ETOA, the European Tourism Association, has partnered with UKinbound to host the first online Britain and Ireland Marketplace (BIM) on Tuesday 26 January 2021.
BIM brings together British and Irish suppliers with buyers from across the world, with 4,000 one-to-one business appointments taking place at last year’s event.
Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA said, “2020 has seen a near total disappearance of incoming visitors. Many of our members have seen a fall of 90% in their turnover. Incoming tourism was set to deliver £30 billion of export sales for the UK in 2020, and roughly £6 billion to Ireland. This is roughly 30 times the total earned by the fishing industry, and its disappearance has not just affected our members, but has left a gaping hole in the service economies of both countries.
“The re-establishment of tourism is of critical importance to the whole economy. The good news is that there remains robust demand in all origin markets. All the evidence we have points to visitors having postponed their trips until the moment they feel it is safe to travel. Amongst our members we have reports of 50% of bookings cancelled in 2020 already rescheduled for 2021. There is also the prospect of a ‘near normal’ season in 2022, for which plans have to be laid now.
“There is so much to discuss. With pent-up demand and unprecedented availability this will be an exceptional opportunity to do business. For consumers they have the prospect of uniquely uncrowded attractions and comparatively low costs. After the worst year for tourism in a lifetime, we are looking forward to the most productive Britain and Ireland Marketplace yet. If a tourism product can be sold, the companies will be there to sell it.”
UKinbound CEO Joss Croft added, “Whilst the UK Government continues to exclude tour operations and destination management companies from the support packages offered to other parts of leisure and hospitality, it will be up to the industry to help itself. BIM is an ideal way for tourism businesses to get ready for when travel returns and maximise the evident demand for 2021 and 2022.
“UKinbound is delighted to partner with ETOA once again this year – we know how many of our members have benefited from the solid business that BIM has generated in previous years, and 2021 will be a huge opportunity for businesses to benefit from, and to play their part in, the UK’s export recovery.
Please click here to register for BIM – UKinbound supplier members can benefit from an exclusive member rate.