Annual Conference 2013 - Cardiff

Friday July 05, 2013

Over 100 delegates from across Europe attended the 2013 Tourism Society Conference in Cardiff last week. An international line-up of speakers addressed topics including the current state of the visitor economy in the UK, how VisitBritain is planning to reach its international audiences and how Lithuania, a relatively ‘new’ destination in tourism promotion terms has increased its visitor numbers dramatically in recent years.

The importance of film and television programmes such as ‘Meet the Midwife’ to the Historic Dockyard Chatham was the subject of an on-stage conversation between its CEO, Bill Ferris OBE, and Tourism Society Chairman David Curtis-Brignell. Regeneration of existing assets was discussed from the planning perspective, the changes that have taken place in visitor experience at The National Trust and the pathway to successful branding and repositioning, highlighted by a speaker from M&C Saatchi.

Caroline Cooper took the audience through five essential tips for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and marketing was also the focus of a presentation by Alex Mawer from VisitEngland which described recent campaigns and how the current trade campaign featuring Wallace and Gromit was made.

Inspiration and staff motivation were covered by Liz Phillips of Mitchells and Butlers and Dr Roger Carter, in addition to presentations from the first winners of the Tourism Society Wales Professional Development Award – Punch Maughan and Carl Cater – who described the work they have been able to do in Wales as a result of their win.

The range of subjects proved a winning combination for the delegates, who enjoyed excellent opportunities for networking in Cardiff’s impressive City Hall.