Interpreting History Conference

On 19th September, I’ll be speaking at the Interpreting History conference at Alexandra Palace in London.  This looks set to be an excellent event, with a focus on how to interpret historical sites and stories for visitors and tourists.  I’ll be talking about dark tourism, and ways in which destinations can interpret their dark histories to attract this market.  You can view the whole programme and book here.

Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace- the conference venue

Curated by the England’s Historic Cities consortium, the host of this one day conference will be Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and self-confessed “historic buildings obsessive” whose TV appearances uncover those stories that makes history relevant to today’s audiences. Jonathan will be joined by a raft of UK and international speakers from leading visitor attractions, tourist boards, heritage bodies, and companies which are currently leading the agenda in digital and interpretation innovation.

Alongside the conference, there will be an exhibition to allow participants to see demonstrations of or to experience for themselves new interpretive technologies and to discuss in depth with their developers.  And there will also be an opportunity for everyone to experience the £27m renovation of the Theatre and East Court at Alexandra Palace, this wonderful Victorian landmark.

A new Events Strategy for Visit Greenwich

Along with my colleague, Pamela Zigomo, we have just launched the new Events Strategy for the Royal Borough of Greenwich, following research that was commissioned by Visit Greenwich and the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council.

The launch event was held at the University of Greenwich, and you can view all the presentations and the strategy document itself on the Visit Greenwich website.

JK Events Strategy
The launch event

“This report proposes the development of a strategic approach to the creation, programming and promotion of events in Greenwich, under the brand ‘Royal Borough of Greenwich Events’. The report identifies clear opportunities for Visit Greenwich to take a more strategic approach to events within the tourist and visitor offer of the destination. With its partners, Visit Greenwich should aim to use events to enhance the positive impacts of tourism and visitation in Greenwich.”

Tourism and Economic Development in Suffolk

This is the presentation that I gave last week, at the Suffolk Inside Out event in Ipswich.  This excellent event was organised by Events Management students from University Campus Suffolk, who brought together some great speakers and delegates from Suffolk to discuss the development of tourism and the visitor economy in the region.

The main points of my presentation were:

  • Tourism makes a strong contribution to the economic growth priorities of Suffolk,  and tourism stakeholders need to make that clear when they talk to politicians and policy makers
  • The majority of tourism in Suffolk (94%) is day visits, but day trip spending is around £25 per day, way below the national average of £31.  Increasing day visit spend should be a big regional priority.
  • The growth of staycations offers the opportunity for Suffolk to grow a high value domestic tourism market, but this is very competitive and tourism businesses should consider how to offer even more high quality, high value products to the top end of this market.

Business Improvement Districts and the Visitor Economy

This is a presentation that I gave at last week’s ATCM Summer School.  It shows the first results from a new research project that I am working on with my colleagues Samantha Chaperon and Andres Coca-Stefaniak.  In this project, we are investigating the relationship between Business Improvement Districts and the Visitor Economy, in England and Scotland.  We plan to develop this research over the next few months, in partnership with ATCM, and to publish a report n this topic in the near future.