A SUMMIT has been held at Hereford Cathedral looking into the county's tourism industry and its future.

The Visit Herefordshire Tourism Forum, which took place at the Cathedral on Wednesday, September 8.

The event was attended by around 200 people representing all sectors of the Herefordshire visitor economy, including experts in tourism from outside the county.

The cathedral nave played host to a series of tourism presentations.

The main address came from Mandy Thorn, Chair of the Marches LEP, who highlighted the successes of the Herefordshire tourism economy’s collaboration, overcoming recent challenges and making effective use of the LEP’s tourism recovery funds.

Hereford Times: The event's speakers: Joe Evans, Robin Tjolle, Jo Hilditch, Ellie Chowns and Julian Vaughan The event's speakers: Joe Evans, Robin Tjolle, Jo Hilditch, Ellie Chowns and Julian Vaughan

She said: “The campaign has re-energised tourism and it shows the benefits of what can be achieved when partners come together for the common good.”

Jo Hilditch, Chair of the Tourism Steering Group, presented the main results and successes of the LEP funded tourism campaign over the last 12 months.

This included new branding, the launch of the new Visit Herefordshire and an advertising campaign which includes a new TV advert.

She outlined high levels of engagement with the new website attracting over 100k unique users since its launch in March.

Amongst other results outlined was a value of over £1M worth of press coverage generated from the PR campaign alone with the county hosting 30 high profile press and digital influencers over the year.

Joe Evans, Chairman of the Herefordshire County BID called for support from the visitor economy,

From outside the county, the forum welcomed Lyn Hughes, founding editor of travel magazine Wanderlust. Who presented an insight into the travel landscape, saying the boom in UK staycations was here to say

She said: “I believe the future for UK tourism, and for Herefordshire as a hidden gem, is very bright.”

Robin Tjolle, from Visit England, congratulated Visit Herefordshire and partners on the recent campaign activity, and said they were looking forward to working with them in the future.

The final speaker was Ellie Chowns, cabinet member for economic development at Herefordshire Council. She said that zero carbon, nature rich Herefordshire was the focus going forward.