Best of Britain & Ireland – www.bobievent.com - taking place at the NEC, Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 March, has attracted 50 exhibitors new to the show in 2014. Currently, with under four weeks to go until the show opens, over 280 exhibitors have committed to the UK and Ireland’s premier domestic travel trade event.
With recent research re SME’s carried out by Lloyds bank - ‘Business Britain: A survey of business opinions and trends’ - reporting a real return to business confidence in the leisure, hospitality and transport sectors in the last six months, the show provides a showcase to celebrate the value of business tourism to the economies of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Destination first timers include Visit Wales, Visit Lincolnshire, Visit South Yorkshire, Visit Sunderland and Discover Durham.
With the Visit Wales stand attracting 18 stand sharers and with tourism bringing Wales £5 billion to the economy annually, Manon Williams, Chief Executive Visit Wales comments: "Business and Group Tourism is a hugely important industry for the country. We are looking forward to attending the Best of Britain & Ireland 2014 for the first time. It will provide a great platform for Wales' tourism industry to meet leading domestic and international operators, discuss business opportunities and promote all that Wales has to offer."
Exhibitors forming part of Visit Wales’ stand include Alice in Wonderland, Llandudno; Attractions of Snowdonia, Portmeirion and Snowdonia National Park Centre.
Hotels new to the show include Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire as well as larger hotel group, Louvre Hotels. They join other independent hotels who continue to recognise the business value of Best of Britain & Ireland including Four Pillars Hotels; Big Sleep Hotel Group; the Winnock Hotel, Loch Lomond and Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton. Larger hotel groups who are regular exhibitors and supporters of the event are also well represented - Accor, Best Western, De Vere, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott, Menzies and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.
As first timers, Hudsons Media Group, publishers of Hudson’s Historic Houses & Gardens and other tourism publications, will be branding the new ‘Historical Gems’ feature area.
Other first timers include BBC Tours, Chooseyourvenue.com, Chooseyourevent.co.uk, See Tickets, Torbay Development Agency and VenueFinder.
Commenting on the growing number of new exhibitors at Best of Britain & Ireland 2014, event director Mark Griffin said: “With the Lloyds Bank research highlighting an upturn in business confidence, we are delighted to be welcoming so many new exhibitors who have recognised the value of the event in developing their businesses. There is no event covering Britain and Ireland that brings together so many destinations, attractions, venues and hotels. If buyers want to keep up-to-date with all that is happening within the domestic travel industry, our show is the place to visit.”