The organiser of the Best of Britain & Ireland (BoBI) tourism trade show has unveiled travel association ABTA as the latest national organisation to back its event, which opens at the NEC, 13 March.
ABTA is the 14th trade association to back the show, and will also provide speakers for the seminar programme on the Main stage in association with The Tourism Society.
An ABTA keynote presentation on the first day will address the question of how the tourism industry can create more UK jobs.
The session will follow a Tourism Question Time session chaired by Bernard Donoghue, Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.
Other seminar slots on day one include a presentation from Tourism Ireland on the agency’s preparations for ‘The Gathering’ and Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture this year; a panel discussion on the gay market led by the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, and a North American Travel Trade Symposium with three speakers flown in from the US and Canada.
Sessions for day two include a VisitEngland/People 1st presentation on Customer Care and presentations on the conception and building of the new Mary Rose Museum and a case study on how the Isle of Man is repositioning itself as an Island of Thrills.
BoBI’s VIP Buyer programme will bring in 50 international buyers hosted from Europe and North America, in addition to 140 domestic buyers.
The programme is sponsored by Birmingham Airport with the additional support of Tourism Ireland, Biddenden Vineyards, ATG Tickets and Top Hat, while familiarisation visits have been organised for Shakespeare’s England.
Virgin Trains will transport 70 tourism press, bringing many from London to Birmingham for the exhibition.
To top up visitor numbers, Anderson Tours in association with Greener Journeys, Marriott, Menzies, Puma, Best Western and Hilton hotels, are supporting the BoBI Express coach service bringing registered visitors from nine destinations around England to the show.
Event Director Sam Warnock described the support this year as “truly outstanding”.
“We are on course for the best ‘Best of Britain & Ireland’ exhibition in many years. We look forward to truly outstanding show which will bring together the buyers and suppliers of UK and Ireland tourism product in a serious business environment.”
BoBI runs 13-14 March at the NEC Birmingham and is organised by Expo Management, publisher of trade magazines, events, exhibitions, directories and awards ceremonies for the bus and coach industry.
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