Events & Training

Industry Conferences

Autumn Conference 2021

Tourism businesses from across the county and region attended Visit County Durham’s Autumn Conference on Tuesday 16 November at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham City. The conference theme centred around sustainability and how tourism businesses can meet growing consumer demand for green products and experiences.

Visit County Durham’s Chair, Ivor Stolliday, welcomed all to the first in person conference held since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020 and was pleased to see good support for the event.

Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, addressed delegates and provided details on work undertaken by the organisation during the pandemic and upcoming developments which will assist in the bounce back of County Durham’s visitor economy.

Shane Harris, Responsible Tourism Lead at North Pennines AONB, provided a presentation on responsible and sustainable tourism taking into account the needs of the environment, local residents, businesses and visitors both now and in the future.

Chris Jewitt, CEO and Founder of Food & Drink North East, showed the importance of food tourism to the visitor economy in the county and wider region.

Stephen King, Commercial Director of Go North East, looked at responsible and sustainable travel and discussed encouraging people to look at responsible and sustainable travel options by looking at modes of transport including bus, active travel such as walking, cycling, car club etc and how they all complement each other. 

The conference is part of a programme of measures put in place by the destination management organisation to support the sector.

Additional training presentations and webinars can be viewed within the 2021 Industry Training Calendar.

If you have any questions or need further information, please email