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ESL Herefordshire Tourism Forum

This week saw TeamESL deliver another successful ESL Herefordshire Tourism Forum in enchanting Dewsall Court’s, Wainhouse Barn.

Open to ESL Members and non-members, 70 Herefordshire tourism related businesses and organisations joined us to hear interesting information and presentations on Herefordshire tourism and the national picture, plus key speakers.

Guests were treated to tea and coffee in vintage tea party style and canapes freshly made in the Dewsall kitchens were offered as networking begun across the variety of attendees. ESL are proud to provide opportunities to get Herefordshire Tourism people exchanging ideas, swapping leaflets and considering opportunities to work together for the greater good of our tourists. There was a real buzz in the room as people chatted with the backdrop of ultimate wedding and event band The Time Bandits and their vibrant Show Reel playing in the background.

Presentations kicked off with an interesting insight into Dewsall Court from Marketing Manager Samantha Vaughan. This intriguing family home offers a unique space for house parties, weddings and star studded supper clubs. More information can be found here.

ESL’s MD, Heidi Chamberlain Jones, gave an insight into the national tourism statistics, predicting great growth for the UK in 2017 and the work ESL is doing to ensure these visitors come to Herefordshire. Through key partnerships and promotions nationally and regionally ESL is working to well and truly put Herefordshire on the map, already yielding excellent results from our dedicated group travel market promotions. With member business support and development a key element, ESL Membership comes with some excellent perks to businesses as well as discounted marketing training courses and many promotional opportunities. For full details of our current membership benefits package click here.

Next Richard Asghar-Sandys, chairman of Herefordshire FSB, told us all about how the FSB is working with ESL and its members, along with a reduced rate to join this nationally well respected organisation of business advisors and support, and which is the largest influencer lobbying government policy. Sharing his own passion for Herefordshire, Richard also recanted some witty tales of tours he has taken with his own company Coach Logistics.

Two ESL members Juliet Williams of Lowe Farm B&B and Martin Postians of The Steppes B&B shared some wonderful insights into their businesses. Juliet on her journey to be winner of the coveted Rose Award from Visit England in 2016 and Martin on how sharing tips and tricks with like-minded business people can produce real results and partnership working.

Next we welcomed Paul Thomas from the Food & Drink Trade Show, whose 2017 event at the Three Counties Showground is partnered by ESL to support Herefordshire producers get their products to market. If you are a producer and would like to exhibit this May, please contact us on NB ESL Members receive an exclusive discount, so do chat with us about that too.

As herself also the Vice President of The British Red Cross for Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, Heidi introduced President Debra Tritton, who gave us an overview of the invaluable local work The British Red Cross delivers and how working together with local businesses is fundamental to the sustainability of the organisation. Offering not only international help to those in crisis but also managing a wealth of local help and support to those in need including home from hospital. Their largest fundraising event of the Herefordshire calendar is the wonderful Great Spring Garden Event, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary and hosting The Countess on Darnley, Lady Darnley, who is Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire as guest of honour.

Thank you to all who attended and we look forward to seeing you at our next forum after the busy season in October watch this space for details.

If you are a Herefordshire tourism, leisure or food & drink business and would like to be included in our free forums, simply subscribe to our business newsletter here.

All Photographs: Courtesy Natalie Jolley