing establishments, and also non-commercial. This will facilitate the development of awareness and understanding between the cultural and tourism trade, to provide a shared context for cultural tourism development.

Culture and heritage is something that NI has an abundance of, to encourage networking and the building of relationships with the community and private sectors is the way forward for The Caravan Club and any strategic alliances it makes in NI. The development of ‘niche’ accommodation products, glamping pods, yurts are all on market trend, to do this in association with The Caravan Club, with their standards of excellence can only be a good investment, both for Dard and Franchisees.

Providing a seamless link via the new website and ‘mobi’ platform, between Club sites, service providers and the cultural sector will bring an influx of members to Ulster. The linkage with accommodation sector (Caravan Club) is a fantastic start point for marketing, leading to new community enterprise opportunities. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has launched its 2011/2012 Events Funding Programme, which is designed to support home-grown and international events between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012.

Northern Ireland has enjoyed 10 years of growth in tourism and is now seen as an industry that can make a significant contribution to the economy of the country. According to the NI Tourism strategy supporting evidence, what makes NI special is the quality of the experience and any development must be sensitive to this. Overall, it is in conclusion that there are many underdeveloped source markets, such as poor utilisation of accommodation stock. Camping and Caravan parks had often been overlooked when considering accommodation supply.

DARD recognises the need for diversification with farms into the tourism and hospitality, the CC can also offer assistance with this with small franchise agreements. The Caravan Club and DCAL have created a strategic alliance to run forest park NI caravan sites to their exemplary standards. The Forestry Bill came into operation on 13th September 2010 which from the supports a wider role for forestry in modern society allowing the Department to obtain better value from the forest estates.

According to NITB research, during 2009, 236,300 visitors took part in an activity or outdoor adventure, Caravan Club members support for other aspects of the rural tourism offering is significant. Issues and research findings. Using EPISTLE and SWOT analysis the following points have been found as the main issues: • The 2012 Olympic Games in London will increase the number of tourists wanting to stay in the British Isles. • The Olympics will not boost N. I economy and the benefits of the 2012 London Games have been “exaggerated”, according to the Sports Minister. The Caravan Club needs to update their online technology to keep up to date with today and future key communication trends. Absences of this are enabling main competitors using this to their advantage. • The Caravan Club had a 15 year steady rise in growth to its record high in 2009; this pre dates and includes the recession. (Tourism Insights) • In 2008, the Northern Ireland Passenger Survey (NIPS) indicated that, of the ? 540 million spent by overseas and domestic tourists, 33% of this was spent on food and drink, equalling ? 178. 2 million.

This was the largest spend category – (even beating accommodation! ) – revealing the importance of food and drink to the visitor. • Tourism in Northern Ireland (NI) is worth an estimated ? 889m, or some 3. 7% of the Gross Value Added of NI. Going forward, tourism, and its supporting industries, is projected to be the key driver for economic growth contributing significantly to both job and wealth creation. (Tourism insights) • Most want to read independent reviews, from other travellers or peer-reviews when considering a new destination. Online blogs and consumer reports are the new ‘word of mouth’. SHORT BREAKS INSIGHT SEPTEMBER 2009) • Almost 4 out of every 5 UK short breaks are booked direct. Do-it-yourself online planning and booking is now the accepted norm with the use of travel agents in sharp decline. ( SHORT BREAKS INSIGHT SEPTEMBER 2009) • GB is NI’s second biggest source of visitors; just behind the domestic market. However, it generates the largest amount (40%) of NI‘s total tourism revenue. • The ‘search for the authentic’ is a top trend and people are more attracted to a unique experience within a destination rather than just the destination itself. 2008 and 2009 saw big shifts in travel patterns, with fewer business travellers and more holidays at home. (detini. gov) Bibliography Quote; Michelle Gildernew MLA. (2010). Forest Service Press Releases 2010 > Assembly agrees Consideration Stage of the Forestry Bill. Retrieved 2011, from www. dardni. gov. uk/forestservice: /www. dardni. gov. uk/forestservice .businesslink. gov. uk/. (2011). Retrieved from . businesslink. gov. uk/. Alistair Craven. (n. d. ). Emerald Management First. A sense of urgency; Interview with John Kotter . CAIN. (updated 2011).

Retrieved from CAIN: http://cain. ulst. ac. uk/ni/tourism. htm cultural tourism. (2010). developing belfasts opportunity. belfast. DETI. (2008-2011). Tourism Policy. Retrieved 2011, from DETI: http://www. detini. gov. uk/deti-tourism-index. htm finance. (2011). Retrieved from bized: http://www. bized. co. uk/educators/level2/finance/activity/sources11. htm NITB. (2010). Draft Tourism Strategy for Northern Ireland to 2020. nitb -Insight Series. (2010). Events -Gaining sponsorship/maximising partners. Belfast: NITB. nitb. (2009). knowing the visitor. tourism facts . nitb.

Northern Ireland Assembly debates, 17 January 2011. (n. d. ). Retrieved 2011, from They work for you; Parlamentry Debates & NI assembly: http://www. theyworkforyou. com/ni/? id=2011-01-17. 6. 2 (2010). northern ireland tourism strategy, supporting evidence. belfast. Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy. (n. d. ). Retrieved from HM TREASURY: http://www. hm-treasury. gov. uk/d/rebalancing_the_northern_ireland_economy_consultation. pdf Secretary, u. d. (2011, march 04). (l. gorman, Interviewer) (2009 and 2010). United Kingdom Tourism Survey . Washko, T. (n. d. ).

Business know- how: Definitions of marketing. Retrieved 2010, from Business Know-how. com. williams, n. (2011, march 04). chairman ulster division. (l. gorman, Interviewer) LEGAL Draft Planning Policy Statement 16 New Planning Policy to Assist Tourist Key planning policies to assist businesses and tourism development across Northern Ireland have been launched. Draft PPS 16 has been launched in response to the challenges of future tourism growth, by providing up-to-date planning policy for tourism development in both urban and rural locations throughout Northern Ireland.

The policy also aims to safeguard the natural and built environment from harmful developments that may be detrimental to the tourism industry In summary, draft PPS 16 proposes: • The removal of the tourist needs test, which is applied to tourist accommodation applications in the countryside; • Sets out the circumstances in which hotels, self-catering units and holiday parks are permitted in the countryside; • Provides for minor extensions to existing static holiday or caravan parks in the countryside and for new small-scale touring sites Draft PPS 16 provides for tourist amenities in the countryside that are not suited to an urban or village location, such as angling centres • Includes design criteria that will be used to assess all applications for tourism development to ensure sustainable, safe and high quality tourism schemes Bibliography (2010). northern ireland tourism strategy, supporting evidence. belfast. .businesslink. gov. uk/. (2011). Retrieved from . businesslink. gov. uk/. finance. (2011). Retrieved from bized: http://www. bized. co. uk/educators/level2/finance/activity/sources11. htm Alistair Craven. (n. d. ). Emerald Management First.

A sense of urgency; Interview with John Kotter. cultural tourism. (2010). developing belfasts opportunity. belfast. nitb. (2009). knowing the visitor. tourism facts. nitb. nitb -Insight Series. (2010). Events -Gaining sponsorship/maximising partners. Belfast: NITB. Secretary, u. d. (2011, march 04). (l. gorman, Interviewer) CAIN. (updated 2011). Retrieved from CAIN: http://cain. ulst. ac. uk/ni/tourism. htm Washko, T. (n. d. ). Business know- how: Definitions of marketing. Retrieved 2010, from Business Know-how. com. williams, n. (2011, march 04). chairman ulster division. (l. gorman, Interviewer)