Over 80 delegates representing the broad hospitality & tourism sector gather to focus on a common goal ’to achieve UK top 5 visitor destination status’. Hosted by Business Point, Coleg Llandrillos’ business training unit in partnership with ‘People 1st Cymru’ sector skills council for hospitality & tourism, the event was held at the brand new £6.5m Bodnant Welsh Food Centre to coincide with Wales Tourism Week 2013 and to celebrate Welsh hospitality on St Davids’ Day.
Industry leaders and experts in their field set out the overriding themes of innovation and collaboration under 3 main topics, for further discussion. First on the agenda was food & drink and how important components they are as a means of establishing the all-important sense of place alongside the location and all of its cultural and geographical attributes.
“As a region, we can boast 20 awards across 23 categories in the 2012 True Taste awards. Food tourism is big business. We need to promote quality, home grown food to create a key reason for visitors to come to North Wales. There is so much to shout about but the voice has been too muted in the past. Quality food is a key topic at this time and now is the time to promote it.” Chris Morton – Managing Director, Bodnant Welsh Food
Carole Startin, Marketing & Events Executive for Tourism Partnership North Wales and Amanda Daniels of Koogar Digital Marketing then led an interactive workshop to encourage delegates to consider their online presence.
“Information in quick time, on the move, up-to-date and relevant. The modern traveller demands this as a service. Web based technology enables this as a very cost effective marketing medium. Destination North Wales and Food North Wales can form part of your marketing media” – Amanda Daniels – Koogar Digital Marketing
The all-important welcome was next on the agenda. Alan Davies of Tourism Partnership North Wales briefed delegates on The Ambassador programme, an exciting new initiative training hoteliers to advise young people on career opportunities afforded by the hospitality sector. – Phil Raynsford of People 1st Cymru followed, by outlining their work to ensure a skilled workforce for the industry in the future”
“We as a hotel have a truly international workforce but I find it extremely encouraging that so much is being done to attract and nurture home grown talent to enter the industry.” – Barbara Byrom – Human Resources Manager, Quay Hotel & Spa, Deganwy.
In summing up, the message was clear. Whether it is a trip for business or pleasure, staying in luxury full board, half board, self-catering, camping or even glamping – accommodated in a new eco pod, tepee or VW camper, North Wales can provide.
Press Enquiries – Andrew Thomas
Business Point – Coleg Llandrillo Cymru
Telephone – 01745 536300 extension 615