Trade gathers in NewcastleGateshead to showcase Britain

Hundreds of delegates will be in NewcastleGateshead for VisitBritain’s annual flagship travel trade event, ExploreGB (March 1-2).

Now in its fourth year, the event will see 280 international travel buyers from 29 countries, with more than 330 tourism suppliers, at the Metro Radio Arena.

Travel industry buyers and journalists from the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including Australia, France, Germany and the US will attend, as well as from its high-spending markets including China and the Gulf countries.

Tourism minister Michael Ellis said: “The sector contributes billions of pounds to the economy every year, supports thousands of jobs and benefits the UK’s nations and regions.

“We want to build on this success and ExploreGB gives British businesses the opportunity to expand, increase inward investment and reach new international markets.”

Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain chief executive, added: “We are delighted to bring our flagship trade event ExploreGB to NewcastleGateshead and north east England, a fantastic destination and also a great base for our international buyers to start their tours across the UK.”

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, commented: “In the year that Rough Guides named Newcastle as its number one place in the world to visit, it is great to be working with VisitBritain to bring its flagship event to NewcastleGateshead.

“Delegates will have the chance to explore the huge variety of experiences our city and the wider region has to offer visitors and discover how these will be amplified during Great Exhibition of the North, and we wish them an enjoyable stay.”

More than 32,000 business meetings will take place, and buyers and international journalists will experience tourism products and services with pre-and-post event trips to destinations across the UK.