ABPCO, the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, has come out in staunch support of Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) in challenging the recent government decision to cut Visit Britain’s activity in the global business tourism market.
The planned cuts will see Visit Britain significantly reduce its overseas presence and hand over the majority of support for business tourism initiatives to national tourist boards across the UK. ABPCO Chair Rebecca Cadman-Jones commented: ‘The decision by Visit Britain to move away from business tourism is a huge blow to the conference industry and ABPCO members. Support from our national tourism body is essential in ensuring that major conferences and events choose the UK, generating huge economic impact for the country. ABPCO fully supports the BVEP in its challenge to the Tourism Minister John Penrose on this matter.’
In a letter to BVEP Chairman Michael Hirst, Visit Britain CEO Sandie Dawe MBE stated: ‘We will still continue to offer a bid support service to attract international conferences, conventions and major sporting events,’ yet how this will be realised is yet unclear, according to comments from Mr. Hirst following a meeting with Ms. Dawe.
Rebecca Cadman-Jones continued: ‘Other countries enjoy significant support and representation from their respective tourism authorities in the international meetings sector; these new cuts could significantly impact opportunities for international events coming to the UK and consequently affect business for ABPCO members. We must do all we can to ensure that the industry has the support to compete on a global scale.’