Tuesday February 26, 2013
As the final preparations are put in place for the largest gathering of tourism professionals of 2013, the organisers have unveiled the latest national tourism organisation to back the show.
ABTA The Travel Association has become the 14th trade association to throw their backing behind the show, and will be taking part in the popular seminar programme on the Main stage in association with The Tourism Society. The ABTA keynote presentation on the first day of the show will be addressing the question of how the tourism industry can create more UK jobs.
This presentation will take place after lunch on day one following the Tourism Question Time session chaired by Bernard Donoghue, Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, at which senior representatives of the industry from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be giving their views on the current tourism climate and answering questions from the floor.
Other seminar slots on day one include a major presentation from Tourism Ireland on their preparations for ‘The Gathering’ and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture this year, a panel discussion on the gay market led by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, and a North American Travel Trade Symposium chaired by Paull Tickner of Greatdays Travel Group with three speakers flown in especially in from the US and Canada to discuss how to target the lucrative North American market.
Sessions for day two include a VisitEngland/People 1st presentation on Customer Care, a Tourism Society Business Focus panel discussion on accessibility, marketing trends, sustainable transport and customer service , while in the afternoon there will be presentations on the conception and building of the new Mary Rose Museum and finally a case study on how the Isle of Man is repositioning itself as an Island of Thrills.
Best of Britain & Ireland’s VIP Buyer programme will see around 50 international buyers hosted at the event from Europe and North America in addition to over 140 key domestic buyers from around the country.
The programme is sponsored by Birmingham Airport with the additional support of Tourism Ireland, Biddenden Vineyards, ATG Tickets and Top Hat, while familiarisation visits have been organised for Shakespeare’s England involving partners Johnsons Coaches, Eden Hotel Collection, Best Western Grosvenor, Menzies Welcombe Hotel, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Royal Shakespeare Company and Warwick Castle.
Virgin Trains are also on board as a sponsor transporting the expected 70 plus tourism press, bringing many from London to Birmingham for the exhibition.
And to top up visitor numbers, Anderson Tours in association with Greener Journeys, Marriott , Menzies, Puma, Best Western and Hilton hotels are supporting the BoBI Express coach service bringing registered visitors from 9 destinations around England to the show.
“The support we have received this year, coupled with the active involvement of a range of tourism organisations, destinations, attractions and accommodation and transport providers has been truly outstanding”, said Event Director Sam Warnock. “We are on course for the best ‘Best of Britain & Ireland’ exhibition in many years.
“This just shows what can be done when organisations are prepared to work together to their common advantage. We look forward to truly outstanding show which will bring together the buyers and suppliers of UK and Ireland tourism product in a serious business environment.”