Local businesses are signing up to support a major international conference coming to Torbay in September.

The 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks, taking placing at the Riviera International Centre in September, will see up to 1000 delegates visiting Torbay from over 50 countries worldwide.

Businesses sponsoring the conference include Churston Traditional Farm Shop, Francis Clark Chartered Accountants, The Devon School of English and The Cary Arms. ESW Audio Visual is also providing support by way of heavily discounted services during the conference.

Gordon Oliver, Elected Mayor of Torbay, said: “One of the major benefits of hosting a global event is the positive impact this will have on the local economy. As well as the expected spend of over £1.6million by the conference delegates at local hotels, restaurants and shops, there’s the added opportunity for businesses in the Bay to benefit from putting their brands in front of decision makers from around the world. I am really pleased these companies have taken the opportunity to support the conference and would encourage others to get involved.

“The conference will be a great boost for local tourism businesses and offers potential for other local key business sectors to grow their export markets. Many of the visiting delegates are senior decision makers and policy makers with a remit to develop their own local economies, and with a large delegation expected from China this provides a real opportunity to showcase our business strengths and expertise to the world.”

Caroline and Richard Haddock, from the Churston Traditional Farm Shop, said: “This conference is the most important international event to take place in Torbay for years. As a local business we are delighted at the opportunity to showcase the very best of our regional produce to a global audience, and give our visitors a real taste of the quality products that Torbay has to offer.”

Martin Nicholls, Managing Director of ESW, said: "As a local company that is proud of its South Devon roots, we were really happy to be asked to support this global conference which is this year being hosted in Torquay. This is a really important event for promoting the local area and what it has to offer to a national and international audience. We very much look forward to working with the organisers and the conference team, and meeting the many international attendees at the event."

Nick Powe, owner of Kents Cavern and Chairman of the conference board said: “Three months before it starts, we are already starting to see the benefits this conference will bring to the Torbay economy. Of the twelve local hotels we are working with as official accommodation providers, three have already sold all the rooms allocated and bookings are still coming in. The conference will also include a ‘GeoFair’ exhibition where businesses can take a stand to promote their products and services, both to delegates and to members of the public. We would be delighted to hear from other businesses in the Bay who want to work with us and benefit from the opportunities this global event offers. ”

To find out more about sponsorship packages visit http://ggn2016.com/our-sponsors/

Businesses interested in exhibiting at the conference can find more information at http://ggn2016.com/geofair/

Follow @GGN2016 on twitter or find GGN2016 on Facebook for latest news about the conference.

Editor Notes:

The English Riviera Global Geopark successfully bid for the 7th International Conference on Global Geoparks with the support of Torbay Council, Torbay Development Agency, Plymouth University, Exeter University, The Geological Society, British Geological Survey, English Geodiversity Forum, Natural England, Arts Council England, Natural History Museum and Flybe.

The conference takes place every two years and has previously been staged in China (2004) Northern Ireland (2006) Germany (2008) Malaysia (2010) Japan (2012) and Canada (2014.) 2016 will be the first occasion that the conference takes place in Great Britain.

There are seven Global Geoparks in the UK, out of a total UNESCO network of one hundred and twenty in thirty three countries. A Geopark is concerned with conservation of natural heritage, sustainable economic development, promotion of science education and community engagement.

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