Tourism bosses say there is renewed optimism in South West

Tourism event

Tourism leaders in the South West say there is a renewed sense of optimism in the region despite the challenges facing the sector.

A high-level event was held in Exeter which was attended by key players in the industry.

The event was attended by leading members of the sector and was organised by law firm Trowers & Hamlins, Bishop Fleming accountants and property firm Savills.

Despite well-publicised economic challenges in the past two years, the audience live poll hosted at the event highlighted an optimistic outlook for the year ahead.

Key findings from the event were:

  • 87 per cent of guests felt that investment in sustainability initiatives is a desirable or even crucial priority for their business.
  • 46 per cent are feeling optimistic for 2023 and believe it will provide an improved trading environment compared to 2022.

Held at Winslade Manor the event was created to provide a space for industry experts to discuss and tackle the latest issues from across the tourism and leisure sector.

Attendees included hoteliers, tourism and recreation businesses, food and drink producers.

The event highlighted several key themes impacting the industry in the South West, including the increasing focus on sustainability, the rising popularity of staycations in the south west as well as the ways the industry can navigate the various challenges facing the sector in 2023.

Speakers included Michael Caines MBE, chef and owner of Michael Caines Collection and Russ Wakeham, chief executive of Two Drifters Distillery.

Stuart Mathews, corporate partner at Trowers, said: “The past two years have provided unprecedented challenges for the tourism and leisure industry, so it was pleasing to see that there was a sense of renewed optimism for 2023 amongst the attendees at our inaugural South West Tourism and Leisure Forum.

“We would like to thank Savills and Bishop Fleming Accountants for joining us in delivering this event and we look forward to continuing our support of this vital South West industry during the course of the coming year.”

James Greenslade, director of hotel and capital markets, at Savills, added: “The inaugural South West Tourism and Leisure Forum enabled stakeholders from a broad range of sectors to come together and engage in meaningful discussions on a range of topics impacting the industry in the South West.”

Fleur Lewis, Partner and Head of Food and Drink, Bishop Fleming:  “ The tourism and leisure industry continues to have enormous potential in the South West region.

“Bishop Fleming, as a regionally focussed firm are passionate about bringing together like minded business owners in the sector from all cross the supply chain to collaborate and create mutually beneficial opportunities and conversations.”


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