Want to increase your sales to Britain in 2017 and beyond? Then check out these 12 Great British travel trends for Canadian travel agents to tap into
1. UK City of Culture – Hull
Hull's Freedom Festival.
In a little under a year’s time the Yorkshire city of Hull will begin its reign as the UK City of Culture 2017, hosting a whole year of cultural festivities. The program will be revealed in September, but here’s a taster of what to expect.
Following the announcement that Hull will host the Turner Prize, one of the biggest events in British art, at the city’s Ferens Art Gallery in 2017, comes the news that there will be a chance for a sneak preview of what the city will look, feel and sound like in 2017 when stars take to the stage for the 2016 Freedom Festival in September. The city’s premier annual cultural event, the festival aims to bring a weekend of established international acts and emerging talents.
The organizers have separated 2017 into four different ‘seasons’, each with it’s own theme: ‘Made in Hull (January to March) will celebrate everything that has been made in the city; ‘Roots and Routes’ (April to June) will explore Hull’s place in the networked, globalized and digital world; ‘Freedom (July to September) will celebrate the role Hull played in the emancipation movement; and ‘Tell the World’ (October to December) will mark be a celebratory round-up of the year.
The city has also announced plans for the creation of a £36 million music and events centre. A major development to create a riverside berth and cruise terminal at the Port of Hull to welcome cruise ship visitors is also in the works.
2. Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
Glasgow's School of Art.
Following on from the Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design in 2016, 2017 will celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaology. It will showcase its rich history, ranging from the remains of its earliest settlements going back thousands of years, through to the turbulent times of the Middle Ages and on to the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution’
Visit Glasgow for its eclectic mix of architectural styles, including the art nouveau buildings by celebrated designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and industrial heritage showcasing the city’s shipping industry. Head to Ayrshire and Arran to explore its ancient stone circles and stunning castles. Find beautiful Deeside, a favourite holiday spot for the Royal Family since the Victorian era, in Aberdeenshire, where you can visit Scotland’s Castle Trail, which includes Balmoral. Discover the history of the much-loved Scottish single malt whiskies on the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail and explore the capital of Edinburgh and find history on every corner, in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of its Old and New Towns. Then head to the centre of Scotland to the ancient Kingdom of Fife to the home of golf, St Andrews and its famous Old Course, before travelling to Falkland Palace, one of the homes of Mary, Queen of Scots.
3. Wales’ Year of Legends
Following on from the success of its 2016 Year of Adventure, Wales is looking to run a Year of Legends in 2017, to be followed by Year of the Sea in 2018.
The Year of Legends is set to explore more of Wales’ distinctive history, culture, heritage and mythology. And, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and one of the most prestigious club competitions in European football, the UEFA Champions League Final, will be played in Wales’ capital Cardiff in 2017– a fantastic opportunity to showcase Wales to the world and watch the emergence of new footballing legends.
4. GREAT Britain – Home of Amazing Moments Campaign
‘GREAT Britain – Home of Amazing Moments’, was launched in 2016 and will continue into 2017 and beyond. The focus of the campaign is the amazing moments that can only be experienced in Britain and to inspire visitors to experience these amazing moments themselves. Consumers will be encouraged to share their favourite pieces of content across social media channels using the hashtag #OMGB.
5. 70th Anniversary of Edinburgh Festivals
1947 marked the birth of one of the world’s leading festivals. The Edinburgh Festivals, led by the Edinburgh International Festival, were born out of global conflict as a platform to celebrate art and culture and to bring nations together once again.
For nearly 70 years that inspiration has been sustained, making Edinburgh and its festivals an unparalleled destination for visitors, performers, artists and thinkers from all over the globe.
In 2017, the 12 major festivals of Edinburgh will mark this very special anniversary with a year of celebration. Scotland’s historic capital will be transformed as never before by music, science, film, art, theatre, dance, literature and storytelling as its festivals continue to dream, reflect, invent and celebrate– while looking forward to another 70 years of world-leading culture, hospitality and festivity in Scotland’s capital city.
6. Film-inspired Holidays
Step into these film locations with a visit to the British landscapes they were filmed in! Due for release in 2017, Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur is an upcoming epic adventure film retelling the story of the famous legend. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the cast includes Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès- Frisbey and Jude Law. British locations used in the film include Snowdonia in north Wales, the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, plus Windsor Great Park and the Forest of Dean on the border of England and Wales.
Disney production Beauty and the Beast is an adaptation of the classic fairy tale about a monstrous prince and a young woman who fall in love. The cast includes Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen and it was filmed on location in London and Surrey in the south east England. And fans of Paddington The Movie will be delighted to hear that a sequel is due out in 2017.
7. London to Stage 2017 IAAF World Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships
The world’s finest track and field athletes will be welcomed back to England’s capital in 2017, as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London hosts both the IAAF and the IPC Athletics World Championships. The biennial events will be the first time the championships have been held in the same city in the same year, in July and August 2017 respectively.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park already has plenty for visitors; take a swim in the Aquatics Centre, try the range of activities on offer at the Copper Box Arena, take to the tracks at the Lee Valley Velo Park and experience magnificent views of London from the top of the iconic sculpture ArcelorMittal Orbit.
8. 200th Anniversary of the Death of Jane Austen
One of the most widely read authors in English literature, Jane Austen died on 18 July 1817 in Winchester, in the south of England. To mark the 200th anniversary of her death, Austen fans should visit Jane Austen's house, Chawton, near Alton in Hampshire. Everything will start to gear-up for the 2017 ‘Jane Austen 200' commemoration there, and in wider Hampshire.
This charming house was where she spent the last eight years of her life and it's where she did the majority of her mature writing. It was there that she wrote Emma, as well as Mansfield Park and Persuasion, in addition to revising Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. Now called the Jane Austen's House Museum, it runs a program of events throughout the year to keep even the most ardent of Austen aficionados happy.
9. 20th Anniversary of the Harry Potter Books
Since the release of JKRowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, inspiring the popular film series.
All eight movies were filmed in Britain, with locations spanning England, Scotland and Wales. While in London, Potter fans shouldn’t miss a priceless photo opportunity at the enchanted Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. Would-be sorcerers can try their hand at pushing a trolley through the brick wall between platforms nine and ten, otherwise known as the portal to the wizarding world. And a must-visit for any discerning Harry Potter fan is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour –The Making of Harry Potter, a dream come true for anyone – young or old – who watched and loved the movies and the books.
10. 25th Anniversary of the Barclays Premier League
The world-famous Barclays Premier League turns 25 in 2017 – the inaugural season kicked off on 15 August 1992 and it has been drawing international interest ever since. Attending a match is high up on the must-do list of any visitor to Britain – you’ll witness the players’ skills, the fans’ passion, the stadiums’ electric atmosphere; altogether a truly unforgettable sports experience.
As well as the opportunity to watch the crème de la crème of English and Welsh football (Scotland has its own league), attending a game is also the perfect chance to visit the clubs’ destinations. Reaching from the far northeast of England (Newcastle) to the south of Wales (Swansea), over to London and across to the hip cities of north-west England (Manchester and Liverpool), following Barclays Premier League football also means discovering some of Britain’s most exciting cities – and, of course, the opportunity to explore behind the scenes as many stadiums run tours.
11. Women’s Rugby and Cricket World Cups
Women’s Rugby and Cricket World Cups are coming to Britain’s shores in 2017. The former tournament will be hosted by Ulster Rugby alongside the Irish Rugby Football Union in August 2017. It will culminate with the world’s top female rugby players coming together for the semi-finals and positional play-offs in the Kingspan Stadium Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, a city that loves rugby and is known for its warm welcome.
Just one month later, in September, Kingspan will also open a new education and heritage centre, exploring the history of rugby in Ulster, through a range of interactive and audio-visual content.
And the scene is being set for a thrilling 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in England, with the launch of a new women’s cricket super league in summer 2016, and confirmation of London’s iconic Lord’s cricket ground as the venue for the World Cup final. Lord’s is the home of cricket; playing its perfectly manicured wicket is the pinnacle of international cricketing ambition.
Take a guided tour of Lord’s and follow the footsteps of international cricketers through the Long Room, a cricketing art gallery and gateway to the hallowed turf. Tours run seven days a week (with some exceptions) from the MCC Museum, one of the oldest sporting museums in the world. The museum holds cricket’s most precious artefact: the Ashes urn, a tiny, fragile trophy given to England captain the Hon. Ivo Bligh in 1882.
12. 125th Anniversary of the First Sherlock Holmes Publication
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was published in 1892; the book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.
Now a popular TV series, London is almost a character in itself in the Sherlock stories and it’s hard to imagine the detective living anywhere else. Explore the city as Sherlock did and visit some of his favourite haunts. Start with a visit to Sherlock and Watson’s famous address, 221B Baker Street. While it doesn’t actually exist, the exterior of their flat as seen in the series is shot in this quieter west London road, 25 minutes’ walk from Baker Street, at 187 North Gower Street.
Other destinations sure to be of interest to Sherlock fans include, The Sherlock Holmes Museum, a Grade II-listed building devoted to the detective. It features a re-creation of his sitting room, and a gift shop. The Sherlock Homes Pub in Westminster is stuffed with memorabilia, including Dr Watson's old service revolver and his favourite food, Cumberland sausages.
And looking ahead to 2018 and beyond…
The V&A is one of London’s – if not the world’s – best museums, so it’s good news that Dundee in Scotland will be getting a new outpost of the museum there, with the main building likely to be completed in early 2018. Unlike the original museum, the new one will be uber-modern in design and its architect, Kenzo Kuma’s, first British commission. It will showcase world-class touring exhibitions from the V&A – the only purpose-built galleries in Scotland large enough to show these shows in their entirety.
2. London’s First Purpose-Built Cruise Terminal to Open
London City Cruise Port will be able to accommodate vessels up to 240 metres in length and eight metres draught when complete. Located on the banks of the River Thames in Greenwich, it will be London’s only cruise terminal with alongside terminal facilities, and will be within easy access of the UNESCO Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and The O2 venue.
3. What Else to Have on your Radar for 2018, 2019 and 2020
Developers are looking to open a new theme park for Paramount Pictures in Kent in 2018. It will feature Paramount brands such as Star Trek, and there will be water parks, cinemas and live music venues. In 2019 it will be over to the London 2012 Olympic Games site with plans to create a new cultural quarter for London, plus new homes for the Sadler’s Wells dance theatre and the V&A museum. Manchester will be the site of a new arts and theatre venue, The Factory, in 2019, which will provide a permanent home for the Manchester International Festival. And, for sports fans, England and Wales will host the Cricket World Cup in 2019.