Two Thirds Of Tourism TVs Still Need Switching

Family on holiday in Cornwall
Many West Country hotels and B&Bs still receiving analogue, in fact, two-thirds of tourism businesses in the West Country have televisions that risk going blank when the region switches to digital later this year – at the height of the summer tourist season.

Latest research from Digital UK, the independent switchover body, reveals that only 40% of hoteliers and B&B owners across the region have fully converted televisions in all guest rooms – up from 27% in January 2007. A quarter of the respondents (25%) had partly switched to digital and more than a third had analogue only.

The research in the West Country region also found that:

• However, 44% of those surveyed in the West Country believe they are fully prepared for switchover or have upgrading to digital well underway.
• Only 12% have yet to make any plans.
• Holiday lets were the most likely to be fully converted and holiday and caravan parks the least likely to have taken steps.

Bill Taylor, South West Regional Manager for Digital UK, said: “These results are pretty encouraging and there has been definite progress with conversion since our last survey in 2007. Most of those not fully converted have told us they have plans in place.

“I would urge hoteliers and those in the tourism industry to prepare ahead of switchover, which happens next year. The vast majority of hotels, guest houses and B&Bs who have already made the switch have found it easy and say their guests have been happy with the extended choice offered by digital television.”

Malcolm Bell, Director of South West Tourism said: “Tourism is such an important sector to reach in the South West, as it accounts for a major part of the local economy. People expect a television in their room when they stay at a hotel or guest house. We are just over a year from the start of switchover in the West region and the tourism industry must be prepared.”

Teresa Timms, PR Manager for VisitCornwall said: “TV and internet services are becoming increasingly important when maintaining a successful tourism business. Switchover in the West Country happens at the height of the summer season and we don’t want businesses to be caught out – many businesses will want to plan ahead and budget accordingly, so now is a good time to think about your plans.”

Nicola Poultney, Chief Executive of Visit Devon said: “Torbay and South Devon will be the first areas of the West Country to switch, and I would encourage tourism businesses right across the county to start thinking about the switchover to digital television and how it will affect them. Digital UK is working hard to inform and give advice to this sector and it’s good to see that many hotels and B&Bs across the county are already upgrading ahead of switchover.”

Digital UK has set up a special hotline 08458 455 455 and website for tourism property managers www.digitaluk.co.uk/propertymanagers, which gives details on the process, how to switch and the likely costs. Letters will also be sent directly to tourism businesses with advice and information.

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