Tourism Symposium 2019

Monday September 23, 2019
Tuesday September 24, 2019

The Tourism Symposium 2019

23 & 24 September 2019

Blackpool, Lancashire

DISRUPTION and The Tourism Challenge

@tourismsociety  #TSymp19


The Tourism Society is heading to Blackpool for this year’s not-to-be-missed Tourism Symposium.


With everything still to play for on Brexit, the global economy and Climate Change, this year’s programme is designed to challenge and provoke. After an unmissable keynote from the BBC, three sessions will dissect and discuss Disruption and Sustainability. Be prepared for some inspirational bold new voices with speakers and panellists from every corner of Britain.

This year’s symposium will examine tourism product innovation and destination management in the public and private sectors with case studies from diverse destinations and perspectives from policymakers informing every session. Topics will include transport strategy, urban design, public value of art, visitor payback schemes and sector deals.


PROGRAMME - Tuesday 24th:

0900 Registration in the exhibitors fair

0930 Welcome by: Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley and Kevin Kaley FTS, Chairman The Tourism Society

0950 Session 1: Keynote speaker BBC's Adrian Mills on Britain, the North, populism, youth, scepticism and the implications for tourism, followed by an interview with Adrian and Q&A


1100 Coffee break in the exhibitors fair


1120 Inspiration Britain: “Policy as disruption” - Rachel Farrington, VisitBritain/VisitEngland

1130 Session 2: “Sustainability”

         Looking at the climate emergency and how this existential problem requires local innovations and solutions taking into account that travel and tourism contribute at least 5% of global emissions. Speakers include:

             Jane Cole FCILT, Blackpool Transport

Kathryn Davis, Destination Bristol

Darren Khan, Travlrr

              Asher Moses, Sherbet Ride - Electric Black Cabs 

              Professor Richard Sharpley, University of Central Lancashire


1245 Lunch in the exhibitors fair


1350 Inspiration Earth: “Language as navigation” - Richard Lewis, W3W

1400 Session 3: “Shapeshifters”

The paneI will debate how much of tourism is about product and how to change, transform and disrupt perceptions:

Paul Bristow, Arts Council of England

Philip Evans, Eastbourne Borough Council

Robin Miller-Stott, Transport for the North

Kate Shane, Merlin Entertainment Group


1515 Coffee break in the exhibitors fair

1530 Session 4: “Storytelling”

          Is there more to it than telling novel stories or distributing images through social media? Does this include re-imagining places, marketing the visitor experience and transforming the journey? Speakers will explore developments in marketing, innovative use of data and more traditional human stories:

Cassandra Johnson, Expedia

Anthony Rawlings, Digital Visitor

Chris Sands, The Good Company

Dr John Scanlan, University of Central Lancashire

Shaon Talukder, Geotourist


NB: On Monday 23rd, there are optional afternoon study tours at 14.00 visiting Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Beach or a behind-the-scenes preview of Blackpool’s new conference centre plus the opening VIP reception at 19.00 included in the delegate rate.

Delegates will also enjoy preferential deals on Virgin Trains and Visit Blackpool’s best accommodation


Sponsored by:







Exhibitors fair participants: 





Earlybird prices are available until 31 July.

Venue Information

Winter Gardens Blackpool
97 Church Street


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