VisitBritain has once again joined forces with the European Tour Operators Association to deliver what is now the largest ever business-to-business tourism event promoting Britain internationally.
The Hosted Buyers Marketplace, which gets underway today at the iconic Wembley Stadium, is an exclusive opportunity for British tourism suppliers and destinations to meet and do business with over 200 specially selected international buyers from some 22 countries.
HBM gives the tourism industry even greater opportunity to reach key buyers through a programme of pre-scheduled and open appointments with additional networking at a gala dinner.
The range of markets hosted by the tourist board this year includes record numbers from China, Germany and India.
Not only is HBM 2013 a record year for international buyer attendance, but it is also a pioneering year for the accompanying hosted familiarisation trips.
The sheer variety of itineraries has never before been seen, with 16 trips in total taking place.
These range from the Scottish Highlands to the southern reaches of Cornwall, with activities such as coasteering on the Welsh coast to driving vintage cars at Goodwood on offer.
All the trips are bespoke to the specific needs of each market and are based upon VisitBritain’s extensive market research and insights.
They are focused upon introducing new and inspiring bookable product to the overseas trade with the objective of increasing British experiences into operator’s programmes and helping increase visitor numbers to some 40 million a year by 2020.
Latest research shows that not only the 2012 Games, but also VisitBritain’s biggest ever marketing campaign, have significantly increased interest in visiting the UK and exploring different parts of the country.
Chief Executive of VisitBritain Sandie Dawe said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for British tourism businesses to sell themselves to international buyers from all our key markets.
“Britain has enjoyed a fantastic image boost over the past year – millions visited us and millions more saw us on TV.
“Our job now is to convert that interest into visits and to get more of Britain into tour operators’ progammes and sold by travel agents around the world.”