Following a meeting with representatives of the Business Visits and Events Partnership and the ‘Britain for Events’ campaign, Sandie Dawe, chief executive, VisitBritain has outlined the support offered by the organisation to help grow the international demand for UK events.
VisitBritain outlined its commitment to add value to existing activities by national bodies as part of delivering its Golden Strategy for the period 2012 – 2020.
The strategy acknowledges that business tourism remains a significant component of international tourism to the UK and is performing strongly.
It states that events boost Britain’s image and business travellers are a ready audience for activity which promotes an extension of their stay in Britain for leisure activity.
The report also highlighted the potential of the sector to grow the current event attendee expenditures of £36 billion to £48 billion in 2020, all from an industry that currently constitutes 24 per cent of all overseas visits in 2012 and accounts for seven million international business visitors.
International business visits and spend also grew at a faster rate than other visitor segments in 2012 seeing a three per cent growth in volume, representing the best year since 2008.
“VisitBritain reduced its support for business tourism following a reduction to budget and subsequent restructure in 2011.
“Simultaneously other national tourist boards, city convention bureaux, and the sector itself have continued to promote business visits and events with positive results,” commented Dawe.
“The challenge, therefore, is to build on this strong basis by working with bodies to assist in areas where partnership approaches can add value to the work already being done.”