Stag and Hen Spend Boost British Tourism
By Sophie Langley
With 260,000 weddings held each year, and most brides and grooms organising a stag or hen do, there are many in the UK who will celebrate with a night out or weekend away each year. With an average group size of 12.85* guests and an average spend of £150 per person, this sector suggests a conservative market worth of over £1bn.
Simon Denning, Managing Director of StagWeb*, says, “This sector of the market often suffers from pre-judgement but in recent years we’ve seen more positive recognition of the commercial benefit of stag and hen events, and we’ve welcomed a lot of new partners. Price in most cases, as you would expect, is the critical driver in selecting event content but this is also coupled with organisers wanting to plan memorable, quality events – they are both leisure and price aggressive. To operate in this low-margin market you have to be a really dynamic business. It’s our job to get the balance, the venues and the performance just right for the budget. If we can keep doing that, we’ll keep sending business to our partners.
Recent government statistics reveal that the number of UK residents travelling abroad continues to decline, with a 15% drop in number of visits. The stag and hen sector has also been impacted with a slowing in European growth bringing about an increased demand for UK events. Equally, there has been a rise in the number of groups who are choosing well-planned, high value weekend packages rather than just nights out.
Simon Denning says, “It’s often assumed that hen and stag weekends are driven by a relaxed approach to alcohol and planning the pre-nuptial party, but for a large part of the market that’s not necessarily reflective. We’ve now catered for over 160,000 clients and we know first hand for our clients it’s just as much about doing something memorable, rewarding, often a little bit different and ensuring it’s well prepared. Without doubt it’s a challenging economic climate but I would expect the quality segments of the market to have seen an increase in group business from our sector, for example outdoor and adventure activities, sporting events and spa weekends, accommodation and of course traditional entertainment expenditure such as in restaurants, bars and clubs.”
*About StagWeb®… StagWeb® began as a simple service solution in early in 2001, originally set up as a sideline to big corporate events. Simon Denning, the founder, was best man to an old friend and looking for ideas and inspiration for the stag weekend he had to organise. There was no obvious informed help at hand, so a simple idea was born with a commitment to provide the greatest online stag platform. After several months’ research and preparation an independent StagWeb Limited was incorporated on 6th February 2002 as a fully functioning tour operator.
Initially, weekends were offered in 20 UK destinations, including quality, well-positioned accommodation; exciting activities; friendly, fun entertainment; transport, guide and instructor services. Prague and Vilnius were the first international destinations to be added to its European division. StagWeb’s regular portfolio now includes over 60 destinations in 19 countries. StagWeb® also arranges private packages in specially selected locations. Every location, accommodation, entertainment and activity is rigorously assessed in person by one of the team. With considerable experience the team has the expertise to personally advise and recommend packages. Since 2002 events have been successfully delivered to over 160,000 clients.
About GoHen®… GoHen® is the dedicated hen weekends division of StagWeb® – the event specialist incorporated in 2002. After years of delivering the highest quality stag weekends in the marketplace, adventurous girl groups were seeking out hen weekend solutions. These were initially delivered under StagWeb®, but the increasing popularity coupled with the company’s in-house expertise, growth and a demanding push from its expert female staff, meant that GoHen® was born in 2005. GoHen® benefits from 10-years’ experience of StagWeb® including significant buying power, higher value events, client protection, event creativity, dedicated account management and systems support.
GoHen® is ABTA bonded with a commitment to raising standards and a determination to add value to clients. The company delivers creative and high-value solutions at a great price.