A team of culture and tourism heavyweights from across Kent is making their voices heard during a two-day Tourism Society Symposium marking the start of the International Festival of Business (IFB) in Liverpool.
Prime Minister David Cameron will officially open the IFB, which runs from June 2 to July 18 attracting visitors from across the world.
The tourism symposium on June 2 and 3, which has the support of the Tourism Minister and MP for Maidstone and The Weald, Helen Grant, and the Government’s Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), is focused on the importance of the arts, culture and tourism in attracting investment, growing national and local economies and creating new jobs with excellent career prospects.
The Kent team is led by Sandra Matthews-Marsh, national chairman of the Tourism Society and chief executive of Visit Kent, and John Kampfner, chairman of the Creative Industries Federation and Margate’s Turner Contemporary.
Other Kent representatives adding their voices to the symposium include: Alistair Upton, Director of the Creative Foundation, Folkestone; Bob Jones, chief executive of Canterbury City Partnership; Juliana Delaney, chief executive of the Continuum Group which owns The Canterbury Tales and the Kent Life family attraction; Jon Pratty, the Arts Council representative for Culture Kent; Nicola Shaw, chief executive of HS1, and the retail guru and creator of London Fashion Week, Hilary Riva.
Mrs Matthews-Marsh said: “Thanks to the support we have gained from our partners at DCMS, Arts Council England, VisitEngland and VisitBritain, we have been able to bring the country’s senior tourism and arts practitioners together to look strategically and tactically at the powerful economic growth driver created when you combine culture and tourism.
“And, for the first time, the ten successful destinations, including Kent, which this year benefited from a share of the £3 million Cultural Destinations programme initiated by Arts Council England and VisitEngland, are able to share their experiences and develop fresh ideas for the future.”
The symposium started with a study tour of Liverpool’s arts and tourism led regeneration strategy, a Cultural Destinations workshop and visits to Tate Liverpool and the Cavern Club.
On Tuesday, June 3, Mrs Matthews-Marsh will be joined on the platform by culture and tourism experts from across the UK including Mr Kampfner, who will deliver the keynote speech.