Plymouth to host major tourism conference

Tourism leaders from around the country will be arriving in Plymouth on 7th February for a milestone birthday party.

Members of one of the UK’s leading tourism trade associations, Ukinbound, have picked the city to host their 40th birthday celebrations, as well as their annual convention.

More than 250 UKinbound members will be arriving in Britain’s Ocean City for the prestigious two-day event, which includes networking opportunities, a host of fascinating key note speakers and a black-tie gala dinner.

The delegates to the UKinbound Convention will include tour operators, hoteliers, attraction owners, retailers and restauranteurs.

Top flight speakers include Graham Pickett, Deloitte Global Leader for Aviation and Travel and GoCambio.com founder Deirdre Bounds.  As well as celebrations to mark the organisation’s 40th anniversary there will be the annual Awards for Excellence – rewarding some of the UK’s finest tourism destinations, plans and projects.

The convention, at the Holiday Inn from Wednesday, February 8 until Friday 10, is seen by many in the industry as the main event to mix, mingle and get things done for the entire British tourism industry.

And, with so much going on in Plymouth – including a £34 million major re-development of the city’s museums and galleries, a £40 million major retail development and the forthcoming Mayflower 400 celebrations – it was the natural choice to host the event.

UKinbound is the only trade association focusing on the interests of the country’s inbound tourism sector and with Plymouth attracting more than 5.2 million visitors annually, the city is one of the jewels in the crown for tourism nationally.

Amanda Lumley, Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth said: “Destination Plymouth is delighted that UKinbound will be hosting its 40th Anniversary Convention in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City. We believe that this is a great opportunity for us to showcase the very best that the city has to offer, as well as demonstrating the natural beauty, heritage and wealth of visitor attractions in the wider Devon and Cornwall region.

“With plans now well underway to ensure that Plymouth maximises the opportunity that Mayflower 400 presents we are improving our tourism offer for the international tour operators that will be attending this prestigious event for UK inbound tourism.

“We are very grateful for the support of our partners Plymouth City Council, Conference Plymouth, Holiday Inn, Copthorne Hotel, and our travel partner Plymouth Citybus in supporting us to deliver this convention and would also like to thank the multitude of businesses in and around the City who have supported this event to make sure that we ‘push the boat out’ in style.”  

Cllr Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council said: “We are thrilled to have such a prestigious event in Plymouth.  This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the very best that the city has to offer and all of the exciting developments we have to look forward to in the lead up to Mayflower 2020.”

“Delegates attending the convention will hear of the exciting developments in the city including Plymouth’s £34m History Centre development, which is now underway; the creation of a new, high quality waterfront hotel for Plymouth situated at the former Quality Inn site on the Hoe and the plans for a Mayflower trail.”

The UK’s inbound tourism sector contributed £22bn to the UK economy in 2015 – a staggering nine per cent of GDP and on a par with the country’s automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

UKinbound not only lobbies the Government on behalf of its hundreds of members on key issues like airport capacity, visas and taxation but also raises the profile and value of tourism to the UK.

And it’s being seen as a platform to launch Mayflower 400 to the travel trade nationally, as well as a chance to encourage inward investment and further development.

Find out more at www.visitplymouth.co.uk