British Tourism & Travel Show announces first Keynote speakers for 2016

Brighton – Former MP and cabinet minister Michael Portillo and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson are confirmed to host headline Keynotes at next year’s British Tourism & Travel Show – the leading annual meeting place for the UK’s multi-billion pound domestic tourism industry.

Taking place at NEC Birmingham on the 16-17 March 2016, the event’s extensive seminar programme will run alongside a central exhibition featuring over 250 leading attractions, venues, destinations, hotels, transport providers, associations and DMOs.

Big name brands already booked for 2016 include Albatross Travel Group, Best Western Hotels, Black Country Living Museum, Brighton i360, Chelsea Football Club, DFDS Seaways, Eden Project, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, Hilton Worldwide, Isle of Wight Tourism, Knowsley Safari Park, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Marketing Liverpool, Marriott Hotels, National Brewery Centre, National Memorial Arboretum, Shakespeare’s England, The Hotel Collection, Ticketmaster, Tourism Ireland, Visit Blackpool, Visit Canterbury, Visit England, Visit Scotland, and Visit Wales.

Domestic tourism on the right track

Rail travel is booming in the UK, with passenger journeys up nearly 70% in just over a decade.  Of the record 1.65 billon national rail journeys taken last year[1], around one in four were for leisure purposes.  This rail travel revival – which shows no sign of abating – is just one of the topics Michael Portillo will be discussing in his Keynote on ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ at the show.

Rail enthusiast Portillo, who received the prestigious Tourism Society Award in 2014 for his contributions in helping to promote 100s of UK destinations (and rail travel) via his popular Great British Railway Journeys TV series will be sharing highlights from his travels and insights into the rise of nostalgia tourism on Thursday 17 March.

From rail tracks to country trails, Adam Henson is another familiar face from the small screen making his debut at British Tourism & Travel Show.  Perhaps one of the best known farmers in the UK, Henson has helped grow the Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire (founded by his father Joe in 1971 to help to publicise and finance British rare breed farm animal conservation) into an award-winning countryside destination.

Whilst it’s often the big city attractions that make the headlines (and feature on much-publicised ‘most’ visited lists), the collective contributions of hundreds of thousands of small and medium tourism businesses – like the Cotswold Farm Park – are also vital to the country’s wider economy.  As the fifth biggest industry in the UK, tourism generates over £127bn per year and employs nearly 10% of the workforce.  Henson, who also co-presents the BBC’s Secret Britain series, which explores hidden gems of the countryside, will be discussing the importance of supporting rural tourism on Wednesday 16 March.

The full Keynote programme will be announced in January 2016.

Visitor registration now open

Absolutours, Alternative Tours, Brightwater Holidays, British Airways Holidays, Camping & Caravanning Club, Capital Taxi Tours, easy-breaks.com, G2 Travel, Glenton Holidays, Great Rail Journeys, Guiding You, JAC Travel, Johnson Coach Travel, Just for Groups, Just Go Holidays, Laver Holidays, Lucketts Travel, Miki Travel, One Traveller, Salta Tours International, spabreaks.com, Thomas Cook and Woods Travel – are just some of tour operators and travel organisers that have already pre-registered to visit for 2016.

“Simply the best and most productive travel show I have attended in the last 20 years,” says Mark Wilson, managing director of Rondo Travel.

“Coming to British Tourism and Travel Show was a great opportunity to renew contacts and research new products.  I love the show and was actually the last buyer to leave – I just didn’t want to go!” says 2015 visitor Rob Carroll, commercial manager at Railtrail Tours.

“It’s so worthwhile because everything’s here under one roof.  There are so many different hotel suppliers and attractions – I met everyone I need to meet here!” says Jamie Bawn, contracts manager at Red7 Leisure.

“I got enough great ideas here to keep me busy until the next show!” says Gary Lloyd, tours manager at Marchants Coaches.

British Tourism and Travel Show will return to the NEC Birmingham on the 16-17 March 2016.   For more information and to register for a free ticket, please visit www.tourismshow.co.uk and enter priority code BTTS200 (direct link: www.eventdata.co.uk/Visitor/TourismShow.aspx?TrackingCode=BTTS200)

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[1] Rail passenger journeys reached a record high of 1.65 billion between 2014-2015 (June 2015) - http://orr.gov.uk/news-and-media/email-alerts/2015/rail-passenger-journeys-reached-a-record-high-of-1.65-billion-between-2014-2015

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Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  In addition to British Tourism & Travel Show, Diversified UK’s event portfolio includes National Coach Tourism Awards; Coach & Bus Live; Euro Bus Expo; The Route One Operator Excellence Awards; Accountex; lunch!; Casual Dining; Commercial Kitchen; Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair & Natural Products Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; Natural and Organic Awards; camexpo; office*; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; and MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference.  For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.

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Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, Leamington Spa, and Nailsworth, Glos. Its brand portfolio includes: • Casual Dining (24-25 February 2016, Business Design Centre, London) www.casualdiningshow.co.uk • British Tourism & Travel Show - Best of Britain & ireland (16-17 March 2016, NEC, Birmingham) www.tourismshow.co.uk • Ocean Business, Offshore Survey Conference & Ocean Careers (April 2017, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton) www.oceanbusiness.com • Natural & Organic Products Europe (17-18 April 2016, ExCeL, London) www.naturalproducts.co.uk • Geo Business (24-25 May 2016, Business Design Centre, London) www.geobusinessshow.com • SITS - The IT Service Management Show (8-9 June 2016, Olympia, London) www.servicedeskshow.com • MARELEC International Marine Electromagnetics conference www.marelec.co.uk • lunch! (24-25 September 2015, Business Design Centre, London) www.lunchshow.co.uk • camexpo (26-27 September 2015, Olympia National Hall, London) www.camexpo.co.uk • Coach & Bus Live (30 September - 1 October, 2015, NEC, Birmingham) www.coachandbuslive.com/ • office* (13-14 October 2015, Olympia National Hall, London) www.officeshow.co.uk • Natural Products Scandinavia & Nordic Organic Food Fair (1-2 November 2015, MalmöMassan, Sweden) www.naturalproductsscandinavia.com & www.nordicorganicexpo.com • Euro Bus Expo (1-3 November 2016, NEC, Birmingham) www.eurobusxpo.com • Natural Products is Britain’s leading trade magazine for the natural and organic products industry (www.naturalproductsonline.co.uk) • The Natural Beauty Yearbook is the UK’s only dedicated trade guide to the natural and organic beauty and personal care market (www.naturalbeautyyearbook.co.uk) • Ocean Buzz is the weekly ocean technology eNewsletter providing the latest news and information from the industry (www.oceanbuzz.co.uk) • ServiceDesk360.com is a news, comment and discussion site dedicated to connecting, informing and learning within the ITSM community (www.servicedesk360.com) • Route One is the market-leading coach and bus industry weekly magazine (www.route-one.net) • Coach Monthly is the leading magazine for the coach tourism community, read by coach operators, tour planners and industry professionals (www.route-one.net) • Route One is the market-leading coach and bus industry weekly magazine (www.route-one.net) Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, eMedia, publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 800 staff, with divisions in the Eastern United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

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