Published on : Monday, November 13, 2017
The Showcase event, managed by VisitWiltshire, is being run in partnership with European Tourism Association (ETOA) and Destination Bristol, Visit Bath, Visit Cornwall, Cotswolds Tourism, Wye Dean Tourism, Visit Devon, Destination Plymouth, Isles of Scilly Partnership, South Somerset & Visit Taunton.
This year they will welcome 64 international and domestic wholesale B2B buyers and over 90 suppliers and it is expected that more than 1,600 meetings will take place during the day.
This event will also focus on HM Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund projects, administered by VisitEngland (www.discoverenglandfund.org). These projects include the Great West Way, led by VisitWiltshire, Food & Drink led by Destination Bristol, US Connections led by Destination Plymouth and England’s Seafood Coast led by English Riviera BID Company. Additional national projects that will feature South West England include Historic Cities (England’s Coast, Salisbury, Truro and Bath), National Parks and Walking Trails.
VisitWiltshire has been leading the South West Travel Trade Group in a legacy project following the South West Tourism Growth Fund in 2016. Last year’s event was held in Torquay at The Riviera International Centre and attracted 50 tour operators and 83 suppliers. Additional trade activity such as exhibiting at ITB Berlin and Vakantiebeurs, Netherlands in 2017 has also taken place.
VisitWiltshire’s Travel Trade Manager, Florence Wallace said, “We are delighted to have had such a positive response from tour operators and wholesalers who want to come and find out more about what South West England has to offer. We’ve also worked hard engaging with tourism industry suppliers communicating the benefits of working with the travel trade, with a view to win new business for the region.”
The programme includes a Gala dinner on Monday 27 November at The Harbour Hotel & Spa, which will be attended by the buyers and invited dignitaries and travel trade industry professionals.
The newly named ‘We the Curious’ – previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre – is the venue for the B2B one-to-one networking workshop on Tuesday 28 November. This main event will have 26 appointment slots whereby suppliers meet buyers to talk business.
Following the workshops, buyers will be whisked off to their pre-selected destinations for a one night and one day educational visit. They will gain first-hand experience of the products suitable for group and FIT markets, with a view to adding them to itineraries and selling from 2018 onwards.
Destination Bristol’s Marketing Manager Jon Chamberlain said “Bristol is proud to host Showcase South West 2017. There’s a real appetite among regional destinations to work together and this year the South West Travel Trade Group has been running a successful programme of trade activity in partnership with VisitEngland and VisitBritain. We wholeheartedly support destination collaboration on projects like this which can increase visitors and tourism spend to the region.”
The event is also supported by GWR who are sponsoring the train travel for buyers from London and through the region.