THE Easter holiday brought with it some sunshine – and the potential of a welcome boost for the local tourism industry, following the impact of the severe weather earlier this year.

Whilst the majority of the UK’s tourism businesses were up and running, there was some concern that not all destinations were quite ready for the Easter rush.

It was reported that some 3.4million Brits planned to make the most of the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend by taking at least one night away somewhere within the UK – and around 3million were expected to take that trip in England.

This level of activity is likely to generate roughly £800m in tourism spend for the UK economy, around £700m of which will be spent in England.

These figures, revealed by a Trip Tracker survey, are en-couraging for all concerned within our region.

More good news came when dozens of businesses were honoured this Easter with the announcement of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The 2014 list, published to mark the Queen’s birthday on Easter Monday, contained 162 awards – spread between FTSE 100 companies, private businesses and foreign-owned subsidiaries.

The awards have been running since 1965 and recognise success in innovation and development.

With more than 100 enterprises recognised for their international trade this year, it is clear that Britain is emerging as a leader in selling its quality services and products throughout the world.

Next year brings the 50th anniversary of the scheme’s creation by the Royal Warrant.

Let’s hope we see some of the often unsung smaller companies within our region recognised.

Awards like this provide important differentiation in the market place and bring a well-deserved element of respect.

Big congratulations on behalf of Dorset Chamber and its members must go to Steve Makin and his business partner, Timofei Yerem-eyev, who have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their pioneering invention in the construction industry.

Their organisation – a sister company of Granby Roofing – is based in Weymouth and was set up in 2007.

What an achievement in such a short space of time!