Respondents to a recent VisitBritain report on inbound tourism strategy have called for further involvement in business visits and events from the national tourism agency VisitBritain as part of a national strategy.
The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) was quick to welcome the findings of the agency’s consultation on tourism strategy that set an objective of growing Britain’s tourism industry by nine million visitors a year by 2020.
The report was compiled from a summary of consultation responses to the VisitBritain report Delivering a Golden Legacy: A Growth Strategy for Inbound Tourism to Britain from 2012 -2020. It involved dialogue with representative organisations and businesses in the UK and overseas across the breadth of tourism sectors, including government agencies responsible for developing trade and investment.
“It is encouraging that so many non-business tourism organisations, industry associations, businesses and government agencies, including UKTI, responded to VisitBritain and called for business tourism to be included,” said BVEP Chair, Michael Hirst (pictured).
“It is all the more encouraging given that this scenario was not even envisaged in the original strategy, but it’s clear that the industry at large sees important growth opportunities from the events sector which is already worth £36bn to the economy and has huge potential,” Hirst added.
“The responses highlight a gap in market coverage and a big opportunity on a Britain-wide level. VisitBritain is well placed to optimise any cross-national approach, having a highly-recognised global level capacity and very strong market reach. Any new activity in business tourism could complement and be readily integrated into their current market positioning”, Hirst said.
VisitBritain closed its business tourism department and ceased activities in the sector in early 2010, shortly after its Government funding was cut. However, the BVEP has maintained close relationships with the agency and hopes to assist in the shaping and implementation of any new plans that are adopted.
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