Friday July 13, 2012
The Tourism Society’s Annual Conference took place last week on July 12 at the Bloomsbury Hotel, London, and tackled the themes of PEOPLE – PLACES – PROFIT. The individual topics covered were extremely wide-ranging and speaking about the event newly elected Tourism Society Chairman, David Curtis-Brignell FTS, said: “If you missed yesterday's conference you missed an inspiring and information-packed day.”
The day began with an inspiring keynote address by Sir John Whitmore, Chairman of Performance Consultants International and a pre-eminent thinker in leadership and organisational change. He emphasized the importance of Emotional Intelligence and of developing strong people skills, which set the scene for the first of the three main sessions.
Julia Feuell, Managing Director of New Frontiers, chaired the PEOPLE session, with delegates hearing about initiatives in the service sector to encourage young people to move into the profession and view it as a long-term career, how tourism trends in England are developing, and how best to reach your customers through the application of a few simple website rules.
PLACES, with Robin Barker MTS FTMI of Services for Tourism in the chair, covered the global, national and local aspects of destination trends and how marketing strategies are evolving. While international arrivals continue to increase globally it was interesting to hear that Great Britain is not perceived as a destination known for its natural beauty. Successful operation of TBIDs was described as one way of maintaining DMO activity following changes in sources of funding, and this could be one route to improve the overseas public’s perception of what Britain has to offer.
The final session looked at different aspects of PROFIT. Details of key areas to watch on hotel margins were shared (make sure you weigh the meat when it is delivered) before the National Trust described a different view of profit, taking the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental aspects into account in their overall ‘net gain’. Mike Jones FTS, managing director of Delta Squared, chaired the session which also included an examination of the real impact of serial discounting and a review of how best to encourage banks to provide finance for your business.
The Society is very grateful for the support received from the various conference sponsors, which helped make the event such a success. These were: Performance Consultants International, Linder Myers LLP, New Frontiers, VisitCornwall, Visit Kent, People 1st, Snappin’ Turtle, and the organisers of the Tourism Society Conference 2013.
Next year's conference is in Cardiff on 2-3rd July.