VisitBritain is set to welcome more than 120 international travel trade buyers for a series of educational visits across Britain.
The educational trade visits, underway from Jan. 28, are a mix of three-to-five-day itineraries to destinations across England, Wales and Scotland, showcasing the latest tourism products to international buyers.
Buyers from 16 international markets are taking part in the educational visits including representatives from the UK’s three largest inbound markets the USA, France and Germany, as well as from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, India, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, South Korea and Spain.
Paul Gauger, VisitBritain’s Executive Vice President, The Americas, Australia & New Zealand said: “Canada is an incredibly important market for the UK for inbound tourism. Working closely with international travel trade is crucial to selling travel to Britain, and we look forward to continuing our work and building towards a strong recovery in 2023.”
Gauger continued: “We are delighted for this opportunity to bring together many of our industry partners to share updates and offer first-hand experiences of the outstanding and varied tourism products on offer in Britain.”
VisitBritain’s in-country teams have worked in partnership with destination management organizations and destination management companies across England, Scotland and Wales to develop itineraries tailored to each market.
All itineraries include London before the buyers embark on visits to destinations including Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake District; Bath, Bristol and the Cotswolds; Newcastle and Northumberland; Cambridge; Somerset; the West Midlands; the English Wine Region; Edinburgh; Cardiff and other regions of Scotland and Wales.
The hosted visits are part of the national tourism agency’s ‘Showcase Britain’ event, which gets underway with a networking event for the international buyers and travel media at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Jan. 26. The buyers will be officially welcomed by VisitBritain Chairman Nick de Bois CBE followed by updates from the agency’s trade teams as well as from London & Partners, VisitScotland and Visit Wales on the latest products, experiences, hospitality and accommodation.
Before heading off on their educational tours, the buyers will also attend the ‘Britain and Ireland Marketplace’ (BIM) on Jan. 27. There they will have a full day of appointments with tourism suppliers and destinations from across Britain.
The educational visits come as VisitBritain also gears up to host its flagship global trade event ExploreGB Virtual from Feb. 27 to March 2.
VisitBritain is also set to launch a new GREAT Britain marketing campaign in February to drive bookings, inviting visitors to ‘See Things Differently’, showcasing Britain as a dynamic, exciting and inclusive destination.
The campaign is also capturing major events in 2023 including the Coronation of King Charles III in May, with an additional Bank Holiday announced, and Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, on behalf of Ukraine, also in May, timely and valuable opportunities to promote Britain’s welcome, creativity and ability to host events of the highest calibre.
VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2023 estimates 35.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 86% of 2019 levels and 18% higher than levels seen in 2022. Its forecast for overseas visitor spending in the UK this year is £29.5 billion, a projected record high for annual inbound visitor spend.