Annual Conference 2022

Update as at 15 June.  In view the national rail strike called for next week, the reality that at this late stage a negotiated settlement before the 22nd is highly unlikely and, in light of further confirmation of the nature and degree of disruption expected on both the strike days 21st, 23rd and 25th June and critically the days after including the 22nd, the decisions has been taken to postpone the event.

This is regrettable but unavoidable given that the conference is a national event attended by a broad church of senior industry representative from across much of the UK; the majority of whom can realistically only travel by rail, for some or all of their day or staying trip, to and from London. In particular, the curtailment or cancellation of earlier morning and and late afternoon and evening services on non-strike days make travel to London, for what is an essentially all day event, untenable for many wishing or intending to attend.

Options to hold the rescheduled event within the coming few weeks were considered but rejected for practical reasons, not least of which was the difficult of clearing potential delegates’ diaries at such short notice.  The event will now be held in the same format, at the same venue, currently with much the same programme, adjusted to accommodate any major development, in September/October.

The date will be notified as soon as soon as the practical arrangements can be made and confirmed.  Although the proposed dates falls after Kurt Janson’s recently announced retirement, Kurt has agreed to continue to deliver the event. Therefore the conference has the additional benefit of remaining an opportunity for colleagues to wish him well in person.  It is also an opportunity to ensure Kurt leaves the Tourism Alliance on a high note of a well attended and therefore successful event, which in the circumstances, the 22nd of June would not now have been.

Existing bookings for 22 June will be rolled forward to the new date. If delegates can no longer attend then refunds will be arranged at that point.

We appreciate that the decision will be a disappointment to many and that it will cause differing degrees of inconvenience to all involved. However, it would have been tone deaf and potentially appear “London centric”  for Tourism Alliance, British Destinations and the Tourism Society simply to have attempted to press ahead regardless, during what is now certain to be yet another very unwelcome, major blow to travel and tourism within the UK.

I am also pleased to report our conference sponsor Quality in Tourism, as ever, remain fully supportive of the conference plans and more generally of the ongoing work of British Destinations and our strategic partners.

Original details of the conference, for background information, are:

It is again being held at the Royal Over Seas league in central London and this year’s focus will on what is happening in both the marketplace and Government in response to the reopening of the UK tourism industry post Covid-19.

The morning session of the conference includes an address by the Shadow Culture Secretary, Lucy Powell MP on Labour’s key priorities for the UK tourism industry before market research experts from BVA/BDRC, YouGov and UK News share their knowledge on:

  1. Post Covid Trends in Consumer Demand
  2. Changing Attitudes to Sustainable Tourism
  3. How the Cost of Living Crisis will Impact Tourism Businesses

After lunch, the conference will switch to sessions discussing the Government’s response to rebuilding the UK tourism industry. This will include:

  1. DCMS Setting Out Their Policy Priorities for the year ahead
  2. The Chair of the Tourism Industry Council leading a session on how you can shape Government policy by contributing to the Council’s four new policy workstreams:
    • International Visitors
    • Skills and Accessibility
    • Sustainability
    • Events
  3. VisitEngland outlining how they will be taking forward the recommendations of the England DMO Review
  4. A discussion on the Statutory Registration Scheme between the LGA, PASC and TMI
  5. Home Office Officials explaining the different routes of entry you can use to employ overseas workers

The Conference will be an opportunity to network with other tourism professionals, assess the state of tourism recovery and agree on what more needs to be done to ensure that the Government’s targets for tourism recovery are met.

For Tourism Alliance and Tourism Society Members, the Conference will be followed by their respective Annual General Meetings before all delegates are invited to attend the Tourism Society President’s Dinner which is being held at the same venue (costings and booking detail to follow).

Our conference partner, Quality in Tourism has been assessing properties and driving standards across the UK for over 15 years and they are experts in the field, offering advice, support and assessments for tourism & hospitality businesses.  They are currently delivering a suite of assessments, including the initiative Safe, Clean and Legal assessment which is  designed to be more than just an entry-level level scheme.  Safe, Clean and Legal we believe, now helps fill the growing gap in the market between reliance on customer reviews alone and the more traditional grading assessments approach.

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