LONDON — Tourism Ireland has signed up as a key partner for ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s new annual flagship international event, which will debut at Ascot Racecourse in February 2015.
The aim of ExploreGB is to showcase Britain and the island of Ireland to the largest possible audience of international buyers, resulting in additional itineraries and brochure pages. British and Irish tourism suppliers and destinations attending the event will have the opportunity to meet and do business with up to 250 carefully selected international travel buyers from over 37 countries.
Tourism Ireland joins other ExploreGB partners including the tourism trade association UKinbound, as well as regional tourist boards VisitEngland, VisitWales, VisitScotland and London & Partners.
Over 150 British tourism suppliers have already registered for ExploreGB 2015, including hotel groups, transport companies, visitor attractions and retail outlets. Tourism Ireland also expects a strong contingent of suppliers from the island of Ireland to sign up.
VisitBritain’s aim is to increase ExploreGB 2015 delegate attendance year on year to reach over 500 buyers – and an equal number of Great British and Irish product suppliers – by 2020. To encourage growth, the event has a tiered pricing structure, giving SMEs either new to international marketing or wishing to expand their exposure overseas the opportunity to attend at an attractive cost. Prices start from £795 for the 2-day workshop.
ExploreGB is due to take place local to London in its first year and will then alternate annually between London and other regions within Britain. The event will be followed by large-scale familiarization trips around Britain for the international delegates.
VisitBritain’s acting CEO, Keith Beecham, said: “Our goal is to make ExploreGB the world’s largest and most influential B2B tourism event promoting Britain and the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland will be an important strategic partner for this task, adding value in multiple ways. Working together will allow us to maximize opportunities and having Irish suppliers in attendance further strengthens the quality of our international buyers, providing a wider offering.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO for Tourism Ireland, added: “We are delighted to be part of the inaugural ExploreGB in 2015, which will provide another important platform for Tourism Ireland and our Irish industry partners to showcase and sell Ireland to key international travel buyers. We already work closely with VisitBritain, particularly in long-haul markets like China and India, to target people travelling to Britain and encourage them to visit the island of Ireland as part of their trip, and vice versa.”