Durham to host Tourism Management Institute annual conference

Durham will host the annual conference of the Tourism Management Institute (TMI) next week following a successful bid by the destination management agency Visit County Durham (VCD).

Durham
Durham

The event is being held at the city’s Radisson Hotel between 16 and 18 October, the first time the TMI, the destination management section of the Tourism Society, has brought its main conference to Durham.

VCD, which will act as hosts during the conference, helped to source venues, organise study trips and identify speakers and sponsors.

Melanie Sensicle, VCD's chief executive, and Craig Wilson, destination development manager, will deliver presentations on how the county plans tourism development and provides information through a countywide visitor information network. Other speakers include Keith Bartlett, programme director for the sell-out Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition in Durham, on how to deliver a successful heritage event, and event producer Dave Bilton on Lumiere Durham, a festival of light.

Delegates will attend an evening gala in Durham Cathedral and can choose the Beamish Museum or The Bowes Museum for a study visit.

Sensicle said: "We are doing some innovative things in Durham, finding ways to continue to deliver a range of tourism services despite falling budgets, and this has been recognised by Visit England and others in the world of tourism. 2013 has been a great year for the county with accommodation occupancy and attraction footfall up and business confidence growing. The Tourism Management Institute's visit has come just at the right time and we are excited to welcome them here."

Robin Barker, chair of events for the TMI said: "Durham put in the best bid for hosting the convention, combining a great venue with local support, and importantly, local stories to tell about the evolution of the county as a major destination."

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