Celebrating Ipswich tourism conference to highlight strategy for building visitor numbers
PUBLISHED: 06:01 11 April 2017
An organisation launched last year to attract more visitors to Ipswich is teaming up with the University of Suffolk to stage a tourism conference in the town next month.
The Ipswich Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) was established last May by local businesses, supported by Business Improvement District delivery company Ipswich Central, to build on the town’s tourism trade which is already estimated to be worth £220m a year to the local economy.
Speakers at the Celebrating Ipswich conference, taking place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Friday, May 12, from 9.30am to 1.30pm, will include Ipswich DMO chairman Alex Paul of Gough Hotels, which includes the Salthouse Harbour Hotel in the Ipswich Waterfront, and Brendan Keaney of DanceEast, based at the nearby Jerwood DanceHouse.
There will also be a talks from industry specialists surrounding destinations, travel trends, the role of social influencers and an update about the DMO’s activity so far and the campaigns ahead.
Mr Paul said: “The conference will be a great opportunity for local tourism businesses in Ipswich and beyond to see how the DMO is working to bring more visitors to Ipswich and Suffolk. As well as how businesses can get involved and benefit from its activities.”
“Tourism is a key growth sector for Suffolk and as the county town, Ipswich can do much to grow and develop the visitor economy. It is great at last to be showing off Ipswich in a new light; it’s long overdue but exciting that the DMO is off the ground and already doing great things.”
First and second year students on the event and tourism management course at the University of Suffolk are working with Ipswich Central to organise, market and manage the conference.
The aim is to gives the students first-hand experience of organising an event as well as an insight into the work Ipswich Central does in place marketing and tourism.
In addition, the university is keen to celebrate Ipswich as part of its Year of Celebration following the launch of the University of Suffolk, formerly University Campus Suffolk, as a stand-alone university.
Richard Lister, vice-chancellor of the University of Suffolk, who will deliver the closing speech as the conference, said: ‘The University of Suffolk is very pleased to be part of the Celebrating Ipswich Conference.
“There is a great deal to celebrate in our town, and the University is very proud to play its part in making Ipswich a great place to visit, live and work.”
The Ipswich DMO is keen for all businesses in Ipswich and surrounding areas to attend and so attendance at the conference is free of charge.