Tourism chiefs bring the future to the Wye Valley at annual Forum

At its annual Tourism Forum last year, national chiefs called Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism one of the top 10 Destination Management Organisations in the UK and hailed it for punching above its weight and helping its members.

This year the Tourism Forum line-up is even bigger with a stellar line-up of speakers including VisitBritain, VisitWales, VisitEngland, The Rural Payments Agency and the Tourism Alliance and is supported this year by Glide Media.

On Friday, 9 March in Coleford, the 2018 theme of “Investing in the Future of Tourism” will yet again inspire an audience of local accommodation and attraction businesses, plus retailers and food and drink producers, to raise the bar and take the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean to new heights as a top UK destination.

Sharon Orell, head of research at VisitEngland and Gerwyn Evans, head of tourism development at VisitWales, will be joined by Patricia Yates, director strategy and communications for VisitBritain and Kurt Janson, policy director at Tourism Alliance.

The Forum will be opened by Mark Harper MP who will deliver a keynote address, to be followed by experts who include: David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP, Andy Tordoff from the Rural Payments Agency, who will update on investment opportunities and Andy Woodward from Quality in Tourism.

Delegates should expect to hear the latest trends and forecasts, what’s new in product and tourism development and investment, plus how to benefit from technology changes and skill-up for the future.

The packed day will be rounded off with the ever popular expert panel, with all speakers answering questions from delegates and debating the issues of the day.

Throughout the event there is time set aside for networking, questions and discussions.

Maureen McAllister, executive director of Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism, said: “Tourism is a vital contributor to the regional economy and our annual Forum is the chance for all of our members, and tourism businesses in the area to learn from national tourism chiefs and experts.

“Delegates can expect to hear what the latest trends are, what to expect in the future, what support they can get from national and local organisations – but most importantly, how they can build their business.

“We are delighted with the quality of speakers we are able to attract to the area, and also with the support we receive from tourism businesses, and particularly from GLIDE MEDIA who are sponsoring this year’s event”

The fourth annual Tourism Forum will take place from 10am on Friday, 9 March 2018 at Gloucestershire College, Forest of Dean Campus, Berry Hill, near Coleford.

Tickets are Open to Members and non-members priced £20 Members, £32.50 for non-members.  All available from https://wyedeantourism.biz/future-meetings/

Key statistics for the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

  • Total staying and day trips 6,750,800
  • Total visitor related spend £367,943,000
  • Total estimated actual employment 7,790 (5,602 full time employees)
  • Tourism accounts for 8% of all employment
  • Every pound spent on marketing returns £43 spent by tourists

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