HIC boss urges business owners to look to future

HIC director Simon Kent, who aims to ensure the centre attracts new visitors who stay longer and spend more. (S)

HIC director Simon Kent, who aims to ensure the centre attracts new visitors who stay longer and spend more. (S)

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The new director of the Harrogate International Centre has told local business owners they need to put the past behind them and work together to guarantee the centre’s future.

Simon Kent was speaking on Tuesday at a free breakfast event, attended by 60 local businesses, which was intended as a “first contact” between the district’s business community and the HIC’s new management team.

Speaking to the Advertiser series after the event, he said: “In the past we’ve all worked perhaps a bit independently, but if we all work together to sell a total solution to our customers and make it easy for them to do business with us, then we’ll all benefit.”

He also counselled a more proactive approach, saying: “The days of people making bookings and us just responding are over.”

When asked what the management team would be doing to engage with local businesses, HIC head of sales Vickie Wilson said it would be “getting out and meeting people”.

“You can expect to see a lot more of me in the future,” she added.

The HIC has announced a similar event aimed at the district’s hotel industry; Accommodating Lunch will take place at 11.30am on July 1.