Around 100 delegates have attended a major rural tourism event to help make connections, grow their businesses and celebrate some of the region’s finest food and drink producers with the launch of a new guide.
Held at Tickton Grange Country Hotel, near Beverley, the event encouraged those attending to harness the wide range of marketing opportunities available with the aim of increasing the profile of their businesses and grow the number of visitors to the area.
Delegates heard how local rural tourism business owners use social media tools to successfully reach existing and new customers and from Visit Hull & East Yorkshire (VHEY) on how businesses can optimise their marketing impact by combining the use of social media with the major profile enjoyed by the VHEY website. Delegates were also updated on the ‘behind-the-scenes work’ of the East Yorkshire Local Food Network (EYLFN) and Yorkshire Wolds Tourism Network.
Delegates also had the opportunity to make new contacts and browse a number of stands featuring a wide range of partner organisations who are all dedicated to supporting the local rural tourism sector in the East Riding.
The event also saw the launch of the 16th edition of the popular Enjoy Local Food and Drink Guide.
The free 40-page guide promotes dozens of businesses across the East Riding who produce local food and drink, highlights over 100 cafes, restaurants and venues that sell and use local produce and provides key dates for local farmers’ and producers’ markets and food festivals.
David Nowell, executive chef of Tickton Grange and chair of EYLFN, said: “It was a real pleasure to chair such a positive event and to learn from so many expert speakers about how rural businesses can make better use of existing marketing resources. Digital marketing is a virtually free way of reaching our target markets and, as the event showed us, with a bit of thought and imagination there is huge potential to use these powerful tools to maximise this opportunity to suit our own individual businesses.”
Councillor Andy Burton, who is portfolio holder for economic investment and planning delivery at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, concluded: “Small rural businesses are quite simply fundamental to the East Riding economy. This event was a great illustration of the way business-led networks are working in a coordinated way with a wide range of Council teams and partners to grow the local rural tourism sector together.”
To find out more about the East Yorkshire Local Food Network, visit www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com, likewww.facebook.com/eylfn or follow @eylfn on Twitter.