HUNDREDS of delegates are expected to attend Visit York's annual tourism conference which will focus on the sector's future in the city.

VYCON 2020 will be looking at the ambitions for tourism in the city and how businesses can take advantage of developments happening nationally.

The latest tourism figures for York will be revealed, while a line-up of speakers will cover a diverse range of topics.

Headlining the event on Thursday, January 16, at York Racecourse, is Andrew Palmer, a director of Creative Tourist Consults, who will talk about how York can make the most of its assets and opportunities to stand out.

As previously reported, City of York Council has hired branding experts to help market the city and Creative Tourist, which has previously worked on tourism brands in Manchester, Bristol and Bath, is involved.

Andrew said: "2020 marks a real opportunity for York’s visitor offer to exemplify the pioneering, history-making values of the city."

Head of marketing and communications at Make It York Paul Whiting will reveal the latest tourism statistics, share highlights of the year and outline the future tourism strategy for the city.

He said: “This is an unmissable event for anyone working in the tourism sector – with a diverse range of speakers and great opportunities to learn from leading brands and experts in the sector. We’re delighted Andrew has agreed to share his expertise on working with destinations to create compelling brand narratives and how York can benefit from this to stand out from other destinations. Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn more about how to make valuable connections with international audiences and our future strategy for tourism in the city. ”

Hosted by BBC Look North and BBC Radio York presenter Clare Frisby, the speaker line-up will also include Anthony Pickles, head of tourism affairs at VisitBritain who will be focusing on the tourism sector deal, and Melanie Sensicle, from England Originals, who will be discussing history and heritage for Millennials.

David Horne, managing director of headline sponsor LNER, will be talking about the launch of Azuma and travelling with LNER. Experts will also be speaking on how working internationally can benefit your business, including panel guests from Castle Howard, The Grand York, The Potion’s Cauldron and City Cruises York.

Tickets for the conference include lunch and networking opportunities. Tickets are free for Visit York members and £50 for non-members. For details visit