News of a three per cent increase in year-on-year visitors to Cornwall in 2016 set a scene of positivity at the first ever Cornwall Tourism Summit, organised by Visit Cornwall.
More than 200 people from across the tourism sector attended the event at the Royal Cornwall Showground Pavilion Centre and heard that 2017 looks set to build on the success story of 2016.
The industry was congratulated on quality investments and Cornwall’s brand awareness as an aspirational destination was highlighted as being one of the county’s greatest assets.
The line-up of speakers also revealed the opportunities that lie ahead for Cornwall in 2017.
Sally Balcombe, CEO of Visit Britain and Visit England announced a Discover England Fund to promote the South West Coast Path, while Amanda Burns, head of marketing at GWR promised an upgraded GWR Sleeper train service.
Visit Cornwall’s Malcolm Bell also shared news of Cornwall’s partnership with Devon to become one of four food hubs in an overseas GREAT Britain campaign.
“We are going into 2017 in a strong position with some fantastic projects to look forward to,” he said.
“I am cautiously optimistic that in the next year Cornwall will start to feel the much anticipated staycation boom, however we should tread carefully.
“Economically we need interest and mortgage rates to stay low and for job security and confidence to rise. A relaxation in school holiday rules would also be welcome.”
As well as picking up lots of facts and figures, delegates to the event also came away with expert tips. Both Roger Pride from brand agency, Heavenly, and Bernard Donoghue from the Tourism Alliance cited authenticity and staff as being key ingredients to success and left delegates feeling inspired in a series of entertaining and uplifting presentations.
“Feedback from the Cornwall Tourism Summit has been very positive, so much so that we plan to make it an annual event for our members and industry partners,” added Lord St Levan, chair of Visit Cornwall.
“As well as the benefits of bringing the tourism industry together to network and share best practice, it is a chance for businesses to pause, reflect and plan ahead. By working together 2017 looks set to be very exciting indeed.”