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York conference venues showcased to the world at Westminster
YORK’S status as a major conference and events centre has been showcased to businesses and organisations from across the world.
The city’s tourism bosses say the York Minster to Westminster initiative has already seen enquiries worth about £150,000 being made by buyers who may be keen to bring their events to York.
The showcase at the Houses of Parliament was hosted by York MPs Hugh Bayley and Julian Sturdy, with speakers also including Visit York chief executive Gillian Cruddas and Visit England CEO James Berresford.
It attracted representatives from more than 60 high-profile businesses including American Express and British Telecom, as well as associations and institutions such as the British Dental Association, Nuffield Health Hospitals, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Delegates began the day at the Houses of Parliament for networking sessions, before moving onto the Intercontinental Westminster Hotel for York’s venues to be promoted ahead of a Yorkshire-themed dinner hosted by Visit York chairman Jane, Lady Gibson.
”Strong leads have already been generated as a result of the event, including three enquiries worth an estimated £150,000 to York,” said Ms Cruddas.
“Visit York will be co-ordinating follow-up with buyers on behalf of venues in order to ensure cohesive, measurable results for the city in terms of long-term investment.”
Brian French, conference and events manager for The Royal College of Nursing, said meeting York representatives face-to-face was “invaluable” and the variety of the city’s venues was “a surprise”.
He said: “We organise events throughout the UK and it is a destination which has proved popular with our members in the past, so I’m sure the city will have ongoing appeal to our delegates in the future.”
The event was backed by a City of York Council delegation including chief executive Kersten England, the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Keith Hyman, and Couns Sonja Crisp and Ian Gillies, with the participating venues meeting the costs and rail operator East Coast supporting the event.
Council leader Coun James Alexander said: ‘York’s fantastic rail connections and its superior facilities rightly position this spectacular and growing city as a leading conference and business destination.
“Our delegation demonstrates how important our commitment is to support and help grow this business sector, which York serves so well.’
Venues which took part included York Racecourse, York’s Chocolate Story, York Minster Conference and Banqueting, the National Railway Museum, the Barbican Centre, the Yorkshire Air Museum and the city’s two universities, as well as ten hotels.