‘The future of tourism in Calderdale is bright’ – that’s the overriding message from the Calderdale Tourism Conference, which took place on Tuesday 5 July at the Shay Stadium in Halifax.
Hosted by Visit Calderdale, the event welcomed attendees from across the hospitality, accommodation and tourist attraction sectors. It included speakers from local businesses and the Council which spoke about the many opportunities and benefits of working in the tourism industry in Calderdale.
The keynote speech was delivered by Ann Jones from Old Chamber Farm and Camping in Hebden Bridge and covered how her career has diversified over the years. Other speakers also gave an insight into their experience in the tourism sector – Melanie Thompson from Pride & Provenance in Halifax, Filmed in Yorkshire / Screen Yorkshire, local pizza business Crust and Crumb 77, IOU theatre and the Council’s ISCAL scheme, which helps people with disabilities or other barriers into work.
There was also the opportunity to network at a marketplace event which included Brighouse BID, Calder Valley Community Rail partnership / Northern, Calderdale Industrial Museum Association, Calderdale Museums, CultureDale, Halifax BID, Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant, Inspire, ISCAL, Screen Yorkshire and Dean Clough.
As the first ‘in person’ conference since the COVID pandemic, the event covered the resurgence of the borough’s visitor economy. Attendees heard how the borough is becoming a vibrant events hub, with examples including the Hebden Bridge duck race, which attracted over 6000 visitors and the Anne Lister Birthday Celebrations which saw hundreds of international visitors arrive to take part in tours, talks, exhibitions, shows and much more.
The incredible success of The Piece Hall’s live music events was also a key example of the borough’s diverse cultural offer. The events are attracting thousands of people from across the country and also support local businesses and a network of volunteers.
Industry experts heard how Calderdale continues to go from strength to strength and how these opportunities can be maximised. Feedback from the event was really positive with attendees commenting on the energy and enthusiasm of the speakers and the confidence they felt in the borough’s visitor economy going forward.
Calderdale Council’s Chief Executive, Robin Tuddenham, said
“The last few years have been some of the most difficult in living memory for the tourism sector, but the Calderdale Tourism Conference 2022 demonstrated that the borough is well and truly open for business and is bouncing back from the challenges of the pandemic.
“The event was full of optimism for the summer ahead and the conference speakers instilled a real air of confidence about Calderdale as a visitor destination. There are some amazing opportunities in our local tourism industry and the conference highlighted the growing appeal and recognition of Calderdale’s distinctiveness and the impact of our high-profile attractions, heritage, arts, music and the major filming that’s taken place in the borough.
“Thank you to everyone involved in the event. I’m confident that we can all look forward to some amazing experiences as we build towards Vision 2024 and the major events programme planned as part of our Year of Culture in 2024.”
To find out more about what’s happening in Calderdale, go to www.visitcalderdale.com(external link) and follow Visit Calderdale on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.
Distinctiveness and resilience are two key themes of the Vision2024 for Calderdale. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Get involved with the debate on twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision