VisitBritain will host 50 international travel industry buyers for a series of educational tours across Britain.
Trade tours, running from Monday March 14, are a mix of three to five day itineraries to destinations across England, Wales and Scotland, giving international buyers the opportunity to try first-hand the latest tourism products and experiences. Buyers from the UK’s three largest inbound markets, the US, France and Germany, are in attendance as well as from Canada, the Netherlands, the Nordics, Italy and Spain .
Patrica Yates, Deputy CEO of VisitBritain said: “We are delighted to welcome and reconnect international travel buyers with local destinations, highlighting the exceptional tourism products on offer, that Britain is full of fresh and exciting experiences to come and enjoy now. , and that our industry is ready to welcome Return visitors and provide a first-class experience.
“Working with international trade, ensuring it is ready to sell Britain, is key to driving down bookings and spending. We also want to expand travel routes, encourage visitors to stay longer and explore further, and increase visitation throughout the shoulder season, supporting local businesses, destinations and economies.”
The tours begin with an event hosted by VisitBritain at The View from The Shard in central London on Monday 14 March with a welcome from VisitBritain Deputy Managing Director Patricia Yates, updates from the agency’s commercial teams as well as from London & Partners, VisitScotland and Visit Wales, on the latest products, experiences, hospitality and accommodation. Shoppers will also hear about VisitBritain’s £10million GREAT Britain marketing campaign ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain’, with a spotlight on cities, hard hit by the absence of international visitors and their spending , as well as messages of welcome and comfort.
There will also be a look at this year’s milestone events, including Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and groundbreaking ‘Unboxed’ events across the UK, all timely opportunities for highlight once-in-a-lifetime experiences that visitors can only have here, demonstrating the industry’s ability to deliver events of the highest caliber and promoting British hospitality and creativity.
VisitBritain’s country teams have worked in partnership with Destination Management Organizations and Destination Management Companies across England, Scotland and Wales to develop itineraries tailored to each market. All routes include London with 11 buyers from the United States heading to Devon and Cornwall and nine Canadian buyers to the West Midlands as the region prepares to host the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Six buyers from France will visit the Kent and six buyers from Germany will visit the Cotswolds. Four buyers from the Nordic countries will travel to the north of England and the Scottish Borders, four from the Netherlands will travel to Wales and 10 buyers from Italy and Spain will travel to Scotland.
Commenting on their next visits, Liz Aungier, Product Manager at Tenon Tours in the United States said: “Great Britain is a key market for us and our customers are really looking forward to being able to travel back to the UK without restrictions. After a long break from travel, it will be great to see and experience new products in the Devon and Cornwall area and indeed some in London as well.I am very excited about the opportunity and look forward to spreading the word to our team when I return.
Emily Lagnado, Product Manager of the Telligo UCPA Group based in France said: “The long-awaited news has finally arrived: the UK is reopening its borders to tourists, without restrictions. It is in this spirit that we set off on this 3-day educational trip to discover London and Kent. I can’t wait to discover, or rediscover, this beautiful destination and these beautiful regions! Even though I already know England, this trip will be an opportunity for me to discover new activities and new cities.”
The educational tours come as VisitBritain also prepares to host its flagship global trade event ExploreGB Virtual from March 21-25.
VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2022 estimates 21.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 52% of 2019 levels. Its forecast for spending by overseas visitors to the UK this year is 16.9 billion. pounds sterling, or 59% of 2019 expenditure.
Inbound tourism was worth more than £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019, its third biggest services export and a large part of UK trade.