Full house at inaugural Nottinghamshire Visitor Economy summit
Hundreds of representatives from local, regional and national tourism organisations attended Visit Nottinghamshire’s first ever Visitor Economy Summit at East Midlands Conference Centre on Thursday 15 June.
Hosted by Visit Nottinghamshire, part of new place marketing organisation (PMO) Marketing NG, the summit encouraged attendees to be collaborative and creative to help grow the local visitor economy, which is already worth £1.6bn annually*.
Keynote speaker at the event Andrew Stokes, England Director from VisitEngland, gave the gathering an update on national tourism priorities, funding available for new tourism product, and the focus of upcoming domestic tourism marketing campaigns.
Stokes commended Nottinghamshire on its proactive approach to growing the visitor economy.
“It’s refreshing to be here today, in a room of people who are positive about the opportunities for tourism in the region, and who are putting Nottinghamshire on the map with their focus, enthusiasm and excitement.”
Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive of Marketing NG, and Paul Southby, Chairman of Marketing NG, gave an update on the priorities and progress of Marketing NG, outlining the organisation’s journey to date, and future plans, which are focused on growing the number of people who live, work, invest and visit Nottinghamshire. A new web platform for Visit Nottinghamshire will launch later in 2017, and a renewed focus on the business visits and events market will benefit from a new ambassador programme launching in July 2017.
Moffett also highlighted the major events for 2017 which will be bringing new visitors to the city and county, such as the Tour of Britain in September and Dinosaurs of China exhibition launching soon at Wollaton Hall and Lakeside Arts Centre.
Sharon Orrell, Head of Research and Insight at VisitEngland, presented on tourism trends, looking at the growth areas for tourism and giving inspiration on how local tourism businesses can capitalise on trends – from holidays based on learning new skills, to using online messaging services and the importance of offering experiences which are authentically English.
Culture was also high on the agenda at the event. Peter Knott, Area Director Midlands for Arts Council England, spoke on the importance of cultural tourism, and encouraged audiences to celebrate our cultural assets. Sandeep Mahal, Director for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, explained the value and opportunity of the city’s status, as one of only 20 cities globally, and encouraged local tourism businesses to get creative in using literature as a hook for promoting the destination.
Emma Tatlow, National Visitor Project Manager of the Mayflower 400 project, presented opportunities for Nottinghamshire tourism businesses in the lead-up to the Mayflower 2020 celebrations, highlighting the 25 million Mayflower descendants worldwide, and the huge potential for Nottinghamshire in attracting visitors from the US as part of this national partnership.
Fabrizio Bortolotti, from online tourism company GuidiGO also presented, explaining how local businesses can use their tools to create easily accessible online trails and experiences, such as the Nottingham Trail, which is hosted on the platform.
Sponsors of the event included East Midlands Conference Centre, Hambleton Bakery, Code Print, Quadrant, School of Artisan Food, Lace Market Hotel, Doughnotts, Slave Creative and Andrew Greenstreet Photography.
Speakers at the Visitor Economy Summit (l-r) Peter Knott Arts Council England, Fabrizio Bortolotti GuidiGO, Sharon Orrell VisitEngland, Andrew Stokes VisitEngland, Paul Southby Marketing NG, Simon Gray, Nottingham Partners, Brendan Moffett Marketing NG
*STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) report 2015