More than 2500 one-to-one business appointments are set to take place during the three-day trade fair, being held in San Francisco from 7-10 September. North American travel buyers and media will have the chance to connect with British tourism suppliers to learn about the latest products and innovations on offer from across Britain’s tourism industry.
The British suppliers include hotels, visitor attractions, destination management companies, tour and sightseeing operators and local destinations spanning the length and breadth of the nations and regions.
VisitBritain Chairman Nick de Bois CBE said:
“VisitBritain’s flagship Destination Britain North America trade event has been a catalyst for new business for more than a decade and I am delighted to be leading this year’s mission.
“North America is driving tourism’s recovery in the UK and this is a timely opportunity for British travel suppliers and destinations to get their tourism products and services in front of top buyers and do business, boosting bookings. It is also a valuable chance to promote our messages of warm welcome and to hear first-hand from buyers on the motivations and trends driving outbound travel from North America.
“As well as showcasing Britain’s exciting tourism products and innovations, our focus is on broadening travel itineraries, encouraging visitors from North America to explore further through our regional gateways, come year round and to stay longer, boosting local economies.”
As well as doing business, delegates and media will hear about international travel market trends alongside seminars from London & Partners VisitEngland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales to boost knowledge of Britain as a visitor destination and drive urgency to visit.
Visitors from the USA, the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound tourism market, spent a record £6 billion in the UK in 2022, up 42% on 2019. Canadian visitors also set a record for spending in the UK, £934 million in 2022, up 27% on 2019. This strong growth has continued into 2023. Flights bookings from North America to the UK are currently tracking up 15% compared to 2019.
VisitBritain has been harnessing this growth with its multi-million pound GREAT Britain marketing campaign in Canada and the USA launched earlier this year. It is also investing in separate campaigns in the USA with British Airways and a pilot cooperative marketing programme with industry, converting the interest to visit into bookings, boosting spend across Britain.
Destination Britain North America has been running since 2008 and has been a leading event in VisitBritain’s international trade show calendar.
Notes to editors
Please see below some quotes from British suppliers and North American buyers who will be attending Destination Britain North America:
Josi Benham, Head of Operations and Product from Authentic Vacations in the USA, said:
“I’m excited to attend DBNA again this year because it’s an excellent opportunity to meet with new and existing accommodation, transportation, and experience providers from the UK. I hope to develop new partnerships where I have product gaps and develop more streamlined operational procedures with existing partners. I also look forward to meeting with various Destination Management Organisations to increase my product knowledge in the less visited regions of the UK.”
Conor Duffy, Vice President of RIT Vacations in Canada, said:
“‘I am very excited to attend on behalf of RIT Vacations. Our UK product offering continues to grow and demand for Scotland, England and Wales is back to 2019 levels. I’m looking forward to connecting with industry partners at this event, and continuing to build those strong relationships that are so vital in this industry.
We have three new coach tour itineraries in the UK next year, and we are looking to add more in 2025. This event will be a great opportunity to build on existing relationships, as well as develop many new ones as we continue to develop our great UK product offerings.”
Ann Wilson, Head of Sales at Historic Royal Palaces, said:
“Historic Royal Palaces has seen continued strong visitor numbers from the US market in 2023 with 31.4% of visitors across all six of our palaces coming from the US, and just under 2% from Canada.
Destination Britain North America gives us an opportunity to meet our existing travel trade partners and potential new clients to discuss group series, luxury tour products and promote our up and coming exhibitions and events. Following two years of monumental national events focusing on the royal palaces, we see a continued interest in all things royal, historic and heritage.”
Claire Copeman from Adventure Tours UK said:
"As a young B Corp certified tour operator specialising in active and adventure travel, the North American market is key to our continued growth. We recognise the potential Destination Britain North America offers as an integral route to reaching agents and operators across the UK and Canada who are keen to promote small group and FIT tours in some of the UK's wildest spaces. We're excited to meet new potential buyers who share our values and build new partnerships which will firmly place the UK on the global adventure travel map."
Mary Jane Brett, Customer Development Manager at Johnnie Walker Princes Street & Scotland Whisky Distilleries, Diageo, said:
“We are delighted that VisitBritain is providing us with the platform to showcase our whisky distilleries to the North American Travel Trade. North America is a hugely important market both for Scotland inbound tourism and for our whiskies.
In addition to opening Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh in autumn 2021, over the past two years we have launched our Four Corner distilleries across the whisky regions of Scotland. To be able to connect with buyers actively looking for product in the UK, to talk to them about what we offer - especially those who have set up business since the pandemic, is an invaluable opportunity.”
Laura DeMaio, Director of Supplier Relations & Product Development, UK, for Great Value Vacations, Sceptre Vacations and Aer Lingus Vacation Store, said:
“I always look forward to VisitBritain's DBNA event, as it provides me with an excellent opportunity to confer with my existing partners - all of whom I was introduced to at previous events. Additionally, since VisitBritain always does such a great job of attracting interesting new suppliers each year, I also get to meet potential new partners, continually allowing me to enhance our UK product portfolio in order to meet the growing needs of our travel customers.”
• Detailed information about VisitBritain’s inbound tourism forecast for 2023 is on its website here: https://www.visitbritain.org/2023-tourism-forecast
• For destination inspiration for Britain see https://www.visitbritain.com/en/