Visit Britain launches event division

Visit Britain has launched an events strategy comprising a new unit, Event Britain, which is designed to attract up to £1bn worth of business, cultural and sports events to Britain. Event Britain will provide support for British countries, regions and cities that aim to win new events. It will support bids for international events, such as the European Capital of Culture, trade shows and exhibitions, and help destinations bid for Olympic Games training camps. The strategy aims to unite the industry through developing perceptions of Britain overseas, and marketing events and adding value to British bids by leveraging Visit Britain’s presence in 26 countries to provide personal contacts with organisations abroad. It also intends raising government awareness of the industry’s value. Visit Britain chief executive Tom Wright said events brought enormous economic benefits to tourism because delegates spend about £160 a day – more than twice that of leisure visitors. “London’s reputation as a business and financial centre will help us spread these events throughout the country and help us bring even more delegates here on business,” said Wright. “Event Britain will add value along all stages of the bid process to ensure higher conversion levels for our partners in a hugely competitive market. We believe our greatest opportunity is international association business where Britain is already moving up the world rankings and is now third to the US and Germany, contributing £666 m to the economy.” The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) has welcomed the new unit and strategy. “Event Britain is clearly set to help the event industry to develop and grow on several levels,” said EIA group chief executive Trevor Foley. “It will help potential hosts access support for bids and in marketing events, relevant research and ministerial support.”

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