The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) today announced a £2 million investment to help secure the region’s appeal as a business tourism destination.
The announcement comes as representatives from England’s Northwest, including the Mersey Partnership and Marketing Manchester, head to Confex at London’s Earls Court (24-26 February), the UK’s leading trade event for the conference and meetings industry. The new funding will support a range of actions designed to strengthen the region’s reputation as a premier business tourism destination, including the introduction and adoption of a quality accreditation scheme tailored specifically for the conference and meetings industry.
The investment, which will be channelled through the five tourist boards in the Northwest, will also be used to identify new business opportunities and bid for major international conferences, as well as improving current marketing and monitoring the region’s performance in this sector.
Business tourism is the most lucrative and fastest growing tourism sector in the UK and is a vital part of the Northwest’s visitor economy, generating 25.6 million trips a year worth £2.1billion. It draws high spending tourists to the region all year round and is a key generator of jobs.
England’s Northwest already has a strong business tourism product and developments such as the Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool and the planned extension of Manchester Central are strengthening the region’s appeal.
Nick Brooks-Sykes, Head of Tourism Marketing at the NWDA, said:
“The visitor economy in the Northwest relies heavily on the performance of the business tourism sector, so it is vital that we continue to invest in its success. England’s Northwest already has a good reputation for business tourism, but we need to continue to drive up quality if we are to remain competitive.
“As well as the substantial direct and indirect revenue gained from hosting meetings, exhibitions and incentives, business tourism has knock-on benefits including the promotion of future leisure travel and inward investment opportunities in the region.”