Britain at "clear disadvantage" bidding for international events

Britain needs more financial support from government to host international business events, according to a report from the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP).

Britain at "clear disadvantage" bidding for international events
Britain at "clear disadvantage" bidding for international events

The report analysed subvention - grants and financial aid offered by a country’s government - in different countries.

It found that when bidding for events, UK cities are losing out to destinations like Barcelona, Copenhagen and Cape Town, many of which provide free transport and co-ordinated hotel rates.

The report states: "It is clear from our research that the UK and UK destinations are at a competitive disadvantage when bidding for major international conferences and related events. Competition from new and emerging destinations, as well as from existing key competitors, will only increase in the years ahead."

The BVEP report found 83% of overseas destinations offered civil receptions hosted by officials to delegates, whereas only 35% of UK destinations did the same.

A contribution to marketing an event was available in 50% of overseas destinations, but only in 17% of UK locations.

And 50% of overseas destinations offered a direct subsidy for an international conference or event, compared to only 23% in the UK.

The report calls for a ‘more effective joined-up approach’ because of the long-term importance of conferences and events. Up to 40% of business visitors to the UK can be expected to return with their families for leisure.

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