West Country showcase will win new business for region

Organisers of this year’s Showcase South West Travel Trade Event (November 27-29) promises it will be “bigger and better” than before.

Hosted by Destination Bristol, the Showcase event is managed by VisitWiltshire.

It is run in partnership with Etoa, the European Tourism Association and Destination Bristol, Visit Bath, Visit Cornwall, Cotswolds Tourism, Wye Dean Tourism, Visit Devon, Destination Plymouth, Isles of Scilly Partnership, South Somerset & Visit Taunton.

There will be 64 international and domestic wholesale B2B buyers and more than 90 suppliers. More than 1,600 meetings will take place.

This event will focus on the Discover England Fund projects, administered by VisitEngland, especially the Great West Way, led by VisitWiltshire; Food & Drink, led by Destination Bristol; US Connections, led by Destination Plymouth; and England’s Seafood Coast, led by English Riviera BID Company.

Additional national projects that will feature the south west include Historic Cities (England’s Coast, Salisbury, Truro and Bath), National Parks and Walking Trails.

VisitWiltshire has been leading the South West Travel Trade Group in a legacy project following the South West Tourism Growth Fund in 2016.

Last year’s event was held in Torquay and attracted 50 tour operators and 83 suppliers.

Florence Wallace, VisitWiltshire’s travel trade manager, said: “We are delighted to have had such a positive response from tour operators and wholesalers who want to come and find out more about what south west England has to offer.

“We’ve also worked hard engaging with tourism industry suppliers communicating the benefits of working with the travel trade, with a view to win new business for the region.”

The programme includes a gala dinner on November 27 at The Harbour Hotel & Spa, which will be attended by the buyers, invited dignitaries and travel trade professionals.

The newly named ‘We the Curious’ (pictured) – previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre – is the venue for the B2B one-to-one networking workshop on November 28.

Buyers will also take part in fam trips to gain experience of products suitable for group and FIT markets.

Jon Chamberlain, Destination Bristol’s marketing manager, added: “There’s a real appetite among regional destinations to work together and this year the South West Travel Trade Group has been running a successful programme of trade activity in partnership with VisitEngland and VisitBritain.

“We wholeheartedly support destination collaboration on projects like this which can increase visitors and tourism spend to the region.”

The event is also supported by GWR which is sponsoring train travel for buyers from London and through the region.