The Tourism Society has announced that its annual Symposium entitled, ‘Disruption and The Tourism Challenge’, will take place at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Conference Centre on 23 and 24 September 2019.

Tourism professionals will have an unprecedented chance to debate, question, network and hear from a wide range of speakers. The keynote address will be made by Adrian Mills, General Manager, BBC North. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of BBC North at MediaCityUK – the BBC’s largest creative digital hub outside of London with over 3,000 staff working in television, radio, online and mobile. BBC North is home to some of the BBC’s biggest brands, including Sport, Children’s, Learning, Radio 5 Live, BBC Breakfast, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC iPlayer.

Further speakers will be announced shortly. They will cover topical issues including existing tourism disruptors such as the inextricable growth in the use of mobile phones and social media platforms as well as new trends such as the demand for personalised experiences and cultural emergence when travelling. Other subjects featuring in the programme will include new marketing concepts, notably storytelling and the potential for the increased use of AI and big data in promoting destinations.

Day one, 23 September, will offer three study tours created by Visit Blackpool and its partners to showcase the new look Winter Gardens Conference Centre, the Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Tower. Following the study tours on the evening of the 23rd, there will be an informal, relaxed networking reception.

The Symposium will take place on day two, 24 September, in the Winter Gardens Conference Centre with a full programme of leading speakers exploring the conference theme, ‘Disruption and The Tourism Challenge,’ including case studies and further opportunities for networking.

Tourism Society Chairman, Kevin Kaley said: “We are very excited about the line-up of speakers and sessions at this year’s event. Blackpool, the traditional home of the British holiday, will provide the ideal setting to discuss the challenges facing the tourism industry moving forward.”

Philip Welsh, Head of Tourism & Communications for Blackpool Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the society’s annual symposium. As the birthplace of mass tourism and popular culture, we look forward to welcoming delegates and showing them the huge programme of investment that is being undertaken to regenerate and reposition the UK’s favourite seaside destination.”

Earlybird prices for the two-day Symposium and evening reception start from just £69. For further details visit:

PHOTO: Adrian Mills, General Manager, BBC North.

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