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Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum

Domestic Travel Trade Show at Olympia delivered more…

Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum was declared a great success following a 5% increase on last year’s attendance, 25% increase in size and boasting an unprecedented number of exhibitors in its second year in London. The domestic travel trade event which forms the centrepiece of British Tourism Week attracted more than 2600 visitors over two days at its new home in the Grand Hall at London’s Olympia and attendance on the second day was significantly up on last year.

A number of new initiatives including the move to Olympia resulted in a very apparent improvement in visitor quality drawing key coach operators and group travel organisers as well as attracting travel trade visitors from across the industry.  In addition to the established Overseas Hosted Buyers Programme led by VisitBritain, a Domestic Hosted Buyers initiative was introduced for the first time this year in partnership with the Coach Tourism Council, Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Group Travel Organisers Association. It was overwhelmingly well received by both buyers and exhibitors alike.  The programmes brought key coach operators, group travel organisers and inbound tour operators to the Forum. Close partnerships between VisitBritain, Best of Britain Events, travel trade organisations and an array of media partners helped to deliver visitors from every sector of the domestic travel industry. 

Sean Taggart, Chairman of the CTC commented, "On behalf of the CTC I would like to congratulate everyone involved in delivering a fantastic Travel Trade Forum at Olympia. Our partnership with VisitBritain & Best of Britain Events was a hugely significant step forward for the coach industry as a whole and we look forward to building on this over the coming months.”

Phil Moon, Chairman of the GTOA said: “The BoBI event provided an excellent opportunity for organisers and suppliers to network and to see what new products have become available.  The GTOA is especially grateful to the sponsors of the Hosted VIP buyers scheme which was superb and provided enhanced opportunities for the ‘creme de la creme’ of GTOs and coach operators to hear about planned future developments while being able to take full advantage of the travel trade exhibition.”

Karen Tiley, Membership Manager for the Confederation of Passenger Transport was also full of praise and said, “The CPT would like to thank the Best of Britain & Ireland events team for what has been a well executed and organised exhibition. The Hosted Buyer Programme, which many of our members enjoyed, was a proven success and enjoyed by all. Every fundamental effort was made by Angie Watson and her team to ensure that quality exhibitors delivering quality products and destinations were given every opportunity to engage with quality operators.”  

Rob Mackenzie, Managing Director, of event organisers, Best of Britain Events Ltd summed up the success of the Travel Trade Forum, "We are delighted with a very successful debut of Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum at London’s Olympia which has delivered a very apparent improvement in the quality of the audience. Working in consultation with our steering group over the past year has brought significant results and an improved product and we will continue to build on this going forward. ”

Kenny Boyle, VisitBritain’s Director of Distribution and Commercial added, “Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum has once again been a flagship event and we have been delighted with the response from exhibitors and visitors, with a great deal of serious business taking place over the two days. This demonstrates the vibrancy of our fantastic tourism offering and the crucial role that the industry has to play in the recovery of the wider UK economy.”
Visitor numbers for the two consumer days were disappointing and down considerably on the previous year. In-depth consultation will now be carried out with the industry and the BoBI Steering Group in order to be guided as to whether there is an appetite for retaining the consumer element, and, if so, whether the consumer days could co-locate with another public show that would effectively underpin the required numbers. Plans for 2011 will be announced in May.