The Events Industry Board and Business Visit and Events Partnership (BVEP) have welcomed the government’s renewed commitment to the UK events industry.
Although focused primarily on boosting leisure tourism, the new Tourism Action Plan, which was launched on Friday, reaffirms the government’s continued commitment to prioritising help for the events industry. The new plan includes a series of new initiatives and measures to help Britain out-compete other major tourism destinations and to encourage “staycations.”
Key aspects of the plan include the launch of a DCMS-led UK Business and Events Strategy, the establishment of the Events Industry Board to advise Government on the implementation of the strategy, re-establishment of a role for VisitBritain in business visits and events with support from the GREAT Britain campaign, and the launch of a four-year Event Support Programme through VisitBritain, targeting international business events aligned with Britain’s strategic interest.
Applications for the first round of funding available through the Event Support Programme are due to close on 16 September.
After welcoming the government’s commitment to the events industry, Nick de Bois, chairman of the Events Industry Board said: “We have already received a significant number of bids under the Event Support Programme which will be considered later next month.”
He added: “As today’s announcement recognises, however, we are also making progress on breaking down some of the barriers to ensure the UK can become the destination of choice for international business events.”
Michael Hirst, chair of BVEP, said: “We welcome the new Tourism Action Plan’s recognition of the importance of continuing the work of the Events Industry Board to bring more international events to Britain.
“It’s also gratifying to note that Incentive Travel, an often overlooked segment of business visits, has been recognised among the awards in the Discover England fund. Hopefully this will encourage a further resurgence of interest from overseas markets in motivational and award programmes within England, where combined business and leisure activities can be used to incentivise improved company performance.”