Release date: 4 April 2019
Leading figures from West Sussex’s tourism sector marked English Tourism Week on Tuesday by gathering to explore new opportunities to work together to benefit the county.
The West Sussex ‘English Tourism Week’ Reception encouraged industry collaboration and innovation to benefit from trends in the visitor market.
The event was hosted by Louise Goldsmith, county council Leader, who said: “West Sussex has a vibrant and diverse visitor economy. The tourism sector accounts for 48,800 jobs and contributes nearly £1 billion to the West Sussex economy annually.
“We have an amazing array of fascinating places and experiences for visitors, whatever their age and interest, from the South Downs to characterful coastal resorts, picturesque villages to towns packed with culture, heritage and gardens: put that together with our amazing food and drink offer in West Sussex, which make a visit so well worthwhile.
“We are very proud to celebrate the wealth of visitor experiences, and to work together with all partners to grow the economic value and contribution of tourism to business and the wider community.”
Louise added: “It was a really successful evening and I have had lots of positive feedback. We hope that the speakers and showcase of tourism initiatives inspired our guests to have new conversations and to build partnerships.”
The showcase exhibition included the ‘Experience West Sussex’ Destination Partnership, providing leadership and collaboration and a platform to maximise opportunities for West Sussex’s visitor economy. The core partners are the county council and the seven district and borough councils in West Sussex.
Experience West Sussex seeks to inspire people to visit the county year round to ensure that it is a strongly positioned destination nationally and internationally. To find out more visit Experience West Sussex.
Guests enjoyed insightful talks from:
• Krishan Kadodwala, Director of Market Management UK and Ireland, Expedia - the world's largest online travel company. Krishan gave an overview of visitor and booking trends for West Sussex and highlighted the online opportunities
• Mark Lever, Head of Corporate Affairs, Gatwick Airport Ltd, highlighted opportunities for businesses to benefit through a new Gateway Gatwick Partnership, promoting visitor itineraries near the airport
• Kenny Tutt, MasterChef Champion 2018, showcased West Sussex as a food destination, advocating the use of local food and drink and telling of his business plans in Worthing.
Compere for the evening was Gary Shipton, Editorial Director, JPI Media.
The reception venue – Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Lower Beeding, near Horsham – is a West Sussex attraction which reopens to the public on 6 April after several years’ closure.
The 240-acre Leonardslee estate has undergone an extensive restoration which began when the present owner, Penny Streeter OBE, acquired the estate in 2017. Penny and her team are dedicated to restoring, maintaining and further improving the landscaped Grade I listed gardens and historic buildings.
Pictured: Talking tourism: Louise Goldsmith, county council Leader, Mark Lever, Head of Corporate Affairs, Gatwick Airport Ltd, Gary Shipton, Editorial Director, JPI Media, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef Champion 2018, and Krishan Kadodwala, Director of Market Management UK and Ireland, Expedia