UCB students ensure Tourism Symposium is the place to be
More than 100 movers and shakers from the tourism industry shared insights into everything from festivals to film tourism when they met at UCB.
The Tourism Society’s Annual Symposium showcased the best Birmingham has to offer with a series of walking tours around the city and a day-long conference at UCB’s McIntyre House.
Representatives from Arts Council England, Visit Britain, Visit Wales, and Creative City Partnership were among the delegates.
The University’s Tourism Business Management BA (Hons) students helped to promote and run the event. Debby McAllister, who is also one of UCB’s official student bloggers, said: “Being part of the Tourism Symposium was such a privilege. Even though we were a bit nervous beforehand, helping at the conference and welcoming visitors built our confidence in engaging with professional people. We feel incredibly proud this prestigious event took place at our University.”
Keynote speakers included Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of Creative England, who delivered a fascinating speech promoting England’s regions as potential film and television locations.
She explained how 36 per cent of all international tourists identify film and television productions as the primary motivation for their visit. She cited Alnwick Castle, used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films, which reported a 230 per cent increase in visitor numbers following filming.
Michelle Callanan, UCB’s Assistant Dean for Tourism and Aviation courses, said it was enlightening to hear about new opportunities in cultural, festival and wellness tourism, as well as the need to source new funding streams and extend promotion to a wider range of markets. She added: “I felt so proud of UCB hosting such a prestigious event, with a fantastic range of speakers covering an array of very interesting and topical themes in tourism.”
UCB lecturer Paul Bamber added: “For me the best thing was seeing our International Tourism Business Management students actively involved and participating. They said it was so inspiring to see such a range of tourism professionals together. It showed them how their studies relate to the big issues currently facing the industry and showed the potential for future careers.”