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1. The meeting began at 11.00 am. The Chairman Jane Lady Gibson welcomed attendees to the Visit York 2013 AGM. There were 61 attendees.

2. Apologies for absence had been received and recorded from 10 members and 4 Directors.

3. The minutes of the previous AGM on 16 November 2012 were agreed. Proposed by Ian Gillies, seconded by Michael Hjort.

4. The Directors’ Report was presented by the Chairman and included thanks to Gillian Cruddas for her tremendous contribution to the tourism economy in York over the past 18 years. Jane Lady Gibson also took the opportunity to formally introduce Kate McMullen, the new Head of Visit York and to thank all 700 members for their invaluable support over the past year. Visit York has been very pleased that its partnership with City of York Council continued to strengthen and to have been awarded Regional Growth Funding by VisitEngland of £800,000 over three years.

The Chairman outlined that research was being undertaken to evaluate the creation of a new agency which would combine support to the visitor economy, culture and creative industries, city centre management and would include some inward investment activity. This new approach and way of working will ensure that York is competitive nationally and internationally and that duplication across the city is cut. There has been a great deal of interest from members in being involved in the development of the new agency and regular meetings will be held.

5. Kate McMullen summarised the 2012-13 Visit York Annual Report and detailed a number of awards and accolades won by Visit York and its members over the period. Hotel occupancy has shown a growth over the summer months and September 2013 was the first time that occupancy has been at more than 90% since the survey began in 2007. Large attraction visitor numbers have increased.

Leisure campaigns have targeted international markets such as the US and China in addition to important European markets and a York Guide written in Mandarin is being developed. New partnerships with airlines and other transport providers have helped increase the Visit York reach.

The Visit York website and YorkPass continue to perform well and the Visitor Information Centre welcomed approximately 500,000 visitors during the year. Business tourism remains a key part of the tourism economy. The York Minster to Westminster showcase was successfully executed in 2013 and will be repeated next year. Visit York secured the Liberal Democrats 2014 Conference which will have an estimated total economic impact to the city of up to £1m.

Member events and support are critical to the work of Visit York and input and questions always welcomed.

2014 brings the Tour de France Grand Depart and 100 Day Cultural Festival amongst many other events and combined with the commitment of the team at Visit York and the exciting plans to develop a new agency with a broader remit means that we expect next year to be a very exciting time for the visitor economy in York.

6. Steve Morrell of Morrell Middleton presented the audited accounts of the company for 2012-13 and outlined the summary financial statements which were distributed to all members prior to the AGM. There was an overall profit for the year of £23,281 as opposed to a loss of £59,641 in 2012. The company has adequate cash flow and liquidity and has reserves of £120,590, which is in line with the Board’s policy. The accounts were proposed by Dr Steve Watson and seconded by Juliana Delaney. There were no questions on the accounts.

7. Appointment of Auditors. The Board recommended the reappointment of Morrell Middleton as the company accountants. Proposed by Juliana Delaney and seconded by Mark Burn.

8. The Appointment of Directors. Visit York currently has 11 elected directors, one co-opted director and an observer from the City of York Council. Gillian Cruddas is the only retiring Director at this time. The Chairman proposed, as recommended by the Board, that no changes are made to the composition of the Board in light of the potential changes being made to the governance of the company. The recommendation was proposed by Sir Ron Cooke and seconded by Juliana Delaney. There will be opportunities for involvement at Board level of the new agency, details of which will be circulated when due diligence is complete.

9. Any Other Ordinary Business of the Company – none raised.

10. The Chairman thanked the Directors of the Board for their work and for those involved in the Task & Finish Groups. She also formally thanked Gill Cooper, City of York Council Chief Officer for her support to Visit York.

11. Attendees were invited to watch the Visit York corporate video, followed by networking.

12. The formal meeting was closed at 11.26am.

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