IN the past few years the British hospitality and tourist sectors have been filled with extraordinary challenges, brought on by a global pandemic and cost of living crisis, but people are spending and visiting Plymouth say tourist chiefs.

Delegates and stakeholders from across the city, UK, and overseas attended the Destination Plymouth annual conference at the National Marine Aquarium recently that focused on the city’s tourism and hospitality industry.

A packed conference connected peers and business leaders to hear from leading speakers of the many initiatives taking place over the next few years to grow Plymouth’s tourism and hospitality industry.

The showcase celebrated Plymouth’s international reputation for cruise liner visits, and especially 25 years of the National Marine Aquarium and its Ocean Conservation Trust.

It was the first time Westward Shipping News attended the annual event that was filled with inspirational presentations and plenty of business and people networking.

The showcase was compered by the Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth Amanda Lumley.
Chair of Destination Plymouth Richard Stevens MBE opened the conference
Kerrin MacPhie from the Meetings Association Industry (MIA) spoke about the importance of accreditation for the hospitality industry and explained how the (MIA) can support people and members, especially encouraging younger and over 50s into the sector
Robin Tjolle, from VisitEngland, spoke about the importance of tourism and Plymouth & Devon being a top UK visitor area
Emma Hewitt, Skills Lead at Plymouth City Council talking about joined up skills and employment opportunities for all age groups, and people furthest from the jobs market
Sarah Elliott, from Destination Plymouth, talking about the new Data Hub Project being launched in the New Year to capture all the latest facts and figures to aid the city’s tourism plans
Sarah Lloyd, Marketing Manager at Plymouth City Council talked about the City Council’s PR, Marketing support in promoting Devon’s biggest city

Afternoon speakers included Sander Groothuis, Vice President of Carnival UK, Sam Richardson MBE, CEO of National Coastal Academy, Joy Nazzari , Founder and Executive chair of DNCO, and Lee McQueen, Director of Business Growth and Adult Education at City College Plymouth.