15 Dec 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 752, 2018 is now out!


Read blogs by writer:

Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Tom Walker
Leisure Media

Our guest writers:

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Jennifer Fields
Communications Coordinator,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Brad Irwin
Partnerships development manager,
Natural History Museum

Michel Buchel
President of Ecsite and CEO of NEMO, Amsetrdan,

Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager,

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Maria Zolotonosa
Project Manager,

Ian Taylor

Ufi Ibrahim
Chief Executive,
British Hospitality Association

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,

Lucy Schweingruber
Fundraising and Events Manager,

View all guest writers
by Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive, ASVA

Are you connected?

by Eva McDiarmid

Scottish Government has a ‘Scottish Business Pledge’ that it wants us all to sign up to. Within it there are a number of elements, some are simply good, common sense and some are just aspirational. But on the face of it, as over- arching points there is little to argue with, it’s just that the aspirational elements will remain just that unless government leads at a macro level. [more...]


by Eva McDiarmid

Towards the end of last month, Easyjet started actively engaging with Greek tourism leaders to try to encourage hotels, restaurants and other parts of the industry to stay open during October and November and reopen in March not May, as is currently the case. For all of us here trying to grow the season, it may come as a surprise that many Greek businesses close at the end of September and remain closed until May – a short five month season. [more...]

BE THERE! ASVA conference 2015

by Eva McDiarmid

The interest in this year's conference has been amazing, it looks like we've taken a record number of bookings so early. We are not at capacity – yet – but it looks like we are heading that way, which is just great! [more...]

Value of domestic breaks

by Eva McDiarmid

Research undertaken recently by ATS Euromaster, and published at the end of last month, found that 75 per cent of Brits plan to take a holiday in the UK this year. The sample size was 2000 and also found that of those who had already been away, 72 per cent had stayed in the UK. [more...]

National Living Wage

by Eva McDiarmid

The much-heralded first all-Conservative budget in 18 years was made public last week by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. It features some very controversial elements if media stories are anything to go by. But the one thing that is likely to impact on tourism businesses is the introduction of what is being referred to as a ‘National Living Wage’ (NLW), which will effectively become a minimum wage. [more...]

Competitiveness – staying ahead of the game

by Eva McDiarmid

The World Economic Forum published its 6th Travel & Tourism Competitiveness report some weeks back. This biennial report was first published in 2005 and lets us track progress over time in the countries being measured and compared, allowing cross country comparisons. It looks at 141 countries worldwide across 90 indicators. This year's report is titled 'Growth through Shocks' and addresses the effects of geopolitical tensions in different parts of the world as well as the ever present threats of pandemics. [more...]

The times they are a'changing'?

by Eva McDiarmid

On the back of what was a largely unpredicted election result last week the times they are about to change (with apologies to Bob Dylan) – BIG TIME! In other parts of the UK the pollsters got it wrong although perhaps in Scotland something close to the final result had been predicted. But just what will this mean for Scotland and our relationship with the rest of the UK in all its glory? [more...]

Sustaining tourism growth

by Eva McDiarmid

Two reports published last month by Barclay’s Bank indicate that spend by tourists is set to increase substantially over the next few years. Of course this is total spend, including accommodation, bars & restaurants and High Street stores, but both reports forecast growth in domestic and inbound tourism. The research underpinning the reports was independently commissioned by Barclay’s Retail and Hospitality & Leisure sector teams. So no pressure from tourism related commissioning bodies! [more...]

Publicity and rising to the challenge

by Eva McDiarmid

There were a couple of reports recently that featured in the national press concerning visitor attractions. Twenty years ago these stories would not have made any waves beyond the local area but such is the growing (very slowly) recognition of the importance of tourism to the economy that such stories are now headline news – especially if it's bad news. [more...]

Scotland: the place to be?

by Eva McDiarmid

Travel Guide ‘Lonely Planet’ recently named Scotland as one of the top countries in the world to visit in 2014 in its annual ‘Best in Travel’ publication. Wow, for a wee country of just over 5 million souls that is some endorsement. Scotland was actually third after Brazil (World Cup – football!) and Antarctica (100th anniversary of the start of Ernest Shackleton’s infamous ‘Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition). Lonely Planet described Scotland as having a ”jam-packed schedule of world-class events” which make it “the place to be in 2014”. [more...]

Has the worm turned?

by Eva McDiarmid

Last week Ryanair announced it was seeking to recruit a Sales & Marketing Director. This is a first in its 28 year history, previously its outspoken CEO Michael O'Leary took all responsibility for marketing. This generally took the form of creating cheap headlines, on the grounds that no publicity is bad publicity. Well perhaps to a point, as this new Marketing Director is being recruited to help improve the public image of Ryanair. [more...]

Countdown to the ASVA conference 2013

by Eva McDiarmid

Officially launched last week, the countdown to the 25th anniversary ASVA conference has started! In terms of getting the message out, we are doing things very differently this year and it seems to be working as we've had more than 20 bookings online in just two days. Certainly there has been a lot of interest. The new website is playing a big part as not only does it facilitate online booking, we are also able to post updates on the news page and then 'tweet' out that more news has been posted. [more...]

This year is ASVA's 25th anniversary – a cause to celebrate!

by Eva McDiarmid

This year is ASVA's 25th anniversary – a cause to celebrate! The Oxford Dictionary defines anniversary as: "A date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year" and comes from the Latin root meaning 'returning yearly' (here endeth the lesson!). It also notes that this is "…often a cause for celebration". We are in great company with a number of members also celebrating landmark anniversaries, all with longer pedigrees than ourselves. [more...]

A cause to celebrate in Scotland

by Eva McDiarmid

2013 didn't promise well. From a visitor attraction perspective the year started slowly. The lower than average temperatures and an early Easter meant that the majority of operators saw a drop in visitor numbers. After two dismal summers in succession, even until June the omens for 2013 did not look good. Then a few fortuitous things happened. Probably our own Andy Murray winning the men's final at Wimbledon is the most memorable (and for him this was not fortuitous but years of hard work paying off) and he did it in sunshine! [more...]

Scotland rocks!

by Eva McDiarmid

Three of the four Scottish regions announced their Thistle winners last week and along with the winners of the Highlands and Islands Tourism awards, the national winners will be announced in November. The Thistles celebrate all that is best in Scottish tourism and a look at the winners (and runners-up) across the categories suggests that across the various sectors and regions, the industry really is ramping up its game. [more...]

Food, glorious food

by Eva McDiarmid

Very few of us can fail to have noticed the rise and rise of the popularity of food programmes on TV, which are attracting millions of viewers across the world. Masterchef for example has a huge fan base in countries from Australia to Italy as well as the UK. [more...]

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