The National Tour Guiding Conference 2018

Aug 09, 2018

UK’s First Official National Tour Guiding Conference

First of its kind event is dedicated to supporting the development of the tour-guiding sector across England

The Discover England Fund, US Connections project, has today announced details of the first National Tour Guiding Conference. The event is confirmed to take place on 9th November 2018 in Drapers Hall, a unique, historic venue in the City of London.

The National Tour Guiding Conference will support the development of the tour-guiding sector across England, by sharing best practice, research and insights, innovations and enabling tour guides to network.

Amanda Lumley, Executive Director for Destination Plymouth and DEF US Connections Project Director comments:

Research demonstrates that there is a significant demand from US visitors to have a guided tour whilst in the UK, allowing them to meet local people and bring stories to life through immersing themselves in the heritage and history of England. Our first national conference will bring together tour guides, businesses and individuals working in the tour guiding sector to share innovation, knowledge and best practice, supporting them to evolve guiding products that will specifically appeal to this target market

The National Tour Guiding Conference is also dedicated to providing tour guides with tips for making their tours ‘bookable’ and accessible to international audiences, as well as facilitating a myriad of networking opportunities for all types of tour guide – from Blue, Green and White Badge guides, to ancestral guides, driver guides, volunteers and local greeter schemes, costumed and character led guides.

An impressive line-up of keynote speakers from organisations including Wanderlust, Unique Devon Tours, Kunoi Global Travel Services, XV Insights, Robin Hood @EzekialBone, Visit Cambridge and Beyond and VisitBritain will share knowledge and best practice across the guiding sector as well as insight into cutting edge developments and innovations. There will also be seminars on audience engagement, digital marketing, market insights, developing ‘bookable’ product and working with the travel trade (full details to be announced in the coming weeks).

Emma Thornton, CEO for Visit Cambridge and Beyond, who are the lead partner supporting the delivery of this event comments; “Visit Cambridge delivers Guided Walking Tours for around 80,000 visitors each year and tours form a very significant part of our business. A key priority for us is to continue to develop and innovate with our tour product and this conference, which is the first of its kind, offers an exciting opportunity to bring the national guiding community together to explore opportunities in this area.”

‘US Connections’ is a large-scale collaboration between 13 destinations led by Destination Plymouth to develop tourism products in the lead up to 2020, a year which marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s historic voyage from Plymouth to the New World and as a legacy beyond the project as the whole East coast of the USA turns 400 thereafter.

It is one of a number of successful projects to benefit from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

Tickets for the annual National Tour Guiding Conference can be purchased here and there are special rates for tour guides working in the 13 partner destinations. For more information click here



Issued by:

Pamela Badham

FOUR PR & Marketing

T: 07825 567808



Notes to editors


About DEF US Connections Project

DEF US Connections is a project that will develop newly packaged tourism products around identified and tested themes that will attract the US inbound market. The project covers a wide geography with 13 English destination partners and a number of product themes. These themes will connect the destinations through the development of new itineraries and an enhanced visitor offer including the guided tour offer and themed experiences.


Connections Destination Partners

Destination Plymouth Ltd. is the formally recognised Destination Management Organisation for Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Visit Britain and Visit England. See website Destination Plymouth Ltd. also provides funding support for Visit Devon CIC and Visit Devon brand.

Destination Bristol Ltd., English Riviera BID Company Ltd., Visit Essex - Essex County Council, Visit Hampshire - Hampshire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Marketing Gloucester Ltd., Visit Cambridge and Beyond, Visit Cornwall CIC., Visit Hertfordshire Ltd., Visit Kent Ltd., Visit Nottinghamshire, Visit Worcestershire.

About the Discover England Fund

  • In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
  • The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
  • The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
    • A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
    • 2 rounds of smaller funding for piloting new ideas (in year two), and delivering on new themes/ target markets (in year 3)

There have also been opportunities for existing smaller projects to receive support in each following year to upscale their activities

About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tour-ism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit or and for consumer information.

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