Bristol plays host to tourism marketing conference

Published on Thursday, 6th October 2016

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) will be holding its annual South West tourism marketing conference in Bristol this year on Friday 4 November.

As the tourism industry takes stock at the end of its main season, accommodation providers and tourism operators are already planning their marketing campaigns for 2017. To help them fine tune and remain at the cutting edge of their discipline, CIM’s conference brings together marketing experts to discuss industry challenges and share their marketing wisdom.

CIM has invited seven marketing experts to outline their solutions to the region’s tourism marketers. Speakers this year include Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director at the National Trust, Kathryn Davis, Head of Tourism at Destination Bristol, and Luke Bishop, Managing Director of Polpo Ltd, which opened its first South West site and tenth restaurant on Bristol's Whiteladies Road in the summer.

In 2015, there were 36.1 million visits to the UK by overseas residents alone, a rise in numbers for the fifth consecutive year, earnings from visits to the UK reached a record level of spending at £22.1 billion. But, the challenge facing destination marketing agencies such as Destination Bristol is how do they attract visitors out of the capital?

Kathryn Davis, explains: “2015 was a very special year in Bristol, which saw record a number of staying trips both from the UK and overseas, as well as record day visits.  With the many challenges facing destinations in the future, I will be exploring how we will maintain this momentum and continue to deliver improved customer engagement and experience, when communicating with our potential visitor audience becomes increasingly fragmented in their media consumption.”

Developing customer experience is a theme running through the conference that will be addressed by Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director at National Trust. The National Trust is also hosting a visit and supper at Tynesfield the evening before the full day conference to enable delegates to learn first-hand how they are developing more personal and meaningful experiences for visitors.

Tony Berry says: “It’s clear that visitors are increasingly expecting more than just nice days out.  They’re looking for experiences, they’re looking for more interaction, and they’re looking for more personal connection.  It’s a real opportunity for UK tourism – if we can get this right, we’re in a great place to offer people more authentic and personal experiences.”

Also discussing how to develop customer experiences and more meaningful relationships with customers will be Luke Bishop, Managing Director of Polpo Ltd, Gary Moss Chairman at Brand Vista and Danny Martin, Head of Brand and Communications and Nicola Wildin, Local Food Sourcing Manager at Gloucester Services.  Andrew McIntrye, Director at Morris Hargreaves McIntyre will be talking about the power of psychographic segmentation.

Brian Doidge, chair of CIM’s South West communities’ board and co-chair at the conference comments: “The South West region has one of the highest percentages of Gross Value Added attributable to tourism industries in the UK, in fact only London is currently greater. It’s very much a growing industry that provides over three million jobs nationwide. It is therefore inevitable that marketers within this sector continue to be a very important part of our member base across our region and that we support both their professional activities and their ongoing development.”

He adds: “Our very well received tourism conference last year was an excellent example of this and this year our tourism ambassador, Martin Williams, has invited first class speakers who are all leaders in their disciplines and sectors, to share their knowledge and skill. We are also particularly delighted this year to have worked very closely with the National Trust, and the event at Tyntesfield the evening before, will be a fitting start to the full day conference.”

This year’s conference takes place on Friday 4 November at Leigh Court, Bristol.

Bristol Media members can join the conference at a preferential delegate rate of just £95 (saving £30, if you are a non CIM member) by calling CIM’s Network Support team on +44 (0)1628 427340 and quoting BRIMED01

For further information on the full programme and all the speakers visit:

Further information and delegate bookings from £75 per head can be made here