Expedia, Google and VisitBritain lead line-up for Greater Manchester Tourism Conference 2017

Tourism and hospitality professionals from across the region will come together next month for the second annual Greater Manchester Tourism Conference organised by Marketing Manchester, part of The Growth Company.

The event will take place on Wednesday 11 October in the Pavilion at Emirates Old Trafford and will feature a busy and stimulating programme including thought-provoking talks, interviews and presentations from high-profile speakers, business insights and a look at future travel trends.

Aimed at all businesses and individuals working within the visitor economy the day will be compered by Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at Marketing Manchester, and will also include an opportunity to have a look around the newly opened 150 bedroom Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford.

Confirmed speakers so far include: Steve Ridgway CBE, the recently appointed Chair of VisitBritain who will be leading on the tourism sector deal with national government; Stephany van Willigenburg, Head of Travel at Google UK who will be revealing what can Google tells us about visitors to Manchester; and Sharon Orrell, Head of Visit England Research who will outline key trends for delegates to be aware of within domestic tourism.

Additional speakers and participants include: Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester; Simon W. Quin, Director & Visiting Professor at the Institute of Place Management (Manchester Metropolitan University); Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive at HOME; Nathan Lee, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West; Jonathan Schofield, Writer, Editor and Manchester Tour Guide; Adrian Ellis, General Manager at The Lowry Hotel; meetings consultant, industry trainer and speaker and event journalist Richard John; Mathew Jayne, Head of Operations at The Lowry; Stephanie Newton, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Manchester; Faye Dyer, Assistant CEO-Corporate at Manchester Central; Thom Hetherington, CEO at Holden Media; Guy Hughes-Wilson, Vice President, Western Europe at BBC Advertising; and Tony Shotton, Business Development Manager at Fabulous Fan Fayre (F3).

Event sponsor Expedia – led by Nicola Cunningham, Area Manager for North and Central England and Cassandra Johnson, Market Manager – will offer invaluable insights into Greater Manchester’s performance as a tourist destination and will also deliver a networking drinks reception at the end of the event.

Speaking about the conference, Sheona Southern commented: “The first Greater Manchester Tourism Conference held in September 2016 proved to be one of the highlights of the year for Marketing Manchester members and this year’s event promises to be equally compelling and a not-to-be-missed event for anyone working within the visitor economy across Greater Manchester and the north of England.

“Feedback last year was overwhelmingly positive but we have listened carefully and made some small amends that will ensure a highly informative, participative and business focused day. We will have a greater variety of speakers, a bigger focus on the future direction of Greater Manchester’s visitor economy as well as plenty of additional networking opportunities throughout.”

Around 180 delegates are expected to attend the Greater Manchester Tourism Conference 2017 including high-level decision makers, general managers and CEOs from across the north of England.

The Greater Manchester Tourism Conference 2017 is sponsored by Emirates Old Trafford, Quaytickets, Fisher AV and Expedia.