National tourism agency VisitBritain is gearing up to welcome more than 120 international travel buyers for a series of educational visits across Britain, as part of its flagship ‘Showcase Britain 2024’ trade event.
The educational visits, underway from 27 January, are a mix of three-to-five-day itineraries to destinations across England, Wales and Scotland, showcasing to buyers and travel media the latest tourism products across Britain and the fresh and exciting experiences for visitors to come and enjoy this year.
Buyers from 18 international markets are taking part including from the USA, the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor market, as well as from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Nordic countries, South Korea and Switzerland.
VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said:
“We are delighted to be showcasing Britain’s outstanding destinations, tourism products and experiences to international buyers and travel press, highlighting the very best of our nations and regions to broaden travel itineraries and drive bookings. From the beauty of our coast and countryside, the vibrancy of our cities and cultural attractions to our world-class dining and accommodation, buyers will experience first-hand the quality of our tourism offer alongside the warmest of British welcomes.
I know that the international buyers and media will return home in no doubt about the outstanding quality of tourism products and experiences available right across Britain.”
VisitBritain’s in-country teams have worked in partnership with destination management organisations and destination management companies across England, Scotland and Wales to develop tailored itineraries* for each inbound market.
The hosted visits are part of the national tourism agency’s ‘Showcase Britain’ trade mission, which gets underway with a networking event for international buyers and travel media hosted in the iconic Painted Hall at The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, on 25 January.
The buyers and travel media will be officially welcomed by VisitBritain Chairman Nick de Bois CBE and CEO Patricia Yates with updates from the agency’s trade teams, as well as from VisitEngland, London & Partners, VisitScotland and Visit Wales on the latest products, experiences, hospitality and accommodation.
VisitBritain is also set to highlight its international campaigns for 2024, to drive inspiration to visit. Its GREAT Britain marketing campaigns will be running in Australia, France, Germany, the GCC and the USA, inspiring visitors to ‘See Things Differently’ by showing fresh and exciting experiences, alongside a warm British welcome. Its global campaigns in 2024 are also harnessing the power of screen tourism to showcase Britain’s regional diversity, highlighting film and TV locations, destinations and visitor experiences.
Before heading off on their educational tours, the buyers will also attend the ‘Britain & Ireland Marketplace’ (BIM) trade event on 26 January, held at the Intercontinental London – The O2, with a full day of business appointments and networking with tourism suppliers and destinations across Britain.
VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast predicts 39.5 million inbound visits to the UK in 2024, up 5% on the 37.8 million that were expected in 2023 although still 3% shy of 2019’s record levels. Its forecast for overseas visitor spending this year is £34.1 billion, up 7% on the spending predicted in 2023 and up 20% on 2019, although 96% of 2019 levels when adjusted for inflation.