VisitBritain has announced that its flagship annual travel trade event ExploreGB will run as a virtual event in 2021. ExploreGB Virtual, taking place from March 1-5, 2021, will invite international buyers to connect online with travel trade suppliers from across the UK to do business and boost bookings.
Attendance is free with registrations set to open from mid-December.
VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said in a press statement, “Using a tried and tested online platform, ExploreGB Virtual will give travel industry suppliers and destinations from across the U.K. the chance to get their products and services in front of top global buyers and forge valuable business connections."
She added: “This flagship global trade event will keep the U.K. front of mind globally as a leading destination for visitors, ultimately driving future bookings and boosting local economies.”
Gavin Landry, EVP, Americas said, “ExploreGB Virtual is a valuable opportunity for buyers across the Americas, including the U.S., Canada and Brazil, to connect with industry suppliers and destinations from across the U.K. as we look ahead together to drive future bookings for when we can travel again ... We are looking forward to highlighting the best of Britain’s tourism products, experiences, attractions and destinations with the U.S. travel industry, as well as the processes in place to welcome visitors back safely and still providing a great experience.”
The five-day event will virtually connect international buyers including from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Gulf Cooperation Council, India, Italy, Spain and the U.S. with travel industry suppliers and destinations from across the U.K.
Hundreds of pre-scheduled one-to-one virtual business meetings will take place during the event. Delegates can virtually explore live exhibition booths with U.K. suppliers promoting their products and services. Buyers and international journalists can also attend webinars and online networking events to boost their knowledge of the U.K. as a visitor destination.
The start of the event will also feature an online VisitBritain International Business Exchange (VIBE), which will allow U.K. suppliers to meet virtually with VisitBritain in-market experts.
ExploreGB Virtual will accommodate times zones with a scheduled program for international buyers from both short- and long-haul destinations. ExploreGB Virtual follows VisitBritain’s successful inaugural MeetGB Virtual business event held in June this year.