The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) has announced its support of Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) in challenging government cuts to VisitBritain’s activity in the global business tourism market.
The planned cuts will see VisitBritain significantly reduce its overseas presence and hand over the majority of support for business tourism initiatives to national tourist boards across the UK.
“The decision by VisitBritain to move away from business tourism is a huge blow to the conference industry and ABPCO members,” says ABPCO Chair Rebecca Cadman-Jones. “Support from our national tourism body is essential in ensuring major conferences and events choose the UK, generating huge economic impact for the country.
“ABPCO fully supports the BVEP in its challenge to the Tourism Minister John Penrose on this matter.”
In a letter to BVEP Chairman Michael Hirst, VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe MBE stated: “We will still continue to offer a bid support service to attract international conferences, conventions and major sporting events.”
Details on how this would work however have yet to be agreed.
“Other countries enjoy significant support and representation from their respective tourism authorities in the international meetings sector. These new cuts could significantly impact opportunities for international events coming to the UK and consequently affect business for ABPCO members,” Cadman-Jones added. “We must do all we can to ensure that the industry has the support to compete on a global scale.”
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