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April 16, 2008

VisitBritain forms strategic partnership with the EIA

The UK’s tourism authority, VisitBritain, has become a strategic partner of the Event Industry Alliance (EIA) in a move which benefits both parties through exchange of sector knowledge and support. The initiative comes three months after the authority’s launch of eventBritain whose core objective is to work with UK industry partners to support bids for sporting, business and cultural events.

In the five years to 2006, the latest IPS figures show a 49% increase in the number of overseas business visitors whose purpose was to attend an event as against 30% for ‘other business’ activities. During the same period, the spending power of that group rose by 56% as against 28% for ‘other business’ activities. It is not surprising, therefore, that the UK’s tourism authority has targeted the high value and rapidly growing events sector and partnered with the EIA.


Foley: An unprecedented opportunity


The partnership will provoke a sharing of research data and take advantage of intellectual input from both sides. A cash injection will benefit EIA’s promotional activity, going straight into ‘front line’ activities – including PR and government lobbying – where synergies will be exploited. EIA also has the opportunity to present its highly successful ‘Live Events Work’ programme internally to VisitBritain staff, and externally to government departments and agencies. Furthermore, EIA will lend support to VisitBritain’s funding requests for additional budget to help secure visitor numbers at the London 2012 Olympics.

Commenting on this strategic partnership, EIA group chief executive Trevor Foley said: “The team at VisitBritain has a great understanding of the events sector and its value to UK plc. This partnership offers an unprecedented opportunity for us to work together and take advantage of the very real upsurge in live event marketing that is sweeping the marketing world, as more and more brands wake up and tap into the unique ability of events to deliver that crucial brand experience.”

Alex Paul, manager of eventBritain at VisitBritain, added: “The events industry is one of the fasting growing sectors of the visitor economy and it is, therefore, vital for VisitBritain to work closely with this key sector. The newly created specialist unit within VisitBritain, eventBritain, is focused on supporting this sector as much as possible. The partnership with EIA will offer eventBritain a marketing partner to promote not only the value of the events sector, but also the value added service that eventBritain can offer UK partners.”

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