VisitBritain is gearing up to host virtually its flagship global travel trade event ExploreGB from 1 to 5 March.
ExploreGB Virtual is bringing together more than 350 global buyers to connect online with 350 tourism industry suppliers and destinations from across the UK to do business.
Travel industry buyers and journalists from 20 countries are joining the event including from some of the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets - Australia, China, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) markets, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the USA.
More than 1000 pre-scheduled one-to-one virtual business meetings will take place during the event.
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The tourism sector makes an enormous economic contribution to our country and I'm grateful that VisitBritain's ExploreGB trade event will give businesses and suppliers the opportunity to meet and connect with buyers around the world."
"I have no doubt that these connections will prove invaluable as the industry builds back better from the challenges faced over the last year and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the sector to do so."
VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “ExploreGB Virtual gives travel industry suppliers and destinations from across the UK the chance to promote their outstanding tourism products and services to top global buyers and forge valuable, lasting business connections.
“This flagship global trade event will also keep the UK front of mind as a competitive, leading destination, inspiring future travel and broadening travel itineraries as visitors explore more and contribute to local economies.”
ExploreGB Virtual accommodates all times zones with a scheduled programme for international buyers from both short and long haul destinations. Delegates can manage their own diaries across the five-day event with the virtual platform open daily from 06.00-23.00 GMT.
The online event gets underway with VisitBritain’s ‘International Business Exchange,’ for UK suppliers to meet with VisitBritain in-country experts to get the latest market insights. This is followed by three days of 1-2-1 virtual appointments for suppliers and international buyers. Delegates can also explore live exhibition booths with UK suppliers promoting their tourism products and services. There is also an educational day for travel agents.
Buyers and international journalists are also attending webinars and networking events to boost their knowledge of the UK as a visitor destination. Sessions are also being held on major cultural, sporting and heritage events and exhibitions in 2021 and beyond, highlighting destinations and visitor experiences across the nations and regions.
ExploreGB Virtual follows VisitBritain’s inaugural MeetGB Virtual business event held in June last year.
Inbound tourism was worth more than £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019.