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Countdown to York’s Annual Tourism Conference Serious About…Tourism

Businesses across York and Yorkshire are being invited to get the latest tips for future-proofing by attending York’s Annual Tourism Conference ‘Serious About…Tourism’, to be hosted by BBC Presenter Phil Bodmer, on Wednesday 20 January at York Racecourse. Organisers Make It York are promising a stellar line-up of speakers which will leave the audience in no doubt about the opportunities 2016 will bring for tourism in the city.

The 2016 conference theme will be ‘Evolving York’ and at the event delegates will get top tips on emerging trends in tourism, future-proofing and getting ready for York’s BIG year in 2016. Guest speakers from some of the city’s top tourist attractions will announce their plans for the New Year, including details about the return of the Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum, York Theatre Royal’s re-opening, the new Living Heritage Centre at the Bar Convent and plans for York Mystery Plays at York Minster.

Headline speaker Martin Green, Chief Executive and Director of Hull UK City of Culture, will also be sharing his vision of how tourism businesses can benefit from Hull’s re-generation and transformation. Martin said, ‘Hull UK City of Culture is an opportunity not just for Hull but for the whole of Yorkshire. I’m delighted to join forces with tourism businesses across York and the area to share our vision for the future.’

Other speakers include; Molly Flatt, Freelance Journalist and Consultant, Jonathan Winchester, Chief Executive and Founder of Shopper Anonymous and Richard Bryan, Managing Director of York based research company Qa Research. Two hundred tourism businesses are expected to attend and joining the event in a panel debate of tourism experts are; Reyahn King, Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, Martin Witts, Founder of the Great Yorkshire Fringe, Graham Usher, General Manager of the Monkbar Hotel and Tom Pearcy, Owner, York Maze.

Kate McMullen, Head of Consumer Products and Marketing, Make It York, will kick start the conference by sharing the latest in York’s tourism successes, revealing the latest statistics, as well as announcing plans for York’s tourism campaign in 2016.

Kate said, ‘All of our speakers represent businesses which have adapted and changed to stay one step ahead in this highly competitive tourism sector. I would urge anyone involved in tourism to book their place early and join us on 20 January.’ A special Conference Exhibition will also offer delegates free advice and tips on a range of relevant topics. Businesses keen to exhibit can take advantage of a raft of benefits including a free pre-event workshop by Customer Feedback Experts, Shopper Anonymous.

Tickets for the conference are available at an early bird rate of £30 plus VAT (Visit York Members, £40 after 18 December) and a standard rate of £50+VAT for non-members – including lunch and networking opportunities. For details on how to book, visit ENDS


Wed 20 January - 13:30 – York Racecourse - Photocall and Interviews
There will be a photocall opportunity at 13:30 (please arrive a little earlier) at York racecourse – Voltigeur Suite – immediately after the main conference finishes.
All media are invited to attend the whole event or just the photocall. Please email to advise if you plan to attend and who you would like to interview.

For further information please contact:
Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436


Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, stud, work and do business. The remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York

Key tourism facts:
6.7 million visitors annually, £573 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs