Following the successful launch of bmi regional’s Brussels to Newcastle Airport route in March 2014 – which is the only direct flight to link the two cities - the three organisations joined forces to organise a two-day visit for influential account managers from international travel planners, UNIGLOBE Travel.
The planners, who are based in UNIGLOBE Travel’s offices across Belgium, enjoyed a two-day showcase (18-19 September) of the many inspiring experiences on offer to business tourists as well as the venues, visitor attractions and the warm Geordie welcome that set us apart from other business tourism destinations.
Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “To host a group of such influential international travel planners and show them what our destination has to offer is a fantastic opportunity to get the message out globally that NewcastleGateshead has everything that is needed to create unforgettable meetings, conferences and events.
“NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau works with a range of partners, including bmi regional, VisitEngland and Emirates, as well as the venues and meetings spaces across the area to shout about our business-friendly destination. In addition to hosting FAM visits, we make sure we’re well represented at key international trade shows such as IMEX (held in Frankfurt in May this year) and we’ll be in Barcelona in November at the global meetings and events expo, EIBTM.”
Hannah Longman, business visits and events manager (Northern Europe) at VisitEngland, added: “Business tourism is becoming more and more important for our cities as the number of international conferences and meetings is growing on an annual basis. Familiarisation trips are an excellent way to showcase the city and NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and partners have organised a spectacular itinerary which left the clients with a fantastic image of the place.”
Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The bmi regional service to Brussels has been extremely popular since its launch in March 2014 in terms of outbound and inbound tourism. We’re thrilled the service is helping to bring so many visitors to the North East region.”