TORONTO — More than 10,000 one-to-one virtual business meetings are expected to take place at this year’s ExploreGB Virtual, taking place March 21-25, 2022.
The five-day program of virtual events will give destinations and suppliers the chance to promote their tourism products and services to top global buyers and make valuable business connections. Over 330 global buyers and 370 suppliers and destinations from across the U.K. will be taking part this year.
Kicking off the event will be VisitBritain’s ‘International Business Exchange’ for UK suppliers to meet with VisitBritain in-country experts to get the latest market insights. This will be followed by three days of 1-2-1 virtual appointments between suppliers and international buyers. Delegates can also explore live exhibition booths with UK suppliers promoting their latest products and services, with buyers able to download resources.
“We are delighted to be hosting our flagship trade event, reconnecting Canadian and global travel trade buyers with British suppliers to do business, highlighting the latest tourism products, experiences and innovations, as well as reinforcing the bonds of exploration, cooperation and welcome,” says Paul Gauger, VisitBritain SVP Americas. “With the UK fully reopen and a year of landmark events set to be global tourism draws, ExploreGB provides a timely and valuable opportunity to work together with our travel trade partners to build back visitor spending, broaden travel itineraries and encourage travellers to stay longer and explore further.”
Several high-profile events will take place this year in Britain, including Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Unboxed 2022, a wide-scale celebration of creativity.
ExploreGB builds on the recent launch of VisitBritain’s multi-million-pound global campaign to drive inbound tourism. The £10 million GREAT Britain marketing campaign, ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain,’ which launched in February, shines the spotlight on Britain’s cities hit hard by the absence of international visitors.
This month, VisitBritain is also hosting 50 international travel trade buyers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordics, Spain and the U.S. o educational visits to destinations across Britain to experience tourism products and services firsthand.
VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2022 estimates 21.1 million inbound visits to the UK., which is 52% of 2019 levels. Its forecast for overseas visitor spending in the UK this year is £16.9 billion, 59% of the spending recorded in 2019.
Inbound tourism amounted to more than £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019, its third largest service export.