Annual Conference Report 2014

16 – 17 June 2014  Ramada Plaza Hotel, Southport.
“Visitor Destinations – The Art of Minding Other People’s Business”
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Part of the International Festival of Businesses – Liverpool and supported by VisitLiverpool and VisitEngland
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The conference  examined the opportunities and challenges for destination management and their partner businesses, especially those created by the recent emergence of a number of wider destination based Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and of business rates and the forthcoming business rates review in England and Wales. Conclusions include agreement that the tourism industry, whilst unable to lead on business rates should now be taking a view and lobbying for a sustainable new model to ensure that destinations big and small retain their appeal as place to both “see and do”.
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The conference main output was to firmly establish the existence of a newly emerged Destination BID, as evidenced by recent and newly approved BIDs covering the wider geographic and business communities of several popular destinations.  It was also agreed that the different models applied in the popular coastal destinations showcased at conference had utility in many other urban destinations, wherever they may be situated. Strong leaderships, but not necessarily public or private sector but of the partnership between them and good, effective administrative capability was seen as key to success.  It was also thought that the models should also have utility in more rural environments, provided the BID area covered was a genuinely recognised “destination” and that therefore the business community genuinely shared common cause and would benefit from better resourced and, thus, potentially better coordinated destination management.
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Recognising that many rural destination, and especially those within a single local government district administrative area, may not have the internal resources or necessarily the density of tourism businesses to make them immediately obvious candidates, delegates requested that British Destinations investigate with Government, Government Agencies and our tourism trade association partners the opportunities to facilitate a rural Destination BID pilot or pilots.  To that end British Destinations would be keen to hear from rural destination (preferably those in membership) that would be willing to work with us to deliver such a pilot project.  In addition it was agreed to create a new section within this website where we will gather and share information amongst both Destination BIDs, most of whom are already member destinations, and amongst the wider British Destination membership, who may not yet have considered this route.
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Conference concluded with the first public airing of the headline findings of the new coastal tourism in England and Wales report which will be shared with British Destination members via this website before formal publication in late July.
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Guest speaker at The Carrier Group Awards dinner were, our President, Gordon Marsden MP Shadow Transport Minister and James Berresford Chief Executive of VisitEngland. Both gave insightful presentation; Gordon majoring on the political environment and James on the strategic issues, especially relating to the topics under discussion at the conference. Details of the brochure cover and web home page awards presented during the dinner will be published shortly.
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The conference programme can be accessed here:
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Conference presentations in presentation order can be accessed at:
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The Carrier Group email newsletter detailing the winners of this year’s brochure and web homepage awards winners can be accessed here:
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The Carrier Group are pleased to sponsor the
     
British Destinations  Annual Conference
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9 thoughts on “Annual Conference Report 2014

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