Cited as the most successful conference for UK inbound operators, attractions and hotels to date, the UKinbound Convention, which took place 6-8 February in Windsor, featured an impressive line-up of speakers that included celebrated chef, Raymond Blanc as well as industry heavyweights, such as Sandie Dawe (CEO, VisitBritain) and Julie Southern (COO, Virgin Atlantic).
Over 200 travel and tourism industry leaders attended to hear debate on a variety of issues at the Convention, entitled, ‘After the Gold Rush’, which looked at the fortunes of the inbound tourism in 2013 and beyond, particularly following the recent tourist-attracting events of the royal wedding, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympic Games.
Puma Hotels chief executive Fredrik Korallus warned that the UK hotel and tourism market faces a “ticking time bomb” as not enough is being done to encourage younger inbound tourists to visit Britain, and particularly areas outside London. Creator and editor of the ConservativeHome website, Tim Montgomerie discussed APD, warning against wasting time and effort on calling for its abolition, but instead focusing on freezing the tax, a more realistic proposition.
Topics such as the need to leverage the Games legacy, highlighted by Graham Pickett, Global leader of Aviation and Travel, Deloitte, were discussed online and on social media channels, including the recently launched twitter account @UKinbound and #UKI13, which was created especially for the Convention and received excellent interaction from within the audience and travel industry.
UKinbound Chief Executive, Mary Rance, said: “This Convention proved to be a pivotal gathering of some of the industry’s key leaders and opinion formers who offered a great deal of insight and intelligence into inbound tourism for 2013 and beyond. Inbound tourism is the sixth biggest exporter for the UK and conventions such as this are therefore vital in order to address the most important issues affecting the operators, attractions and hotels that work so hard to entice visitors from abroad.”