The successful workshop, in the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, hosted over 750 B2B meetings connecting over 45 regional delegates with 40 key tour operators representing 11 regions, in an attempt to help drive tourism outside of London and across the country on a national scale.
With the demand to increase the number of international visitors looking beyond London when visiting the UK -current statistics show that 51% of UK’s inbound visitors only visit London – UKinbound and VisitEngland created the workshop as a platform for networking opportunities and business meetings and is the first in a series of events as part of VisitEngland’s partnership with UKinbound. Operators were connected with suppliers to explore and increase the range of product sold to international visitors, expanding the attraction of regional destinations.
UKinbound’s CEO, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “The inbound tourism industry is one of the UK’s economic success stories and we believe in supporting tourism destinations outside London to further attract international visitor numbers and boost regional growth. The incredible number of delegates that attended the workshop and the level of business connections made is a real testament for the demand of product outside of London.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with VisitEngland to drive awareness of the expanding itineraries beyond London and to increase knowledge of the regional tourism product by the overseas tourist.”
James Berresford, Visit England CEO, commented: “Domestic tourism accounts for almost 80% of all spending and is predicted to grow by over 3% each year to reach around £172bn by 2025 – however, we’re aware of the need tempt inbound visitors to fantastic destinations outside London. The value of tourism in London grew by 39 per cent last year, compared to only 16 per cent in the regions. If we can help businesses to encourage even just a 10% rise in tourist spending outside London we’re confident that we would generate almost £1bn in extra visitor spending and would create 18,000 extra tourism jobs across the country.”