Driving deeper UK tourism connections.

March 2023  .  45 mins


We kick started our Fireside Chat series at the beautiful Aldwark Manor Estate in York. Our host James Berzins sat down with The Tourism Network’s Susan Briggs and NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s (NGI) Ian Thomas, to discuss the challenges and opportunities the new ‘experiencescape’ presents.

The Greatest Showman bar (yes, the actual bar from the movie!) provided the perfect backdrop for our panel to share their views and top tips on how we can use our combined skills to drive deeper connections that foster communities and bring amazing experiences to the visitor. 


Watch now to hear about:

  • The key trends set to dominate UK tourism in 2023
  • How digital tools can help businesses to create lasting memories for the customer 
  • The importance of collaboration and connectivity in overcoming some of the challenges of a fragmented tourism market


Thanks to our welcoming venue hosts, Aldwark Manor Estate, and Kala King for getting our speakers into the mindset of the visitor in the delicious chocolate workshop.


On the panel.



James Bezins
James Berzins

Managing Director | TXGB

Our very own James Berzins is moderating the sessions. A digital transformation strategist and tourism industry expert (more self-taught than stalwart), his mission is to help unlock the true potential of the tourism sector, using connectivity to facilitate ideas and knowledge-share among online communities genuinely invested in driving trade, collaboration and innovation.


Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas

Destination Director | NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI

Ian has been championing the North East as a must-visit destination with NGI for some ten years.

As a lead figure in securing the region’s involvement in the pilot Destination Development Partnership scheme – alongside Visit Northumberland and Visit County Durham – his vision will be instrumental in establishing the shape of more collaborative things to come for our fabulous network of DMOs.


Susan Briggs
Susan Briggs

Director of The Tourism Network

Proud Yorkshire woman and longtime industry changemaker Susan is passionate about helping destinations retain and celebrate their local distinctiveness – leading to more sustainable tourism (in every sense) and more in-depth experiences for visitors.

A self-proclaimed straight talker, Susan brings a multitude of experience as a tour operator turned marketing consultant, trainer and respected industry influencer.


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