In Conversation With The Visitor Economy

30 Jun 2020 14:00 - 15:00

Online Event
Online Event

Members: Free
Non members: Free

As the region’s leading business support agency our ethos is, and has always been, that business is done together.  

There has never been a more important time for businesses to connect with political influencers, decision makers and leaders and our series of virtual events with high profile figures, will enable our Chamber members to do just that.
We are bringing together our members to hear the perspectives and observations of our influential guests as we operate through the COVID-19 emergency and begin to explore ‘what next’ for our businesses, various sectors and the Black Country economy as a whole.
With its wealth of distinct attractions, sporting venues, cultural institutions, restaurants, bars and hotels the Black Country; in more normal times, has proved a popular visitor destination for families, thrill seekers, businesses and individuals.
The COVID-19 emergency and lockdown has meant that many of our well-known destinations remain close.  We explore the impact COVID-19 has had on the visitor economy and look at what next for this vital sector?
Scott Bernard
Scott is Director at Aspen Leisure Hospitality, owners of the only 4* hotel in Wolverhampton, the award winning Mount Hotel and Country Manor.
Acquiring the hotel in 2001, Aspen Leisure spent in excess of £4.5 million on the historic building, transforming it into an elegant venue, popular with both leisure and business guests.
The team at The Mount are now preparing to open their doors once again after being forced to close in March as the Coronavirus pandemic hit
Lara Ratnaraja
Lara is a freelance consultant working within the cultural and digital sector.
She works on developing and delivering projects and policy on how cultural and digital technology intersect for a number of HE and cultural partners, as well as programmes around cultural leadership, diversity and resilience for the arts.
David Roberts
David is Executive Director at Wolverhampton Racecourse, a Board member at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and a long-standing Patron member of the Chamber.
As part of ARC, Britain’s largest group of horse and greyhound racing venues, Wolverhampton Racecourse has been, until the pandemic hit, one of the busiest entertainment venues in the country, and as Britain's first floodlit racecourse, has welcomed over 120,000 visitors each year across 80 race fixtures, numerous live music events, conferences and visitors to its onsite hotel.
Vicki Wilkes 
Vicki, along with husband Darren, opened ‘Red By Night’ on the Waterfront in Merry Hill at the end of 2019.
The live music venue was open for just a few short few weeks before being forced to close when Covid-19 hit the UK.
Set to be ‘the place’ for music events, comedy nights and a spot for local bands, the predicted success of the ‘Red By Night’ venue was a testament to entrepreneurship and what can be achieved by the courage to venture into the unknown by Vicki, a former director of Black Country engineering firm, Phoenix Calibration.

Andrew Lovett
Andrew has over 20 years worth of senior-level experience across the museums, leisure, arts, heritage and protected landscape sectors. After six years at BALTIC, he joined one of the region's largest destinations and attractions as the Black Country Living Museum's second Director and Chief Executive.

Booking for this event has now closed.