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Conference call for clear vision on tourism

One of the leading voices on tourism in York has praised the city for its strong branding and urged city leaders to maintain a clear vision to promote its international prominence as a top travel destination.

Dr Steve Watson, principal lecturer at York St John University Business School, shared a platform with representatives from universities in Spain and Greece at the recent colloquium on tourism at the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, in York. The event was organised by York St John University in partnership with Visit York, and attended by Visit York Chairman John Yeomans, who also chairs inward investment organisation, york-england.com

Newly appointed as a director of Visit York, Dr Watson is keen to develop the international links between tourism cities with York at the forefront. The Business School already has well-established links with universities in Seville and Zurich and is developing its contacts with business educational establishments in the USA.

In his keynote speech to the 45 delegates from six countries, he stressed the importance of making decisions about the market segments within which the city and the region operates, and the need to flex the product, image and branding to attract those visitors:

“Quite simply it’s about knowing what we’re doing and who we’re doing it for.  York does that really well but we must keep learning from others and assimilating best practice whenever we can.  Pooling experience is vital to international success.”

Steve is one of 35 lecturers currently working within the York St John Business School. He was a postgraduate student at the university in 1981 and spent five years at Edinburgh University and a spell at the University of Hull before returning to York St John in 2004.

Other speakers at the event included Professor Alfonso Vargas-Sanchez, until recently Professor of marketing and management at the University of Huelva in Spain and now Director of Santa Maria de la Rabida campus of the International University of Andalucia, and Dr Georgious Papageorgiou, Academic Dean of the Alpine Center, the Swiss Business School for Hospitality and Tourism Management Education in Greece.

For further information please contact Karen Nixon on T: 01904 610077 or Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk