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Tourism summit focuses on sector’s recovery and future within the economy

TOURISM, hospitality and leisure businesses took centre stage at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre for the Buckinghamshire Future Tourism Summit.

The event, hosted by travel writer and broadcaster Simon Calder and attended by more than 130 delegates, highlighted the key role that tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses play in the local and national economies.

The conference touched upon many of the opportunities and challenges for Buckinghamshire’s visitor economy, including:

  • Developing green credentials that make a business stand out from the rest;
  • Investing in sustainable practices that will save businesses money and give them a great USP;
  • The chance to make a positive impact on local communities, people and the environment;
  • Recruitment and building resilience into workforces to withstand future challenges;
  • How to capture young audiences and tell Buckinghamshire’s story through its attractions, places and history; 
  • Designing accessible attractions, locations and websites to ensure accessibility for all.

Travel writer Simon Calder hosted the Buckinghamshire Future Tourism Summit.

Lucy Dowson, tourism development manager at Visit Buckinghamshire, said: “We were delighted to welcome Simon Calder to our inaugural Buckinghamshire Future Tourism Summit. He brought a wealth of knowledge and insight into the challenges facing tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses in Buckinghamshire and advice on how to help businesses in these sectors to come back more resilient to future challenges. 

“This includes looking at ways to become more sustainable, more digitally enabled and more inclusive to engage the widest range of potential customers.” 

A panel of high-calibre speakers, including sustainability editor at Condé Traveller, Juliet Kinsman, inspired the audience and highlighted the assistance available to businesses to unlock access to a network of support.

This event was part of Visit Buckinghamshire: Boost, a programme of support being delivered in partnership by Visit Buckinghamshire, Buckinghamshire Business First and Buckinghamshire Council, and funded by the government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. 

Visit Buckinghamshire: Boost helps businesses in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector prepare for future trends, and offers a range of bespoke support. Businesses can access a range of support, consisting of one-to-one advice from experienced advisers, digital training programmes, carbon and accessibility audits, action planning, in-depth workshops, and inspirational events. £250 vouchers will also be available to support the implementation of new initiatives and training.      

Visit Buckinghamshire: Boost is a fully funded, but time-limited programme running to June 2022. Interested businesses are urged to apply early. To apply, visit www.bbf.uk.com/boost, email boost@bbf.uk.com or call 01494 927130. 

Watch highlights of the Buckinghamshire Future Tourism Summit at  www.bbf.uk.com/events/buckinghamshire-future-tourism-summit

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