By Dom Stevens –
„Collaboration is key to unlocking the wider potential of the region’s visitor economy” – that was the key message at the annual Visit Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Conference.
Visit Peak District & Derbyshire is the first major business-to-business event in association with Visit Derby as the region’s official Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP).
The event brought together more than 120 industry leaders to discuss tourism insights, emerging trends and new opportunities for growth and collaboration. It also highlights the importance of accessibility and sustainability in strengthening the region’s tourism offering and attracting new visitors to the destination.
The conference highlighted issues including rising costs, high inflation and post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior as new research from the 2022 Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, commonly known as STEAM, revealed the challenges facing the sector.
Opening the conference, Joe Tilley, managing director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, announced that the region’s tourism sector is now worth £2.59 billion to the local economy – an increase of 4% since 2019.
However, against a backdrop of high inflation, the figures reveal that overall visitor numbers are expected to fall by 7% in 2022, even though the industry has boosted total revenue across the Peak District and Derbyshire.
Stays in unserviced accommodation increased by 10.5% over 2019, while jobs supported by the visitor economy fell by 12.5% (versus a 20% national decline). Stays in serviced accommodation and the number of serviced bed spaces in a destination will continue to be down in 2019, providing insight into changing visitor behaviour.
View the LVEP status of Visit Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby – the new national portfolio of accredited tourism organizations managed by VisitEngland – was a key focus of the conference, and delegates heard how working with the organization will drive the tourism strategy for the region. Local, regional and national stakeholders to deliver visitor economic priorities.
As an LVEP, Visit Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby will be eligible to bid for government funding streams to support the development of the visitor economy, and the organization will also be able to access additional support from VisitEngland, including specialist toolkits and training.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes OBE delivered the keynote address: “I was delighted to attend the Visit Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Conference and see first-hand the Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) providing expert support, hearing about the exciting and ambitious plans for growth and guidance for tourism businesses.
„LVEPs are central to transforming the visitor economic landscape in England and we are delighted to be working together on the Visit Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby LVEP national programme.”
During the conference, the Visit Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby highlighted plans to support and grow the visitor economy by 2024, including:
- Developing an ambitious new destination development plan for the Peak District, Derbyshire and Derby to drive visitor economic development in a sustainable and accessible way, with a community and place focus.
- Delivering a new program of sector-specific business support events and workshops for tourism-related businesses, including a Season Opener & Leaflet Swap event during English Tourism Week on 20 March 2024.
- Conducting innovative marketing campaigns to increase visitor spending, increase overnight stays and extend the traditional tourism season.
- Positioning the region as a destination of choice for accessible and sustainable breaks – working with partners, members and content creators to promote inclusive experiences and the use of public transport.
- Leverage the rebound in international travel by working closely with inbound tour operators to attract foreign travelers and reach new markets.
An inspiring line-up of speakers covering topics including investment, regeneration, green tourism and the latest support and funding for local businesses.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.