Wednesday, 2 July 2014

UK hosts second focus group with Industry partners and Academics at UCB

The Weldest project team in the UK invited key members of the Tourism and Spa Industry into University College Birmingham to discuss one of the outputs of the project.  Industry experts included Peter Rollins, Sales and Marketing Manager for the Therme Bath Spa, Malcolm Salisbury, Economic Development officer for Malvern Hills District Council along with Gemma Billingham and Francesca Morgan, both Managers at the prestigious Malmasion Hotel and Spa in Birmingham city centre.  Contributing to the discussions were 3 high flying Masters Students from the Tourism Destination Management programme, here at UCB. 

The focus group was conducted by Harprit Thacker and assisted by Paul Kitchen and Chris Weatherill a UCB Masters Intern. The results from this focus group are to be used to inform the development of the Self-Assessment tool that is being created by the project team.  It will act as a destination development tool for managers of local Health & Well-being and tourism companies, Destination Management Companies (DMO), Destination Management Organisations, educators, consultants in regional development and other stakeholders.    It was the first time the UK WelDest team had seen a near completed version of the self-assessment tool.  Discussions were developed around the themes or 6 chapters of the tool itself, opening up some interesting debate over what constitutes a health and well being destination.   It became apparent that that there were clear links between both Industries and the focus group provided some very lively debate. 
The outcomes of this focus group were taken swiftly to the wonderful city of Bath, were again the UK played host to the project partners from the EU, for a 3 day project meeting.