A great time at the British Destinations Conference in Blackpool!

British Destinations Conference 5th - 6th October

We received an extremely warm welcome from Blackpool, the venue for the annual British Destinations conference this week. They pulled out all the stops - our very own showing of ‘Lightpool’, a stunning new light show projected onto the Blackpool Tower building, and a specially guided tour of the town’s spectacular attractions in the Tower and Winter Gardens.

The conference featured excellent and thought provoking round ups on the state of tourism from VisitEngland’s James Beresford and Bernard Donaghue from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Chair of the Tourism Alliance. Key messages were the importance of social media both as a marketing tool and to provide ‘Realtime’ information for visitors and development of innovative products and services. The growth in the huge numbers of overseas visitors to London compared to the rest of the country was highlighted and concern expressed that the domestic tourism product should not be overlooked.

The pre-dinner speaker, Gordon Marsden MP, spoke about the wider challenges faced by coastal communities on a national scale.

The NCTA’s Jason Freezer brought members up to date with our latest achievements and invited feedback on key issues facing coastal destinations as we go forward. The opportunities and challenges of Business Improvement Districts were also discussed.

Overall the conference was a great opportunity for networking with representatives from other destinations, sharing challenges and talking about potential solutions.

By Jo Edom

(image by photoeverywhere.co.uk)