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exhibition roomA conference to discuss the future of tourism on the Isle of Wight has been hailed a success.

Organised by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and the IW Chamber of Commerce, the full-day event was held on Tuesday at Park Resorts, Thorness Bay. The conference attracted more than 200 attendants, including representatives from tourist organisations and those involved in local hospitality businesses.

The programme of presentations was delivered by speakers who all have experience in the tourism industry including James Berresford, Chief Executive Visit England (pictured); John Allen, Chairman Tourism Advisory Board; Simon Dabell, Chairman Visit Isle of Wight and David Thornton, CEO Visit Isle of Wight (pictured).

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Visit Isle of Wight focused on developments since the DMO was set up just over two years ago and James Berresford provided a wider perspective on tourism trends from businesses and from the national organisation Visit England.

The importance of digital marketing was the theme of the presentation from Steve Keenan of Travel Perspective and Robin Hamman of Cybersoc talked about the importance of social media and how to avoid the pitfalls.

The 2015 tourism conference also featured interactive workshops, visiting exhibitors and networking sessions in order to allow tourism operators the chance to network and to maximise their business potential.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said:

“The importance of exchanging information and ideas, developing joint promotions, celebrating successes, discussing issues and seeking achievable solutions and working together in partnership to promote the Island as a high-quality visitor destination was a message all received loud and clear.

“VIOW welcomes the continued support of the IW Council and the Tourism Advisory Board, and looks forward to taking tourism on the Island to a whole new level.”

David Thornton brought the conference to a close with an upbeat presentation on the DMO’s campaigns, promotions and events coming up in 2015.  These include Acoustic Isle, an initiative by VIOW to attract visitors during the off-peak period. Starting this Thursday, 26th February, the event will feature more than 100 live performances over 10 days under the Acoustic Isle banner.   Full details of the other gigs on offer during Acoustic Isle can be found by visiting

A report on the 2015 Tourism Conference is now available at

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