Destination Coventry
Destination Coventry

Sector leaders attend Winter Networker

Hospitality and tourism leaders heard how a destination management organisation’s reach has increased to more than 5.5 million people and helped businesses access £300,000 in grant funding in the last year. 

Around 100 leaders from across the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector in Coventry and Warwickshire attended a winter networking event hosted by Destination Coventry, the area’s newest destination management organisation (DMO).

Paul Jones, managing director of Destination Coventry, spoke with those in attendance about the successes of strides Coventry and Warwickshire’s visitor economy has made and the continued growth of the DMO’s offer since launching in 2021.

The event was held at Coventry Building Society Arena and attendees also heard about the exciting plans for the future of the venue from its commercial director, Paul Michael, who is also chairman of Destination Coventry’s oversight board.

Paul Jones discussed how the DMO is working to ensure the visitor economy continues on the upward trajectory set by the recent tourism figures, which saw the value of the visitor economy soar by £265 million between 2020 and 2021.

He also highlighted how the DMO, in partnership with Coventry City Council and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, had brokered sector specialist support to 60 businesses and secured around £300,000 in funding.

Paul said: “2022 marked our first full calendar year as a DMO and we’re proud of the role we have played in driving the economic impact of tourism in Coventry and Warwickshire.   

“It was great to see a full room at Coventry Building Society Arena for our winter networking event and to have the opportunity to share our successes from the last 12 months. 

“We’re up to nearly 100 members now and have seen significant growth across a number of areas of the organisation, including in our marketing reach which has grown to more than 5.5 million across all channels.

“Partnership is at the heart of everything we do, and we are proud to have worked with our stakeholders to facilitate financial support directly to the sector too, as the visitor economy continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic.” 

The event also saw Destination Coventry set out its plans for the year ahead, which included an increased number of destination marketing campaigns, help for businesses struggling with recruitment and skills, driving sustainable tourism across the region, and continuing to broker grant funding and business support for the leisure, tourism and hospitality sector.

“While as a region Coventry and Warwickshire has made a strong start, there is still a lot of work to be done to help the visitor economy bounce back to full strength,” added Paul Jones.

“There are challenges in areas such as recruitment and sustainability that we must overcome to strengthen our offer and we are introducing new collaborative programmes to make that happen.”

Destination Coventry incorporates established brands Visit Coventry and Conference Coventry & Warwickshire.

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