Visit York’s annual tourism conference, VYCON 2020 will be taking place on Thursday 16th January at York Racecourse where 300 delegates from across the tourism sector in York, Yorkshire and beyond, are expected to attend.  The focus for this year’s conference will be on the ‘next chapter of tourism’ in York – looking ahead to the ambitions for tourism in the city as we enter a new decade and how businesses can take advantage of developments happening on a national level. The latest tourism statistics for York will also be revealed and speakers will be presenting on a diverse range of topics relating to the tourism sector.  

Headlining the event is Director of creativetourist, Andrew Palmer, who will share with the audience lessons on how to embrace York's place narrative opportunity – taking learnings from how Manchester has created, embedded and built its place brand over a decade.  

Andrew Palmer is a Director of Creative Tourist Consults, a leading place-making and cultural tourism development agency, working with destinations, clusters and organisations across the UK and internationally. Andrew has recently been a part of the team developing York’s place brand narrative, following projects including the cultural tourism vision for London, and the heritage tourism strategy for Northern Ireland.

 “York’s emerging place brand narrative will find no better voice than through its tourism sector. 2020 marks a real opportunity for York’s visitor offer to exemplify the pioneering, history-making values of the city" comments Andrew. 

Joining Andrew will be Head of Marketing and Communications at Make It York Paul Whiting.  Paul will reveal the latest tourism figures, share highlights of the year and outline the future tourism strategy for the city.  He commented:  “This is an unmissable event for anyone working in the tourism sector – with a diverse range of speakers and great opportunities to learn from leading brands and experts in the sector. We’re delighted Andrew has agreed to share his expertise on working with destinations to create compelling brand narratives and how York can benefit from this to stand out from other destinations. Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn more about how to make valuable connections with international audiences and our future strategy for tourism in the city. ”

Hosted by BBC Look North & BBC Radio York Presenter Clare Frisby, this year's speaker line-up will also include Anthony Pickles, Head of Tourism Affairs at VisitBritain who will be focusing on the tourism sector deal and the opportunities this brings and Melanie Sensicle from England Originals who will be discussing history and heritage for millennials. 

This year’s headline sponsor for the event is LNER and David Horne, Managing Director will be joining the line- up of speakers to talk about the launch of Azuma and travelling with LNER. An expert line up will also be speaking on how working internationally can benefit your business – including panel guests from Castle Howard, The Grand York, The Potion’s Cauldron and City Cruises York.

Tickets for the conference include lunch and networking opportunities.  Places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.  Tickets are free for Visit York members and priced at £50 for non-members. For details on how to book, visit 


For further information please contact: 

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager 
Direct Line: 01904 551846 

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager
Direct Line: 01904 554451