Tourism & the Visitor Economy in the Age of Austerity – AM Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th October 2015
Conference Outline. The UK’s destinations share a common dependency on a healthy and vibrant Tourism and Visitor Economy; a Tourism and Visitor Economy that needs to be proactively managed if it is to fulfil its social and economic potential. Despite popular claims of a UK wide economic recovery, it is clear that the UK has emerged from the global recession in a very different state, with very different strategic and political outlook. The recovery has not reached all social or economic groups, or all the geographic areas that provide the customer base for UK tourism and the visitor economy. Not all parts of the private service sector economy nor all the individual businesses are feeling the benefit of recovery. Meanwhile the public sector which has long provided the bedrock of national, regional and local destination management, has faced savage budget and consequential service cuts and will continue to do so, for at least the next 5 years.
In a continued age of austerity how will destination manage to maintain appropriate and entirely necessary destination management functions? If they don’t how will disparate public and private sector interests coalesce in to functioning and therefore salable destination offers? What are the new and existing funding opportunities to maintain destination management? Are emerging initiatives the solution and what else, if anything, might be on the horizon?
Conference Hosts. Blackpool Council has a long and prestigious record of managing the largest purpose-built and without doubt the most iconic, popular domestic destination within the UK. Tourism and the visitor economy is beyond doubt a key social and economic driver within the Town yet even Blackpool is feeling the pressures of the age of austerity. As hosts Blackpool Borough Council will share with colleague the many successes and highlights of its tourism industry, but also its issues and its thoughts on potential solutions.