Tag Archive | boris johnson

The real deputy PM to get tourism brief too?

Looked better on Freddy Mercury (just)...

Looked better on Freddy Mercury (just)...

Well, not yet…

But the British Chamber of Commerce and Travelodge seem to think Mandy should take it on…

They have proposed that the responsibility for tourism be removed from the control of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and reallocated under the authority of Lord Mandelson’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In response, Kurt Janson, policy director at the Tourism Alliance, said:

“We’re at the stage at the moment where there is less government funding for VisitBritain than there was when Labour came to power in 1997. “We have an opportunity for the sector to provide and maintain jobs… and to provide growth to help us out of the current recession.”

Good old BoJo (London mayor Boris Johnson) has also pledged his support and encouragement to the capital’s tourism sector in the run up to 2012.  Which all makes for great talk.

But ultimately, it’s money that’s required. You’d be amazed how a little can go a long way…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And loves that Mandy is back making his presence felt…

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Ryanair vs the free toilet brigade…

Toilets

When was the last time you paid to go to the toilet?

If you live in London (where there are 40% less public toilets than 1999), you might benefit from pubs, shops and department stores joining the mayors toilet campaign.

I mean, why maintain the cisterns from the public purse, when the private sector will let you use their fancy facilities?

Marvelous cost efficiency…

Meantime in the private sector, the Ryanair toilet debacle rages on.

In recent months Ryanair has (in my view), conducted a textbook PR campaign, drip-feeding the press stories on their new cost cutting plans.

Everything from charging to use toilets, passengers carrying their own bags to the plane, through to stripping out standard seating for bar stools to get up to 30% more people on board.

Whether or not you agree with the sentiment behind the stories, they have certainly kept Ryanair in the press, and generated a significant amount of free coverage.

But what impact does this have on their brand?

BrandRepublic recently commissioned some vox pops, that asked prospective travellers how they felt about charging passengers to use the toilet.

Responses (as you’d expect) range from, “its ridiculous” and “its horrific”, through to “I am not really bothered, they are no-frills, you get what you pay for”.

I don’t want to ramble on, but just a few things from me…

  1. Ryanair are a no-frills airline. You don’t expect free peanuts, wine, etc. If you have to pay to use most UK public conveniences, why should a toilet on board a plane be any different?
  2. Most flights are short haul, with plenty of opportunities in the airport to use free facilities. Given this, what’s the fuss about?  Go before you go!
  3. Like most other sectors, one brand tends to be bold, innovate, take risks. The others follow. How many other airlines will quietly adopt Ryanairs policies after a few months?

I can’t help but feel it’s a little too easy to knock Ryanair for this.

Ultimately, they are a no-frills airline; the business model has always relied on a totally different pricing structure in order to make / increase / maximise profits.

With the travel sector suffering across the board (and even BA reviewing their peanuts and wine policy), it’s going to be a tough year. 

But, I can’t help feeling that this won’t harm Ryanair significantly in the short / medium term.

Some people will never fly Ryanair as they simply don’t do low cost. Some will still go with whomever is cheapest, and others will base their decision on airport / ease of access to final destination.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough. And given the amount of coffee I’ve had this morning, I am off to spend a penny…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And is wondering if there will be free loo roll, or will that be 20p extra? 

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Wannabe artist? Well, now you can BE the art…

Do love a bit of modern art...

Do love a bit of modern art...

That fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square.

Doesn’t half kick off some mass debates (boom boom!), as to what we should be sticking up there…

Well, for a limited time only, people can apply to be ‘installed’  for a set period (a few hours), and will become the art. All thanks to the one and other project.

Successful wannabe artists will have their names picked name out of a digital-hat, and will get a few hours to stand on the plinth to do as they choose (so long as they don’t do anything ultra naughty / offensive etc).

A really cute little project that we can thank the Major of London, Sky Arts, Arts Council (England), and the National Gallery for.

And a truly brilliant ‘Kodak moment’ for passing tourists if someone sparky takes the plinth.

Well done chaps. And please, please, please…

PICK ME!

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And already has his plinth outfit planned if he is picked…

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A bit like the war, only with no buses…

Former Mayor Livingstone would be proud...

Former Mayor Livingstone would be proud...

So.

The recent cold-snap in London managed to put the entire bus network out of action. Something Nazi Germany never even managed, where on earth did our blitz spirit go!?

My favourite (paraphrased) quote has to be from London’s Major, Boris Johnson. Harking back to the days of British Rails leaves on the track faux pas, he said: ‘It wasn’t so much the wrong type of snow, more the wrong amount of snow…’.

Genius. Still, at least he axed the congestion charge for the day!

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And rather enjoyed his extra day off in the snow / working from home (delete as applicable)

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