press release
Published: 05 April 2019

Tourist Board and University of Surrey collaborate for community benefit

By Laura Butler

In what marks a collaborative first, the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) has teamed up with the county’s official tourist board Visit Surrey to form an exciting new business partnership, uniting tourism industry experts to boost Surrey’s visitor economy.

While the two organisations have long collaborated informally, this new arrangement reflects a formal commitment from both partners to work together for the benefit of the wider community, and celebrates the first occasion that a regional tourist board and a school of hospitality and tourism management alliance has been forged.

The partnership was officially launched at the Visit Surrey Forum – the biggest annual tourism conference in the county – which was held in the Rik Medlik building at the University of Surrey on Thursday 4 April.

As well as facilitating knowledge exchange, best practice and valuable networking in Surrey, the partnership will create opportunities for collaborative research and technological advances.

Professor Caroline Scarles
Professor Caroline Scarles

University of Surrey Professor of Tourism Caroline Scarles said: “Our relationship with Visit Surrey has developed organically over many years, so we are delighted to be working with them on a more formal footing. Partnering with Visit Surrey and local businesses across a range of opportunities embraces the vision of SHTM to work in partnerships to achieve success. 

“Our students will benefit greatly from this increased connection to the local tourism sector, through practice-based learning, guest lectures and study tours. There will be opportunities for mutual benefits through research at a range of levels, so it is a win-win situation for the Surrey visitor economy.”

Chairman of Visit Surrey Christine Howard said: “This new partnership creates an unprecedented opportunity to unite the visitor economy here in our county. Visit Surrey will benefit from access to leading academics and PhD students at one of the world’s top-performing hospitality and tourism schools – and the University will be able to enrich its student experience and learning, generating opportunities for even stronger collaborations within the region. The end result will help to strengthen tourism across the entire county.”

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