VisitBritain has launched its flagship business-to-business travel trade event, Destination Britain & Ireland (DEBI), along with Tourism Ireland in Bangkok.
The three-day gathering, now in its ninth year, sees over 200 companies in attendance and around 4,000 appointments taking place.
This year’s DEBI, which is the national tourism agency’s largest trade event globally, welcomes 22 new companies from the UK and Ireland showcasing their latest travel and tourism offerings to influential buyers from the APMEA region.
There are 62 UK businesses in total, with major attractions, hotels, tour operators, transport providers and regional and national tourist boards participating.
The event offers these businesses a crucial route to 15 key markets in the fast growing APMEA region and an opportunity to further boost the 4.3 million visits that come to the UK each year from this part of the world.
Keith Beecham, VisitBritain’s overseas network director, said: “2011 was a strong year for visits and spend from the APMEA region, with countries like Australia, China, India and the UAE reaching or maintaining their highest ever visitor numbers.
“Hosting DEBI in Thailand this year reinforces our investment and commitment to the region, highlighted by the fact that we are bringing the largest ever delegation of UK tourism businesses to meet with influential buyers from across APMEA in what is a special year for Britain.
“APMEA accounts for 14 per cent inbound tourism to Britain in terms of visits and 27.7 per cent of total spend, but there is scope for us to do more in order to attract a greater share of the market.
“To help us attract more visitors, we have increased our marketing investment and millions of consumers in this region will have seen our GREAT images through our £25 million image campaign that we hope will inspire them to choose Britain for their next holiday.”