Destination Coventry announces inaugural tourism conference
Coventry and Warwickshire’s newest destination management organisation (DMO) is set to host its first annual conference and is aiming to provide a boost to businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector.
More than 100 leaders from across the sector are expected to attend Destination Coventry’s inaugural Annual Tourism Conference at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) on Thursday, September 15.
Destination Coventry launched in 2021 and includes established brands Visit Coventry and Conference Coventry and Warwickshire.
Since launching, it has been working with stakeholders across the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector to support the industry’s needs.
The conference programme has been curated to react to those identified needs, tackle the issues facing the region’s businesses and support the development of Coventry and Warwickshire as a premier leisure and tourism destination.
The conference will be hosted by Martin Fullard, editorial director of Mash Media, which includes industry leading titles Conference News and Exhibition News.
It will include a specific focus on the recruitment, retention and skills challenges facing businesses since the pandemic – with Fleur Sexton DL, chief executive and founder of Pet-Xi, leading a panel discussion on the subject.
Sustainable tourism will also be a focus area for the conference and it is set to welcome Guy Bigwood, chief executive of Global Destination Sustainability Movement, to host a panel discussion on the steps that destinations, businesses and suppliers can take to make tourism more sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially.
There will also be a series of masterclasses and breakout sessions to arm delegates attending the conference with tools to improve their businesses. Masterclasses will range from social media and Google advertising, to guidance on how to access funding and support to grow a start-up or established business.
Representatives from national organisations, such as Venue Directory, will also be on hand to share insight into Coventry and Warwickshire’s national standing and how the wider meetings and events sector is recovering following the pandemic.
It will close with a reflection on 2021 and the year so far, which saw the region host Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games events and Coventry hold the UK City of Culture title, while looking ahead to the future of the region’s visitor economy.
Paul Jones, Managing Director of Destination Coventry, said: “We’re looking forward to hosting our inaugural tourism conference and have ensured that the programme is responding to the needs of the sector in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“The region’s visitor economy is in a great position following an incredible calendar of events in the last 12 months and we’re seeking to continue to drive that growth and work in partnership with businesses to do so.
“The conference will address barriers that are impacting market growth and how we need to diversify the tourism product to overcome those barriers.
“When launching Destination Coventry, it was always our intention to launch an annual conference, and we believe it will act as a forum to discuss issues as a regional collective and cultivate a positive future for Coventry and Warwickshire’s visitor economy.”
The conference is free to attend for paying members of Destination Coventry, and is priced at £75 for non-members. To find out more visit www.destinationcoventry.co.uk/events