Preliminary figures from Expo Management, the organiser of the Best of Britain and Ireland (BOBI) tourism show, indicate 2,000 visitors attended the show, a figure slightly down on the 2,226 attendees reported last year.
“Our initial data, subject to verification, shows total attendance at the show was just over 2,000 – slightly down on last year, and mirroring national trade show trends,” said Best of Britain and Ireland Event Director, Sam Warnock. “But by far and away the strongest universally positive message we have received is that the quality of buyers made up for the slight reduction in number, with exhibitors stating they have had productive meetings and signed up new business from both existing and new buyers.”
The two-day tourism trade event was held at the NEC Birmingham, 13-14 March and was officially opened by Simon Gregory, Director of Markets at Tourism Ireland, following the Tourism Question Time with representatives from England, Ireland, Wales and Isle of Man. During the show, attendees at the seminar slots on the main stage were brought up to speed on topics including how to gain business from the shoulder season and how tourism can create more jobs.
There were also a number of destination and attraction presentations on Derry/Londonderry as the first UK City of Culture, and the latest on the Isle of Man repositioning itself as the Isle of Thrills.
“We continue to invest substantial resources in our domestic and international buyer programme, ensuring Best of Britain and Ireland continues to deliver quality, fully-accredited buyers. This programme is valued and appreciated by our exhibitors, and something that we will continue to deliver. Positive exhibitor feedback is also reflected in strong re-bookings for next year by 2013 exhibitors,” said Warnock.
Best of Britain and Ireland 2014 takes place on 12 and 13 March at the NEC Birmingham.
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