A coalition of Leeds hospitality businesses is offering event organisers the chance to experience the truth of its motto ‘Leeds, Live it, Love it’.
The city’s largest venue, the Royal Armouries International, is working with Conference Leeds, the Leeds Hotels Association, Marketing Leeds and the Leeds-Bradford based airline Jet2 to assemble a package that shows off the strengths of the region’s capital.
“We want to collaborate with event organisers and build relationships through showing just what the city’s attractions are,” says RAI market director Chris Owen.
“The point of these familiarisation visits is that they not only demonstrates what we can do but also that the region’s various elements can co-operate to deliver a coherent, co-ordinated programme of events, accommodation and catering.”
In a recent example, event organisers from Milan spent a weekend in the city. They included major corporate clients such as Zurich Insurance and companies such as Teatro Viaggi, Trevi Communications and Metro Italia.
The visitors were brought to the city by Jet2 and they stayed at hotels such as the Queens Hotel and Radisson Blu. They were shown the facilities of the Royal Armouries and given dinner in one of the galleries, where they enjoyed a demonstration of Italian medieval armoury.
Other attractions through the weekend included a guided tour of the city and visits to Alea Casino, Harewood House and the traditional fish and chip restaurant Bryans of Headingley. Cultural highlights included a champagne reception at Leeds City Museum followed by a concert at Leeds Town Hall.
The intention, says Nicola Lockwood, Manager of Conference Leeds, is to provide a wide variety of experiences so that visitors can be inspired.
“We aim to give clients lots of ideas for meeting venues and incentive ideas so programmes have included team building at the National Media Museum, skiing at Sno!zone, afternoon tea at Harewood House, a traditional fish and chip lunch at Bryans and a trip to the Leeds International Concert Season at Leeds Town Hall,” she says.
“Feedback from the buyers has been extremely positive and we are sure that the visits will generate new business for the city”.
According to Gordon Jackson, chairman of the Leeds Hotel Association, many people don’t truly understand the city’s cosmopolitan appeal until they have visited and experienced what it has to offer.
“What’s exciting is that the ‘Leeds, Live it, Love it’ strapline is actually a good identity for the city and, once visitors have seen it for themselves, they can understand it,” he says.
Event organisers interested in finding out what this unique Northern city has to offer should contact Chris Owen on 0113 220 1906