The UK national tourism agency, VisitBritain, will stage its main international travel trade event in Bangalore next year. The announcement was made during Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to India, 28 July.
The plan is for Destination Britain and Ireland 2011 (DEBI) to facilitate leading firms from the UK travel trade to meet 100 of the top buyers from 15 countries across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Australia region.
The Leela Palace hotel, Bangalore is the venue for the May event, which the agency expects to generate £10m (US$15.6m) of tourism business for 70 participating companies, including Selfridges and Merlin Entertainment, owners of The London Eye and Madame Tussauds.
Thirty per cent of the 270,000 visits from India to Britain are for a business-related trip and secretary of state for culture, olympics, media and sport, Jeremy Hunt says: “The number of visitors from India to Britain has more than doubled over the past 15 years, and we want to do all we can to ensure this growth continues. By holding one of its largest events in Bangalore next year not only will this inspire more people to visit our shores, but it will also lead to and increase in business for all those in the UK tourism industry who are taking part.”
Chief executive of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe, said: ‘”DEBI is the most cost effective business-to-business tourism sales event in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Australia region.’’
VisitBritain says it has identified India as a key market, with its fast-growing middle class. Bangalore is India’s third biggest city and lies at the heart of the country’s high-tech industrial boom.
Picture: Copyright of The Prime Minister’s Office