The 2020 edition of the British Tourism and Travel Show (BTTS) has been posted until March 2021, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic significantly affected all business sectors, with the travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors some of the most affected.
While the lockdown measures in the UK are expected to be relaxed over the coming months, social distancing measures and therefore restrictions on mass gatherings and events are expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future.
BTTS’s group event director, David Maguire, said: “Like all businesses, we have been closely following the rapidly changing developments during these difficult times. Whilst we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by the autumn, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run this year’s British Tourism & Travel Show. Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better event in 2021.
“We appreciate how important BTTS is to the industry it serves and are very sorry to disappoint the thousands of attendees that were planning on exhibiting and visiting. However, the success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, speakers and visitors has always been our priority and we are hoping that everyone will get behind this tough but necessary decision.
“The good news is that much of the event planning is already in place, and we go into 2021 with an incredible amount of good will and support. We would like to thank everyone – our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners – for their support, and we look forward to working together to ensure that BTTS continues to be the celebration and gathering the industry deserves – and can be proud of.”
The decision to postpone has been ‘widely supported’ by the show’s exhibitors and associations, including Visit Wales, Tourism Ireland, Coach Tourism Association (CTA), Albatross Travel, Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Liverpool, Action Tours, Advantage Now, Greatdays Travel Group, Warner Leisure Hotels, Cotswold Tourism and Devon’s Top Attractions, among others.
Anne Blackham, marketing manager for Devon’s Top Attractions, said: “We fully support the hard decision to move BTTS to March 2021. It is the most sensible and safest decision to make during these unprecedented times. Hopefully confidence will be renewed by early next year within the group travel and travel trade markets, and tourism as a whole will start to thrive again. We think the decision to postpone is the right one and will result in the 2021 show being the usual busy, productive and successful show that we have always been used to.”
A decision regarding the 2020 British Coach Tourism Awards is still under discussion, and will be announced soon.
The British Tourism & Travel Show will take place on 24-25 March 2021 at the NEC Birmingham.