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The government has asked Visit Britain to undertake business events promotion for England, five years after it ceased responsibility.
The agency, which backs international tourism, will also take responsibility for business events promotion at UK level alongside other GREAT partners and national tourist boards.
The announcement comes after the government’s triennial review of Visit Britain and follows a similar announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) last week that it’s creating a Business Visits and Events Board.
The board will be tasked with identifying business opportunities and to win more events and represents new resources for the events industry to attract events to Britain.
Visit Britain ceased activities in business event promotion in 2010, following government cutbacks in its budget allocation. At that time it closed its business tourism unit and handed over the role of international representation for business events to Visit England, with the other national agencies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales maintaining their own business event units.
Visit England will also administer a ‘Challenge Fund’ which will be used to enhance England’s tourism product.
“The re-emergence of Visit Britain as a key promoter of business events internationally is something we have been lobbying for since 2010. It was a key part of our submission to the Triennial Review and is a main plank in our Manifesto” said Michael Hirst, chairman of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP).
In November, the government called on the events industry to help develop a strategy that will make the UK the number one destination for the international business events market.
Speaking at the World Travel Market in London, the secretary of DCMS, Sajid Jarvid said the government is working in partnership with the events sector to “develop a joint strategy to support growth” in the conference and events market.
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