Introducing Destination Insight
- Wednesday, November 29, 2023
- Posted By The Growth Company
Sheona Southern, formerly Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, has joined consultancy GC Insight to lead a new service called Destination Insight. The service offers research and advice that delivers informed strategies, economic analysis and advisory support with the aim to create and enable thriving destinations. Sheona and her team help towns, cities and tourist attractions create and implement investible propositions and attraction programmes, backed by strategic and operational delivery plans that help local economies grow in an inclusive and sustainable way.
“We are thrilled that Sheona has decided to invest her extensive experience in destination development and promotion with GC Insight,” said Simon Hooton, Managing Director of GC Insight. “After leaving an indelible imprint on the Greater Manchester economy, she can now turn her talents to help promote and position tourism attractions and places across the UK.”
Under Sheona’s direction over the last 8 years, Marketing Manchester became one of the UK’s most successful destination marketing organisations. Sheona led the promotion of Greater Manchester nationally and internationally, targeting business conferences, major sporting events, inward investors, visitors and students. Manchester now comes second only to London for international visits in the UK.
Throughout her career, Sheona has managed complex networks of political, public and private stakeholders, securing commercial and public income streams, and recently launched the UK’s 1st Tourist Tax Accommodation initiative, working closely with city partners in Manchester.
“With this move I return to my consultancy roots,” said Sheona who led her own strategic destination consultancy for six years. “When I saw the talented consultancy and research teams assembled by GC Insight over the last year, I felt there was a gap in the market for a destination consultancy service that we could successfully fill.”
In launching Destination Insight, Sheona draws on her track-record of successful DMO delivery as well as her previous destination consultancy experience. Together with the strong economic analysis, insights and research capability of the wider GC Insight team, the service provides clients with both breadth across a project’s life cycle and depth of expertise, ultimately supporting clients to create thriving destinations.
GC Insight is a profit-for-purpose national provider of economic consultancy, business support and research and evaluation. Formed earlier this year by The Growth Company (GC), it combines expertise from economic development consultancy ekosgen, research, evaluation and business support consultancy Winning Moves, and the business and green economy units of GC. Together they have a combined pool of 40-plus skilled consultants delivering research and consultancy commissions across Great Britian and offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.
“Destination Insight works with clients to shape and leverage the value of destinations as part of their economic development strategies. In launching this service we have broadened our consultancy offer, which is a vital part of our growth plan for the next five years.” said Mark Hughes, Chief Executive of The Growth Company. “Together, GC Insight has created a compelling offer for clients, positioning them as one of the leading independently operated consultancies in the country.”