VisitBritain gears up to host flagship trade event ExploreGB Virtual

16 February 2023

VisitBritain is gearing up to host virtually its annual flagship trade event ExploreGB, underway from 27 February to 3 March.

ExploreGB Virtual is bringing together more than 200 global buyers to connect online and do business with 320 tourism industry suppliers and destinations from across Britain.

The five-day programme of virtual events gives destinations and suppliers the chance to promote their tourism products and services to top global buyers and forge valuable business connections.

Travel industry buyers from more than 20 countries are joining the virtual event including from Australia, China, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) markets, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the USA.

More than 10,000 pre-scheduled one-to-one virtual business meetings will take place during the event.

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said:

“We are excited to be hosting our flagship trade event, connecting global travel trade buyers with British suppliers to do business, highlighting the latest tourism products, experiences and innovations, as well as promoting our welcome.

“Our priority is to build back international visitor value, driving the strong recovery we have seen. ExploreGB is a timely opportunity to work with our travel trade partners to boost bookings now and to broaden travel itineraries, encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore further.”

ExploreGB Virtual accommodates all times zones with a scheduled programme of one-to-one virtual appointments for suppliers and international buyers from both short and long-haul destinations. Delegates can manage their own diaries across the event with the virtual platform open daily from 06.00-23.00 GMT. 

The event finishes on Friday 3 March with VisitBritain hosting ‘PR Connect’. Destination Management Organisations across England, Scotland and Wales will have one-to-one meetings with VisitBritain international teams, sharing stories to inspire international travellers to visit Britain now.

Later this month VisitBritain is also set to launch its new multi-million pound GREAT Britain campaign in markets where it is seeing strong recovery, and growth, including the USA, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries and major European markets including France, Germany and Spain, working with partners in market to drive bookings. The campaign encourages visitors to ‘See Things Differently,’ positioning Britain as a dynamic, fun and inclusive destination and promoting messages of warm British welcome.

The campaign will also capture major events in 2023 including the Coronation of King Charles III in May, with an additional Bank Holiday announced, and Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, on behalf of Ukraine, also in May, timely and valuable opportunities to promote Britain’s welcome and creativity and ability to host events of the highest calibre.

ExploreGB follows VisitBritain’s ‘Showcase Britain’ event earlier this month which saw 120 international buyers from 16 markets undertake educational visits across Britain, experiencing the latest tourism products and experiences on offer.

VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast shows continued strong recovery in overseas visitor spending this year. Its latest forecast for 2023 is for overseas visitor spending in the UK of £29.5 billion, up 4% on the all-time spending high of £28.4 billion in 2019. It estimates 35.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 86% of 2019 levels.


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