Visit England launches 10-year plan for business tourism

England’s tourism chiefs have
launched a dedicated action group, the Business Visits and Events Action Group,
to focus on growing business tourism, identified as a key area of potential growth
by the recently launched Strategic Framework for English Tourism. 

While
domestic holiday trips increased by 19 per cent last year (year on year) the
traditionally lucrative sector of business and events tourism suffered. Last
year, according to the agency, domestic overnight business trips fell one per
cent in both the UK and England.
Inbound business trips fell by 20 per cent in the same period.  

The
new action group includes representatives from across the industry and is
chaired by Bob Cotton, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association
and the London Business Tourism Steering Group. The group aims to share its
‘ten-year vision’ and a short-term (three-year) sales and marketing plan.

The
core of the strategy will focus on exhibitions and tradeshows, corporate and
association events, as well as identifying opportunities for winning and
supporting more large sporting events and cultural events for England.

“We
are in the process of creating a robust strategy which will support this important
sector and provide focus for the future,” says Cotton.  “Phase one of the strategy will focus on
research and market intelligence. We will create a competitor analysis and
identify our key objectives and goals that will form a comprehensive sales and
marketing plan.”

VisitEngland  chief executive James Berresford, adds: “We
are lucky to include some of the best business tourism brains on the steering
group, who I am sure will inject the sector with  confidence and energy, and provide the vital
market intelligence it requires to succeed in the challenging times ahead.”

An
intensive process of consultancy will be take place throughout the year,
culminating in the launch of the strategy at International Confex and Discovery
next year.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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