Visit Surrey and University of Surrey Collaboration

The county’s official tourist board, Visit Surrey, has teamed up with the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to form an exciting new partnership.

While the two organisations have long collaborated informally, this new arrangement reflects a commitment from both partners to work together for the benefit of the wider community.

As well as facilitating knowledge exchange, best practice and valuable networking in Surrey, the partnership will create opportunities for collaborative research and technological advances.

“This new partnership with the University of Surrey throws up an unprecedented opportunity to unite the visitor economy here in our county,” says the chairman of Visit Surrey, Christine Howard.

“On the one hand, Visit Surrey will benefit from access to leading academics and PhD students at one of the world’s top-performing hospitality and tourism schools. On the other, the university will be able to enrich its student experience and learning and generate opportunities for even stronger collaborations within the region.

“The end result will be of benefit to everyone as this collaboration will help to strengthen tourism across the entire county.”

The trusted tourist board since the 1960’s, Visit Surrey became a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2011, following the government’s decision to end public funding.

Today, it is a highly successful, business-led membership organisation that aims to promote Surrey as a visitor destination, enticing residents and visitors to explore, discover and enjoy the area, as well as supporting and providing information to the sector.

At the heart of their work is their hugely popular website,, which receives more than one million visitors a year – equating to nearly two-and-a-half million page views. It also ranks top on Google for tourism searches in the county.

Here at the University of Surrey, we are delighted to be working with Visit Surrey on a more formal basis,” says Prof Caroline Scarles, lead academic from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and a board member of Visit Surrey. “Our collaboration with Visit Surrey has grown organically over many years and working with Visit Surrey and local businesses across a range of opportunities embraces the vision of SHTM to work together to achieve success. 

“Our students will benefit greatly from this increased connection to the local tourism sector – for example, through practice-based learning, guest lectures and study tours in local tourism destinations – and there will be opportunities for mutual benefits through research at a range of levels.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone – and, in particular, for the Surrey visitor economy.”

This partnership was officially launched at the 2019 Visit Surrey Forum, the biggest annual tourism conference in the county.

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