ETOA, UKinbound bullish on recovery with record BIM attendance
The Britain and Ireland Marketplace BIM, which takes place on 28 January at the O2 Intercontinental and online on Tuesday 1 February, is touting a record number of attendees.
The hybrid event, co-organised by ETOA and UKinbound, has achieved high levels of attendees despite the number of inbound visitors to the UK having suffered a major dip over the last two years.
New data from the two organisations shows 87% of tour operators have seen a decline of over 50% in their business.
"This disguises the severity of the situation," said Tom Jenkins CEO of ETOA.
"These figures include outbound travel. The figure for those companies who sell to visitors coming into the UK would be closer to 90% suffering a 90% decline."
"But the bookings we have received for BIM proves there is resilience in the market. Participants at this event are there to confirm last minute business for 2022 and place bookings for 2023. Attendance, 50% up on pre-Covid levels is heartening. ETOA members in North America have made it clear that there is unprecedented demand for a European trip this year, and the UK will be part of this recovery."
Around 170 individual purchasing managers are attending over the two days, from locations as far apart as California and Shanghai.
Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound, said: "This has been a dire two years for the industry, but I am delighted that so many buyers are attending this joint UKinbound and ETOA event. This gives some guarded optimism both for the coming season and for the recovery in 2023."
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