Next steps for tourism, leisure and hospitality outlined in webinar

The webinar panel discussed key issues for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector. Those watchi

The webinar panel discussed key issues for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector. Those watching live participated in polls on key issues - Credit: Archant

MHA Larking Gowen brings business leaders together to discuss the future for the sector in the region.

Chris Scargill, Lead Partner at Larking Gowen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chris Scargill, Lead Partner at Larking Gowen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

More than 120 people logged on to view a live discussion of the challenges facing East Anglia’s tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses, chaired by Chris Scargill of accountancy firm MHA Larking Gowen.

The four panellists on the “Hope or Fear? The first steps for the sector” webinar were Andrew Barnes of Bure Valley Railway, Ruth Knight of Waveney River Centre and Norfolk Broads Direct, Phillip Turner of Chestnut Inns and Andy Wood of Adnams.

“Hosting the first of what could be a number of these insight webinars, I was looking for business leaders who are forward thinking and would be keen to share and encourage others, working with the mindset that together our sector is stronger,” explains Mr Scargill.

“I was pleased with the mix of the panel, which covered a wide range of different elements within the sector – from camping to retail, brewing to accommodation, running of attractions through to the gem of hospitality, the food and drink offering of our pubs. This meant there was hopefully something for everyone.”

More than 100 participants voted in the webinar's polls and contributed questions for the panel to d

More than 100 participants voted in the webinar's polls and contributed questions for the panel to debate - Credit: Archant


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The panel discussed everything from protecting jobs when the furlough scheme ends to their approaches to reopening, sharing details of how their very different businesses are adapting to prepare for welcoming customers back. Mr Turner also shared the results of research his company had done into the expectations of customers and what they wanted to see when returning to pubs and restaurants.

The audience participated in the webinar, voting in polls on how the lack of a vaccine might affect visitor numbers and whether businesses should be responsible for policing social bubbles. Those watching live were also able to submit questions for the panellists to debate.

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“I was impressed by the insight, message and detail shared by the panel and found the answers really interesting,” says Mr Scargill. “I was delighted that I was able to enjoy and benefit from the webinar in many ways, as the attendees and listeners did too.”

Feedback after the 75min webinar has been hugely positive. “Very interesting, good candid discussion. Best webinar I have attended,” was one comment. “Very informative, candid, real... very much what is required as we seek to work through what will be a very tough period,” was another.

The webinar “Hope or Fear? The first steps for the sector” is available to watch here.

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