I don’t think I’ll ever attend a Westminster Forum event again in a hurry. To be frank I think they’re a bit pseudo, using the title to give the impression they’re more important than they really are. After looking at the initial agenda it was clear that the event managers were well out of touch with developments, having lined up of speakers set to deliver the same old, same old.
I was asked to suggest a speaker that could lift the lid on what was going on at VisitBritain and to give balance I proposed a second speaker who could signpost a new direction for UK tourism.
My first proposal was rejected in favour of the second with the result that only one side of the argument was presented in an anodyne debate where one speaker had the effrontery to criticise withdrawal of State aid from the National Tourism Open Platform.
It was an almighty show of ignorance from someone who should have known better and whose business had been adversely affected by the decision I suspect. It rather took my breath away and at that juncture I decided it wasn’t worth wasting words on the issue. Why he was on the panel in the first place I simply didn’t bother asking. All in all it was a bit of a sham and rather cheap.
Anyone paying £195 for this will have been cheated and even at the £80 concessionary rate there were only two speakers worth listening to.