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VisitBritain told to take up business events promotion again

As part of the recommendations emerging from the Government’s Triennial Review of VisitBritain and VisitEngland; VisitBritain, the agency which has responsibility for international tourism promotion, has been told it should undertake international business events promotion for England, and at Britain level alongside other GREAT partners and, where appropriate, the national tourist boards.

VisitBritain ceased activities in business event promotion in 2010, following government cutbacks in its budget allocation. At that time it closed its business tourism unit and handed over the role of international representation for business events to VisitEngland, with the other national agencies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales maintaining their own business event units.  

VisitEngland will hand over the tactical delivery of international marketing of England to VisitBritain, but still play an important coordination role with those of its stakeholders with international aspirations. The two organisations will also work closely to ensure that the most appropriate tourism brand is used to deliver the greater visitor numbers and create economic growth.   

There will also be a Challenge Fund, administered by VisitEngland, which will be used to further enhance England’s tourism product to ensure that England is able to offer world class visitor experiences for both business and leisure visitors. The Review recommends that DCMS should have further discussions with BIS and UKTI on how tourism’s contribution to the 2020 export strategy could be enhanced and developed.  

“The re-emergence of VisitBritain as a key promoter of business events internationally is something we have been lobbying for since 2010. It was a key part of our submission to the Triennial Review and is a main plank in our Manifesto” said Michael Hirst, Chair of the Business visits and Events Partnership.

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