Putting the Peaks on the world map

Visit Peak District Derbyshire annual conference.
Visit Peak District Derbyshire annual conference.

Whether you’re after stunning scenery, a slice of history, extreme sports or traditional pubs – there’s a little something for everybody in the Peak District.

It’s therefore easy to see why the area is already a firm favourite amongst British tourists.

However, the Duke of Devonshire thinks the Peak District could do even better and has set out on a mission to put the area firmly on the global tourism map.

Speaking at the Visit Peak District & Derbyshire’s annual conference last Wednesday, the Duke urged businesses to become members of the tourist board and play an active role in its national and international marketing strategy.

“You will be doing your bit to help place the Peak District on the map alongside big national and international destinations – where it should be,” the Duke told 200 delegates at the event, staged at Buxton’s showpiece Pavilion Gardens.

He added: “Join today, join now. Take this message out to every tourism business you meet, and persuade them to join, too.

“If we can make this work, we can make this most beautiful part of England into an even more thriving tourism destination.”

The Duke – who represents the tourism industry on the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership – paid tribute to the ‘sterling work’ of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire and stressed the need for more support from the private sector as pressure on public sector resources continues to mount.

“However hard the tourist board works, it needs our support. We need a stronger voice to be a much stronger destination and must work together in our marketing efforts to attract more visitors.

“We must shout extremely loudly to get the Peak District in the forefront of people’s minds and help the team at the tourist board continue to do the job they are so good at,” explained the Duke.

He also added how ‘greatly honoured’ he was that Chatsworth had become the tourist board’s first Patron – by pledging an additional £2,500 to support its work throughout 2012/2013. He also urged businesses of a similar size to join the scheme.

Those who attended the conference got plenty of food for thought during the day-long event.

Popular television presenter and chef Simon Rimmer was just one element in a delicious menu of ideas designed to help businesses boost their performance and profits throughout 2012 and beyond.

The audience enjoyed a taste of the very best of the Peak District as the tourist board showcased and celebrated the huge range of people, places, products, projects and services that give the area its star appeal.

Buxton Crescent, Chatsworth, The National Forest, Wirksworth Festival, Buxton Water, Taste Tideswell and world hang gliding champion Judy Leden all featured in a day-long appreciation designed to inspire everyone who attended.

David James, chief executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “This year’s conference was a wonderful opportunity for businesses of all kinds to explore ways of maximising their potential and profits throughout a key year for British tourism and beyond. We were delighted to welcome Simon Rimmer, our own ‘home-grown’ chefs and the Duke of Devonshire, who gave his own personal take on the importance of tourism to the local and regional economy and pledged his backing for our new membership scheme - calling on all businesses in the area to follow his example.”

Full details of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire’s new membership scheme and marketing opportunities in 2012/13 can be found at www.visitpeakdistrict.com/industry, or by contacting the tourist board’s industry team on 01246 212924.