Tourism and visitor economy conference will deliver excellence

Experts in the visitor economy will be joining forces to talk to businesses about how delivering excellence can reap positive benefits for everyone at the annual tourism and visitor economy conference taking place in Plymouth.

Being held at The Rhodes@ The Dome on Thursday 20th November, from 10am to 4pm Destination Plymouth has arranged twelve key speakers to provide motivational presentations throughout the day.

Ken Robinson CBE, Chairman of the Tourism Society Policy and Advocacy Group and Board member of the Tourism Alliance will be a keynote speaker on the day.

As the winner of an England for Excellence Award in 1998 for Lifetime Services to Tourism, Ken will discuss why it is important for local businesses to support each other, particularly in the current challenging economic climate, which is seeing many local authorities withdraw from funding tourism completely.

Ken will give an overview of how the visitor economy is changing structurally nationally, why it is crucial that businesses continue to work together in partnership and why ‘excellence is the key to success!’

Ken was awarded a CBE in 1997 for Services to Tourism and is a member of VisitEngland’s Strategic Industry Advisory Group and British Tourism Industry Group as well as a member of the World Travel Market Advisory Council.

He said: “I am very pleased to be talking at the Plymouth Tourism and Visitor Economy Conference in November and meeting other businesses in the industry to hear about their experiences. I am fortunate to have worked with many Government departments and devised tourism strategies in the UK and in my work for the UN’s International Trade Centre, advising nations and regions how to optimise the economic, social and cultural benefits of Tourism. 

“Now more than ever before organisations such as Destination Plymouth are vital to provide a strong voice for local businesses, encourage partnership working and to lobby government for funding support for one of the UK’’s fastest growing sectors over the past three years.”

Other speakers at the conference include Pam Foden, the Head of Industry Development at VisitEngland, Carolyn Custerson, Chairman of Visit Devon, and Jonathan Sloane, Managing Director of Hills Balfour – the national PR company working with Destination Plymouth to raise the profile of ‘Britain’s Ocean City’.

Providing a slightly different perspective and their insight into ‘delivering excellence’ will be world class diving coach Andy Banks, the Director of Marketing, Corporate Relations and Enterprise at City College Plymouth, Sharron Robbie and Director of E-Strategy, Stuart Devlin.

Leader of the City Council and Destination Plymouth Director Tudor Evans said: “Plymouth City Council understands the importance of tourism and the visitor economy as a key sector and an area of the economy which will continue to grow and support new jobs. We will continue to support our local businesses by investing in tourism and supporting them as much as possible.

“This conference is a fantastic chance for businesses to network and be inspired. With a number of leading industry experts in the room it’s really one not to be missed.”

Chairman of Destination Plymouth, Duncan Currall, added: “We are delighted to announce that Ken Robinson CBE is joining us at our Tourism Conference. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the industry and this is an exciting opportunity for others in the sector to come and hear from him.

“As we move towards the end of 2014 and look forward to 2015 we need to think smarter, act quicker and collaboratively work together to ‘deliver excellence’ for Plymouth, as well as the whole of the South West region.

“Plymouth is fortunate to have fantastic support for tourism and the visitor economy from the City Council together with the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and City Centre Company BIDS. We all need to continue to work together to ensure that this sector keeps growing as we move towards our Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020.”

The conference is open to all businesses and students in tourism, leisure, retail, hospitality and wider visitor economy  and will run from 10.00am to 4pm. Tickets are £20 per adult, with concessions for charities, businesses in Plymouth’s business improvement districts and students.

For more information about the programme schedule and to purchase tickets visit www.visitplymouth.co.uk/tourism-conference.