VisitBritain has announced that its flagship annual travel trade event ExploreGB will be held in Harrogate in 2019.
ExploreGB is VisitBritain’s largest travel trade event with hundreds of international buyers from countries across the globe meeting travel trade suppliers from the UK to do business.
Travel industry buyers and journalists from the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including Australia, France, Germany and the US are expected to attend, and from its high-spending markets including China as well as Brazil, Canada, India and the Gulf Co-operation Council markets.
The event will be held at the Harrogate Convention Centre from May 8 to 10 2019.
VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “We are very pleased to be bringing ExploreGB to Yorkshire and the north of England in 2019.
“From its world-renowned reputation as a spa destination to its location in the heart of north Yorkshire’s breathtaking countryside, Harrogate is a fantastic destination to showcase the quality of our tourism offer, the diversity of experiences across the north and a great base for our international buyers to begin their post-event tours across Britain.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with VisitBritain to bring its flagship event to Yorkshire. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Harrogate and the whole county to travel buyers from across the globe with the aim of encouraging even more visitors to Yorkshire.
“The host, Harrogate, has much to be proud of and look forward to in 2019; The famous spa town will not only welcome VisitBritain’s hundreds of international guests in May but will also have the eyes of the world on it in September as they host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
“I know everyone in Harrogate will be eager to give the warmest of welcomes to both international events.”
Simon Kent, director of Harrogate Convention Centre, said: “This is a brilliant event not only for the Convention Centre but for the whole town.
“Next year is going to have a real international feel in Harrogate, as we welcome not only the UCI Road World Championships but now ExploreGB too. It’s a great accolade for the whole district.”
ExploreGB gives UK tourism suppliers and local destinations a valuable opportunity to get their products and services in front of hundreds of international buyers and do business with global markets, boosting visitor numbers and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across the UK.
As well as thousands of business meetings taking place across the two-day trade event, buyers and international journalists will also attend seminars and networking events to boost their knowledge of the UK as a tourist destination.
Delegates will also experience tourism products and services first-hand with pre-and-post event educational trips to destinations across the country.
Previous destinations to host ExploreGB, held annually since 2014, include NewcastleGateshead, Brighton, Liverpool and Ascot.
Last year was a record-breaker for inbound tourism to the UK. There were 39.2 million inbound visits to the UK in 2017, up 4 per cent, with visitors spending £24.5 billion, up 9 per cent.
Tourism is worth more than £127 billion to the UK economy.