Summer bookings for Devon’s biggest resort are looking strong for 2017, a special tourism conference in Torquay heard on Wednesday. Some 300 delegates pre-registered for the first conference and exhibition organised by the new English Riviera Business Improvement District Company at the Riviera International Conference Centre.
There were 65 businesses with stands at the exhibition including attractions, events, professional businesses and charities, and one or two colourful characters. Click here for more photos from the event.
Company chairman Torquay hotelier Laurence Murrell said:” It’s really exciting. It’s the first event for the new BID company and it’s a fantastic display of support for the new company.”
The new business improvement district has only been operating for two months but Mr Murrell said they felt they had set up a strong company.
“The prospects for 2017 are very encouraging. The way the pound has dropped since the Brexit referendum has made it much more expensive to go overseas and cheaper for overseas visitors to come to the UK. We have already seen advanced sales for this summer up and we have the new marketing and advertising campaign in place for the BID company.”
Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the BID company said: “We have had more than 300 delegates register in advance for today. Over 60 businesses have taken stands at the exhibition including attractions, event organisers and professional businesses and our special thanks go to Barclays and Stagecoach who sponsored this event.
“A lot of businesses are being very positive about the summer season, there is the weakness of the pound and a genuine wish to holiday at home. Businesses are telling us that the summer strong but what we have got to focus on the shoulder months.
“The term time holiday restrictions means family holidays are being restricted to the peak weeks and that just isn’t enough for a business. We are remaining a seasonal destination and we need to be year round.
“The BID business plan will be focusing on increasing visitor numbers during the quieter months.”
During the afternoon, Samantha Richardson from the National Coastal Tourism Academy delivered an absorbing talk featuring recent research findings plus targeted opportunities for growth for coastal resorts. A copy of Samantha’s presentation can be downloaded here.
Original story by Tina Crowson in the Herald Express
Reproduced by kind permission of author/publisher