Following the success of #Durham19, the county’s Year of Culture, the annual Visit County Durham autumn conference unveiled key opportunities for tourism businesses in 2020 and beyond.
Held at Sedgefield Racecourse, over 118 partners and delegates from across the county attended the conference which highlighted opportunities surrounding the themes of Airbnb, bookability and the launch of VisitEngland’s new digital platform TXGB, Durham’s Year of Pilgrimage (#Pilgrimage2020) and the development of the Northern Saints Trails.
2020 is designated as Durham’s Year of Pilgrimage, with a programme of events and activities set to take place.
At the centre of the celebrations will be the launch of new walking trails across the region which tell the fascinating stories of the Northern Saints.
Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham gave a presentation on Airbnb, and what impact and opportunities the travel booking giant provides to attractions and accommodation providers across the county.
The event was hosted by managing director of Visit County Durham Michelle Gorman, and speakers included: Craig Wilson, destination development manager at Visit County Durham and James Berzins, director of TXGB.
Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “The autumn conference is an extremely important event in the industry calendar.
“Its aim is to support partner engagement and deliver important information about our work and industry trends which tourism businesses can apply to their own work.
“We had a good mix of attendees and speakers engaging with a range of thought-provoking topics, and it was encouraging to hear feedback from delegates within the tourism industry on how useful they found the event”.
The afternoon then saw delegates break out into interactive workshops to find out more about how the new TXGB platform works, and how they can apply to their own business to improve visibility within key international markets.
James Berzins, director of TXGB, said: “It was a pleasure to attend the Visit County Durham annual conference and great to share TXGB with tourism businesses from across Durham.
“The benefits for the delegates moving forward are fundamental when looking at how distributors from across the world can tap into their tourism products, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results from this session.”