Destination Staffordshire Tourism Conference 2014
Destination Staffordshire, the county’s leading tourism partnership, hosted its annual Tourism Conference at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre during English Tourism Week. The event attracted over 170 delegates from the region’s leading tourism and conference businesses and venues.
Key notes and sessions focused on how businesses and operators across the county could enhance and grow their business through ambassador training and a raft of business support programmes delivered by Destination Staffordshire partners, Winning Moves.
The bespoke workshops, which are hosted throughout the county and funded by European Regional Development Fund, have been designed to improve quality of service, with a series of practical and informative workshops which range from group sessions and even one to one business mentoring.
The conference also called on Staffordshire businesses to embrace the digital age, with a series of inspiring speeches focused on how to use and develop effective campaigns on social media. Tim Schofield from Trip Advisor presented to delegates on how businesses can utilise the platform to maximise their profit potential by embracing user-generated content to help improve service delivery.
Destination Staffordshire also launched its brand marketing campaign for 2014, Staffordsheer. The campaign showcases Staffordshire’s adventurous, natural and cultural sides, using its tourism brand Enjoy Staffordshire.
Activity for Staffordsheer is already underway and targets London, the Home Counties and the North West with a high impact poster campaign supported by a national digital and social media campaign and consumer PR activity. It will look to position the county as a leading short break destination, as well as reinforce the perception of Staffordshire as being packed with great scenery, adventure, heritage and culture, while also enhancing perceptions of the diversity of what is on offer for visitors.
Mark Kerrigan, Chair of Destination Staffordshire, closed the conference with a confident look ahead to the 2014 tourism season. "We are currently operating in a challenging market place but we continue to trial new initiatives to help Staffordshire keep its edge and evolve our tourism product.
"We are confident that with our diverse offer, continued investment from the private sector and great service, we have strong foundations and the right building blocks to continue to encourage and drive repeat visits to Staffordshire, and importantly remain ahead of other leading destinations."