On Thursday 11th May, the first-ever English Riviera Attractions Showcase was held at Occombe Farm. The showcase featured 21 stands including 15 attractions, as well as the ERBID, Visit Devon, DATA, Stagecoach, South Devon College, and Westward Marketing. Over 200 people attended from the accommodation sector, group operators, language schools, and the wider tourism industry.
The purpose of the event was to showcase the English Riviera’s attractions and form relationships in the industry across the Bay. It was an informative, fun and informal networking and exhibition event. Both attendees and exhibitors were able to connect in a relaxed yet lively and energetic atmosphere, reflecting the passion and enthusiasm of those involved in the tourism industry in Devon. Even Cavog (the Kents Cavern mascot) and Siyang (Paignton Zoo mascot) made an appearance, alongside a Steam Train Driver and a Scarecrow!
This year, the 18 English Riviera Attractions are celebrating over 1000 years of making memories, so of course there was a cake! In 2023, it has been calculated that the 18 attractions who form part of the English Riviera Attractions Partnership have been welcoming visitors for a combined 1092 years.
The showcase proved that networking can be enjoyable and fruitful, and that the English Riviera is a hub of innovation and creativity in the tourism industry.
Organised in just 10 weeks by the English Riviera Attractions Partnership, particular mentions must go to James Hull (ERA Chair and General Manager at Kents Cavern), Sarah James (Occombe Farm), Michelle Brown (Torquay Watersports), Lauren Hutchison (National Trust), Sam Swann (Torbay Council), and Gina Franchi (IMS Marketing) who were instrumental in making the event a success.
Special thanks as well to the six fantastic South Devon College students, who supported the event acting as event stewards.
The first English Riviera Attractions Showcase was a resounding success and demonstrated the strength of the tourism industry in Devon.