BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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Event Industry leaders show support for English Tourism Week

English Tourism Week 2015 has kicked off with a week long programme of events from 14 – 22 March to celebrate tourism in England. The industry-wide initiative run by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, is designed to shine a light on the importance of tourism in England - an industry worth £106bn a year to England, supporting 2.6 million jobs.

The week will feature a combination of business and consumer focused events across the country with the aim of raising the profile of tourism, highlighting the important contribution it makes to England's economy and its potential for future growth.

Michael Hirst (Chairman of BVEP), Simon Hughes (Vice-Chair of BVEP and representing EVCOM), Chris Skeith (CEO of AEO) and James Morgan PhD CSEP (representing ISES) joined VisitEngland to fly the flag for tourism at a Tourism Alliance parliamentary reception held at the House of Commons on Monday 16 March to mark the launch of English Tourism Week 2015. Minister for Tourism Helen Grant attended, with guest speakers including Paul Maynard MP, Bill Beaumont, Chair of RFU and Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Sajid Javid.

The Secretary of State indicated during his speech that his department would be launching a policy for the event industry in the forthcoming days.

English Tourism Week, now in its fourth year, will see hundreds of attractions, hotels and other tourism businesses across England putting on special events, promotions and competitions to encourage more visitors through their doors, and inspire people to become tourism ambassadors for their local area. One of those events is Back to the Shop Floor on Friday 20 March, where MPs across England show their support for the sector by visiting local tourism businesses, with many going back to the shop floor to help on a practical level.

Michael Hirst, Chairman of BVEP said: "Events play a preeminent role in attracting visitors. It is very encouraging that the Secretary of State decided to announce the forthcoming government policy for the industry during English Tourism Week."

VisitEngland Chief Executive James Berresford said: "English tourism is a thriving, growing industry with the value to the economy expected to double to over £216bn by 2025, providing 1 in every 10 jobs. Established as one of the key events in the tourism calendar, English Tourism Week continues to raise the profile of the sector by demonstrating the importance of tourism to the economy and employment, whilst highlighting the many opportunities for growth."

"It is a chance for us all to celebrate the quality and vibrancy of our visitor experiences in a week-long programme of events to kick start the 2015 season. Plus it provides a platform for tourism businesses to really showcase the wonderful events, attractions and scenery they have on offer for people who live locally, as well encourage visitors from across the country and abroad to experience England's variety, accessibility and value."

To view some of the events taking place across the country as part of English Tourism Week visit www.englishtourismweek.com and follow @VisitEnglandBiz on twitter using #ETW15.

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Notes to Editor:

The Business Visits and Events Partnership is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations and agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector. The Sector includes meetings and conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, incentive travel, outdoor events, corporate hospitality sporting and cultural and music events and festivals.

The total value of the Sector as measured by direct expenditure is £39.1 bn. A further £7.7bn. is spent by accompanying visitors. In total this is equivalent to 35% of the UK visitor economy. Additionally the Sector is a catalyst for trade, exports and inward investment at business events and exhibitions, and cultural festivals create regeneration, destination investment and promote community cohesion and destination profile. The businesses in the sector export their professionalism, expertise and creativity which are a strong hallmark of Britain's event skills.