Although focussed primarily on boosting leisure tourism, the plan, which was revealed today (26 August), includes the launch of a DCMS-led UK business and events strategy, the establishment of the Events Industry Board, the re-establishment of a role for VisitBritain in business visits and events and the launch of a four-year event support programme through VisitBritain, targeting international business events.
Applications for the first round of funding, available through the Event Support Programme, are due to close on 16 September.
Nick de Bois, chairman of the Events Industry Board said: "The Events Industry Board is entirely focused on helping the UK to win more international events which supports both the events sector and the wider UK economy. We have already received a significant number of bids under the Event Support Programme which will be considered later next month. As today’s announcement recognises, however, we are also making progress on breaking down some of the barriers to ensure the UK can become the destination of choice for international business events. With the continued help of the Government and Ministers, the events sector can play a significant role in helping British exports and inward investment."
Michael Hirst, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership, added that the Tourism Action Plan was 'very welcome'. "It's also gratifying to note that Incentive Travel, an often overlooked segment of business visits, has been recognised among the awards in the Discover England fund. Hopefully this will encourage a further resurgence of interest from overseas markets in motivational and award programmes within England, where combined business and leisure activities can be used to incentivise improved company performance."
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