The new ‘Year of the English Garden’ feature area, supported by VisitEngland, marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the visionary garden designer who left a lasting legacy across the landscapes of hundreds of English country estates and parklands (and inspired the transformation of thousands more).
Participating exhibitors (to date) include Scampston Hall & Walled Garden, Dartington Hall, Sulgrave Manor Trust, the National Trust's Canons Ashby, Great Gardens of Cornwall (including Tresco Abbey Garden, Trewithen Gardens, and Caerhays Castle Gardens), Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Of course, England certainly doesn’t have the monopoly on magnificent parks and gardens. And domestic tour operators looking to increase their share of the flourishing garden tourism market will find a choice of attractions from across Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England at this year’s show. Among them are Snowdonia National Park Centre, Metropole Hotel and Elan Valley, The National Trust for Scotland, Floors Castle, Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust, Holkham, Bamburgh Castle (part of Explore Northumberland), and The Savill Garden.
Other new show feature areas for 2016 include the Vineyard, Brewery and Distillery Trail and The London Zone, supported by London & Partners.
Returning areas include Hotel Lobby, featuring Kenwick Park Hotel, Lion Hotels, Edwardian Hotels London, and Resorts World Birmingham; Visit Scotland, featuring Dolphin Spirit Inverness, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Caledonian MacBrayne, Cruise Loch Lomond, East Lothian Council, and Strathmore Hotels; Tourism South East, featuring Isle of Wight and Brighton i360; and Tourism Ireland, featuring Irish Greyhound Board, Visit Derry, Heritage Ireland, Action Tours, Causeway Coast & Glens Tourism, Holiday Ireland Hotels, Mayo County Council, MBA & Irelands Choice, Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, PREM Group Hotels, Select Hotels of Ireland, Tifco Hotels Ireland, and White Hotels of Ireland.
Visit Wales is also back with over 20 Welsh destinations and hotels. Wales – recently named one of the top ten countries to visit in the world this year by leading travel publisher Rough Guides – will be at the show promoting its 2016 ‘Year of Adventure’ campaign, designed to encourage more visitors to explore the country’s rich heritage, landscapes and culture. New exhibitors include Beggars Reach Hotel, The Royal Mint, Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, Southern Wales, Torfaen County Borough Council, Wales Official Tourist Guides Association, and Cardiff Bay. They join Cadw – Heritage Wales, Cambria Tours, Celtic Royal Hotel, Snowdon Mountain Railway, Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia, Ceredigion & Mid Wales, Gower Peninsula Group Travel, Llandudno Hospitality Association, North Wales Tourism, Visit Snowdonia, Wales Millennium Centre, and Welsh Rarebits.
British Tourism & Travel Show – the leading annual meeting place for the UK’s multi-billion pound domestic tourism industry – will showcase over 250 leading attractions, venues, destinations, hotels, transport providers, associations and DMOs.
“British Tourism & Travel Show is ideal for me, as I can cover three month’s work in two days,” says William Faulkner-Bennett from tour operator David Urquhart Travel.
“The show continues to go from strength to strength,” says Gregory Yeoman, executive director of The Tourism Society.
British Tourism and Travel Show will return to the NEC Birmingham on the 16-17 March 2016.