I’m writing this a couple of days before the American elections and I know that you are reading it a week or two after the results are out and the dust has, hopefully, settled. I feel like I’m doing a topical quiz show that will be broadcast on Dave.
We seem to live in very confusing times. Nothing seems to make sense and it’s hard to know what the facts are.
For almost the entire run up to the US elections, it has seemed obvious that Trump is unelectable. To be honest, it’s seemed almost as if he had been trying to be unelectable. And yet, as I write this, Donald and Hilary sit absolutely neck and neck in the polls.
If we think back to the beginning of June this year, it was practically a foregone conclusion that Britain would vote to remain in the European Union. But we voted to leave. And now it seems that MP’s will be voting on whether our voting should carry any weight or not.
Whatever your personal opinion about what the outcome of those two issues should be, it’s impossible not to agree that they are making the world an unsettled and unpredictable place.
If there is one thing that business likes, it is a sense of stability. A sense that we can plan for the future because we have a good idea of what the future will be.
Well, that doesn’t sound like where we all are at the moment, does it?
The pound in your pocket.
Probably the most significant way that all this uncertainty is affecting the wet leisure industry at the moment is with the exchange rate. The falling value of the pound is not good for business.
The wet leisure industry imports a great deal of the products that we sell. We might be buying in Dollars or Euros, but in either case, a weak pound will put prices up. The industry is going to have to pass those price rises on to consumers, and that is going to impact sales.
Of course, the UK imports billions of dollars – and euros – worth of cars and computers and oil and many, many other things so our industry isn’t going to be alone in this problem but it is certainly going to make next year a challenging one for all of us.
If only we could see into the future.
Crystal balls and fortune tellers aside, one of the best ways of working out what next year might have in store is to have a detailed look at what changes and trends have been happening in our industry this year.
Which brings me to the fact that it’s time for you all to respond to this year’s Wet Leisure Industry Survey.
According to Chris Hayes, MD of the BSPF, “The annual Wet Leisure Survey is an excellent initiative for our industry to get a snap shot of what business owners are experiencing and to identify any trends that may be happening.
The BSPF supports this Survey to better understand how companies are thinking and feeling about the industry and to know how best to support and reflect the views contained within the Survey when lobbying at home and abroad.”
The survey began in 2011 and we have always distributed the results at the following year’s SPATEX. We will be doing the same again this year, but in addition to that we have built a new website at wetleisure.com which now has the collected results of each years survey in a way that is easy to look through either by year or category.
The more people who respond to the survey, the more accurate and useful the results are.
Golden Coast are sending out links for you to take part in the survey on-line and the BSPF will be helping us by sending out survey forms in the post. Whichever method you choose, all responses are anonymous and it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to fully complete the form so please help us all to see the future a little more clearly.
There are only twelve days of Christmas, and none of them are in November.
But the shops are full of tinsel and trees. Garden centres have begun their annual transformation into grottos and this is my last opinion piece of the year.
So I would like to wish you all the best.
I think that the industry will look back over this last season and say that it’s been pretty good. (And when we read the results of the Wet Leisure Survey, we’ll know if that was true or not.)
I think that there will be some challenges to face next year, as there are every year, but I think we’ll all be well placed to meet them.
And by the time this is published, The USA will have a new President. I just hope that I didn’t need shocking back to reality by the hot tea spilling on my lap from a slowly tilting cup as the result was announced on TV.