Destination Management Organisations and hotel consortia from across the North of England gathered to discuss how to attract more overseas visitors this week.
The attendees also discussed opportunities available by working with Online Travel Agents (OTAs) at the VisitBritain workshop with the Expedia group, in Leeds.
The event followed a wider initiative to promote the North of England to overseas markets, encouraging greater collaboration between partners from the private sector and national tourism bodies in the north.
The workshop, facilitated by Anke Monestel, head of England partner engagement from VisitEngland, highlighted how organisations such as Marketing Manchester and Marketing Liverpool work with OTAs to bolster international visitors.
Delegates also heard from the Expedia group’s Krishan Kadodwala, Niall McClandish and Monice Lee who provided an overview and case studies of how OTAs works with accommodation providers and destination services to deliver greater marketing power.
Visit Britain’s Josephine Ball joined Kayleigh Britland from Expedia to talk through how working in partnership on joint marketing and promotional initiatives has helped attract overseas travellers.
Krishan Kadodwala, the Expedia group’s area manager for UK and Ireland, said: “With international visitors generally staying longer, spending more and booking further in advance we really welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Visit Britain on this workshop.”
Carol Dray, commercial director, VisitBritain, said: “With more people booking online than ever, OTAs have become a valuable distribution channel for tourism businesses.
“This event is a fantastic opportunity for Northern England destinations to come together and share their experiences, challenges and opportunities of working with OTAs and to explore what Expedia and OTAs in general can offer businesses and DMOs in the North of England in order that they attract more business from overseas visitors.”
Last year set a record for inbound tourism to the UK on visits and spend, with 36.1 million visits, 5% up on 2014, and spending up 1% to £22.1 billion.