International coup for Harrogate travel industry

Harrogate Convention Centre.
Harrogate Convention Centre.

Hundreds of the world’s travel journalists and travel buyers are set to come to Harrogate in a coup for both Harrogate Convention Centre and the town’s visitor economy.

The news that Harrogate Convention Centre is to host next year’s ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s largest travel trade event, has been hailed as a potential game changer.

Richard Spencer, chief executive of Visit Harrogate, said: “We are expecting nearly 400 key decision makers from the international travel and media industry and upwards of 800 delegates in total representing one of the biggest gatherings of travel trade professionals this country will see in 2019.
“The impact of hosting this event in our town will ripple through time and the travel industry for many years to come.”

A flagship travel event, ExploreGB gives UK tourism suppliers and local destinations a valuable opportunity to get their products and services in front of hundreds of international buyers, as well as doing business with global markets, boosting visitor numbers and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across the UK.

Simon Kent, director of Harrogate Convention Centre, said: “This is a brilliant event not only for the Convention Centre but for the whole town.
“Next year is going to have a real international feel in Harrogate, as we welcome not only the UCI Road World Championships but now ExploreGB. too.
“It’s a great accolade for the whole district.”

The scale of the coup for Harrogate can be judged by the fact the event’s previous hosts include Newcastle, Gateshead, Brighton, Liverpool and Ascot.

Sir Gary Verity DL, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, also welcomed the news as a “fantastic opportunity” for Harrogate and Yorkshire as a whole
He said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with VisitBritain to bring its flagship event to Yorkshire.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Harrogate and the whole county to travel buyers from across the globe with the aim of encouraging even more visitors to Yorkshire.
“The host, Harrogate, has much to be proud of and look forward to in 2019; Harrogate will not only welcome VisitBritain’s hundreds of international guests in May but will also have the eyes of the world on it in September as it hosts the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.”

As well as thousands of business meetings at the two-day trade event which runs from May 8-10, buyers and international journalists from countries across the globe will also attend seminars and networking events to boost their knowledge of the UK as a tourist destination.

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