World Travel Industry Explores Liverpool
From the Shetlands to the Scilly Isles, Great Britain is, indeed, a great nation and it has a tourism offer to match.
One of the ways Britain markets itself as a global destination is through, ExploreGB, the UK’s most important international travel trade event.
ExploreGB is a big deal, developed by VisitBritain, the event usually takes place in London. But this year, from 3-4 March, it will be hosted by Liverpool, providing our city with a unique chance to sell itself to the world’s leading travel trade representatives.
It’s Liverpool met up with Marketing Liverpool’s Campaign Manager, James Wood to learn more about ExploreGB and how the city plans to maximise the opportunity it presents.
“We’re very excited”, explains James. “ExploreGB is the UK’s flagship event for British and Irish tourism buyers and suppliers and Liverpool is the first host citiy outside of London, which is an honour.
“It’s an international event, specifically for the travel trade. It’s a great business opportunity. It takes place over two days and it’s packed with workshops, appointments, seminars and a gala dinner.”
ExploreGB’s delegates are invited to attend large scale familiarisation trips, enabling them to get a better understanding of the destination they sell. Does Liverpool’s position as ExploreGB’s 2016 host city give our city any advantages?
“Many other major UK cities applied to host this event…”
“It has huge PR benefits for the city. There’s around 300 travel trade buyers in attendance, from more than 40 countries. These people are uniquely placed to really inform traveller’s decisions. This enables us to sell Liverpool to an influential market, who will hopefully share their experience through their own channels, all over the world.
“Essentially, delegates can actually experience Liverpool’s attractions and hotels and witness its culture and regeneration for themselves. That’s better than any brochure or video. In this industry, seeing is believing.
“It’s definitely a real coup for the city. Many other major UK cities applied to host this event so we were thrilled when Marketing Liverpool’s bid was selected.”
I ask James how Marketing Liverpool is maximising the impact of Liverpool’s ExploreGB host city position.
“We’re working with our visitor economy colleagues to ensure we optimize ExploreGB’s delegate experience. The event itself is taking place at ACC Liverpool, so it gives us a chance to really show off our UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront and the new convention facilities like ACC and Exhibition Centre Liverpool.
“The gala dinner this year is going to be pretty special. It’s being held at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, which is completely unlike other Explore GB venues. It has a real wow factor and once you experience the building, it never leaves you.”
From our brief conversation, it’s clear that James, who gets the ferry to and from Liverpool daily, is deeply passionate about the city.
“This is the perfect job for me, I love to see the city through visitor’s eyes. It makes me feel really proud. There’s an energy in Liverpool that sets it apart. There’s nothing anonymous or ordinary here. It has this unique character. ExploreGB delegates are going to love it here. It’s a very different experience to London.”
Lauren Thomas, VisitBritain’s Sales & Events Executive is also looking forward to the first ExploreGB to be held in Liverpool, she said:
“Britain offers a staggering variety of destinations for tourists and our job at VisitBritain is to showcase all of them. ExploreGB allows us to put a spotlight on the UK and, also the host destination.
“Liverpool was selected this year because of its strong cultural offer and incredible heritage. The city is one of the UK’s most memorable places and it’s perfect for ExploreGB, which is all about welcoming nations and showcasing variety.”
ExploreGB takes place at ACC Liverpool from 3-4 March 2016.
For more information on ExploreGB visit exploregb.org
Visit visitliverpool.com and follow @VisitLiverpool on Twitter.