International Geoparks conference sponsored by Francis Clark and Devon School of English
An international Geoparks conference expected to attract hundreds of scientists and eco-tourism experts to the Westcountry has been sponsored by two South Devon businesses.
Being held in Great Britain for the first time, the conference in 2016 will welcome delegates from thirty two countries around the world.
Global Geoparks work to develop sustainable communities, with a focus on eco-tourism and science education as well as active community engagement.
The English Riviera was granted the status of Global Geopark in 2007, receiving international recognition for its rich geological, historical and cultural heritage.
Professor Iain Stewart, patron of the Geopark and director of the Sustainable Earth Institute at Plymouth University, said:"The conference in 2016 will be a major event for the English Riviera Global Geopark, its communities and businesses.
"The fact that the conference is coming here is recognition of our leading work in the fields of natural heritage conservation, science education and working with the local community. This is a real opportunity for local businesses to connect with a worldwide audience."
The event, under the patronage of UNESCO, is being sponsored by Francis Clark chartered accountants and the Devon School of English.
Gordon Oliver, elected Mayor of Torbay said:
"This internationally significant conference will bring the world's attention to Torbay, and is worth over £1.4million in visitor spend to our local economy.
"I urge local businesses to get involved and make the most of this opportunity to promote everything our wonderful bay has to offer, opening up new overseas markets and bringing further prosperity to Torbay."
Paul Butler, partner at Francis Clark said:"This important event will not only bring tourism income to Torbay but will also give local businesses an international profile.
"To help other Torbay businesses find out how they can become involved and benefit from the conference, we are hosting a seminar at Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves, Torquay, which will start at 5.30pm on Tuesday September 29th."
Co-sponsor the Devon School of English will be offering conference delegates official Geopark–focused language courses in the run up to the conference start.
Managing director Paul Hawthorne said:"Since we began in 1972 we have always featured what makes the Bay so special, and combining learning English with our geological setting is a perfect opportunity for us to offer something unique to the truly international Geopark delegates."
The conference will be held at the Riviera International Conference Centre, September 27-30 2016.