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Thoughts on the Visit Wiltshire Tourism Forum

Yesterday, I was invited to attend the Visit Wiltshire Tourism Forum and lead two workshops on using social media more effectively.

Prior to my workshop, there was a morning session which included four interesting and insightful presentations about tourism; its value to the UK economy and how to market it more effectively.

While it is still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share some of what I learned.

a) Tourism is the UK's third largest export and it is still growing fast.

b) France and Germany provide the most visitors to our shores. Then the US and Ireland; but the US is top in terms off spend. Australia is 10th in terms of the number of visitors, but fourth for the amount they spend. See more here.

c) Here is a video called The Sounds Of Great Britain, made by Visit Britain:



d) In times of recession, people look to the safety of the past in an uncertain world, and so the power of heritage becomes stronger. An alternative name for this could be The Downton Effect (or the Brideshead Effect in the early 80's...)?

e) At least two of the presenters encouraged the use of stories as a powerful way to communicate. I'm glad they did, as I had also included a slide on the same topic for my workshop. So, we were all in agreement. People relate to stories. They remember stories.

f) Everyone was encouraged to go and visit the Library in Birmingham. I intend to.

It was an interesting day and it was great to meet so many local tourist providers excited about future opportunities.