VisitBritain has announced a new international trade show to replace Hosted Buyers Marketplace.
ExploreGB will first take place in late February 2015 in London as a platform for more British destinations and suppliers to meet with international buyers.
It is then hoped this will lead to more brochure pages and itineraries featured with international companies and forms part of VisitBritain’s strategy to grow overseas tourism numbers to 40 million by 2020.
This year HBM was attended by 220 buyers from 31 countries with 8,500 appointments, but VisitBritain hopes to increase this to more than 500 buyers in six years time.
It will cover two days instead of one and a new seminar programme will be featured followed by fam trips around the country.
“Our goal is to make sure ExploreGB becomes the world’s largest and most influential business-to-business tourism event promoting a single destination. The only way we could do this was by realigning our activity to make sure it sat within our long-term 2020 growth strategy. We’re now calling for more partners and sponsors to make ExploreGB the best showcase for Britain possible,” said Keith Beecham, overseas director at VisitBritain.
ExploreGB will be held in London next year and then alternate annually between the capital and other regions in Britain.
UKinbound has been announced as the event’s exclusive partner.
UKinbound’s chief executive Deirdre Wells said: “We’re delighted to support and be part of this significant event on the B2B tourism calendar. Working exclusively with VisitBritain on ExploreGB will mean we can focus our attention on generating as much new business for Britain as possible over the next decade, to align with the 2020 Tourism Strategy.”