Tourism partners call for business inclusion in VistBritain strategy

A crowd of industry associations, businesses and government agencies have called on VisitBritain to include business events and visits in their latest strategy for inbound tourism.

Using dialogue from tourism organisations and businesses across the UK and overseas, VisitBritain’s ‘Delivering a Golden Legacy’ report outlines a range of plans that could enable Britain’s tourism industry to grow by an extra nine million visitors a year by 2020.

The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) initially welcomed the findings, but claimed many of its connected parties had made clear the need for a national strategy that caters for business visits and events. says the respondents stressed the importance of business events to the UK economy before calling for further involvement from VisitBritain.

Michael Hirst, chair of the association, said of the response: “It is all the more encouraging given that this scenario was not even envisaged in the original strategy, but it’s clear that the industry at large sees important growth opportunities from the events sector that is already worth £36 billion to the economy and has huge potential.”

Cited by, Mr Hirst claimed the sheer level of response highlighted a gap in the market and a big opportunity for the UK’s tourism plans, which could be delivered by event venues and planners with the right support.  

VisitBritain had a dedicated tourism department, but a cut in government funding led to its closure in early 2010.

However, it’s thought the BVEP still holds a close relationship with the tourist board and hopes to see business tourism included in future plans.