The best of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be on show at the NEC Birmingham this week, as over 260 leading visitor attractions, venues, destinations, hotels, transport providers, associations and DMOs are preparing to exhibit at The British Tourism & Travel Show on Wednesday and Thursday, 16-17 March.
The largest domestic tourism showcase of the year, the 2016 edition is expected to attract thousands of domestic tour operators, travel organisers and agencies from across Britain and Ireland.
Albatross Travel Group, Bakers Dolphin Coach Travel, Cottages.com, Expedia.com, Explore Global, First Choice Holidays, Gold Crest Holidays, Great Rail Journeys, JAC Travel, Kuoni Group Travel Experts, Marchants Coaches, Miki Travel, National Holidays, Newmarket Holidays, One Traveller, Rondo Travel, Saga Holidays, Shearings Holidays, spabreaks.com, Thomas Cook, Titan Travel, Travelzoo, Virgin Experience Days, Voyage Privé, and Woods Travel are just some of the leading travel companies preparing to attend.
“I’m looking forward to the show, it’s a fantastic opportunity to research emerging trends and exciting new products, as well as catching up with many of our partners and contacts in one place,” says Tim Burghes, senior buyer at Virgin Experience Days.
“Working in travel is, for me, always about meeting people face-to-face, being inspired and finding compelling new destinations for our customers, which is why, with such an exciting plethora of exhibitors – British Tourism & Travel Show is a must visit show. As ‘special interests’ are such a strong part of our UK holiday range, I’m particularly excited about the ‘Year of the English Garden’ feature. And, on a personal note, as an avid fan of Great British Railway Journeys, the appearance of Michael Portillo will be a particular highlight for me,” says Neil Cron, UK & Ireland Product Manager at Saga Holidays.
“I am very excited about attending the British Tourism & Travel Show for the first time. After recently taking over the product management for Titan’s UK short breaks and Christmas escorted holidays, I am expecting the show to give me a great insight into what’s on offer in our amazing country. I am looking forward to meeting hoteliers and attractions alike, and hope to walk away with lots of ideas for future product development,” says Jayne White, product manager at Titan Travel.
“British Tourism & Travel Show is without doubt the best trade show in the calendar. Two days of meeting a vast number of suppliers old and new, by the end of which I’m laden down with publicity material and ideas. The location is perfect, as is the timing of the event,” says Gary Lloyd, tours manager at Cheltenham-based Marchants Coaches.
2016 – The year of…
VisitEngland’s 2016 Year of the English Garden initiative has inspired a new ‘Year of the English Garden’ feature area at the show. Supported by VisitEngland, it marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of visionary garden designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
Other new feature areas for 2016 include The London Zone, supported by London & Partners.
Returning areas include Hotel Lobby; Tourism South East; Visit Scotland – celebrating its Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design; and Tourism Ireland – promoting Ireland’s Ancient East (a new ‘touring region’ mapping 5,000 years of history and heritage) and Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink initiative.
Visit Wales is also back with over 20 Welsh destinations and hotels. Wales – recently named one of the top ten countries to visit in the world this year by leading travel publisher Rough Guides – will be showcasing its 2016 ‘Year of Adventure’ campaign, designed to encourage more visitors to explore the country’s rich heritage, landscapes and culture.
The Tourism Society, Coach Tourism Council, Confederation of Passenger Transport, ETOA European Tourism Association, British Guild of Tourist Guides, and Tourism for All (TFA) also feature prominently across the show floor.