Domestic tourism set for further growth

British Tourism & Travel Show’s industry survey reports continued rise in domestic tourism

The domestic tourism industry was out in force at the British Tourism & Travel Show last month, on 22-23 March – checking out the latest offerings from 260 leading visitor attractions, venues, destinations, hotels, transport providers, associations and DMOs from across the UK and Ireland.

Excellent, professional, busy and productive and are just some of the words used to describe the largest domestic tourism showcase of the year, which welcomed 2,606 attendees for 2017.

“We are delighted with the event this year.  Following extensive consultation with the industry, we worked tirelessly to deliver a top-quality exhibition for the domestic tourism industry.  We had an inspirational and informative range of keynote speakers, plus a diverse selection of exhibitors, and provided an unrivalled opportunity for our exhibitors and visitors to build long-standing business relationships,” says David Maguire, group event director of the British Tourism & Travel Show.

“This is a really exciting time for British and Irish tourism.  Yes, there are challenges ahead but also plenty of potential for growth – reflected both at the show and in our latest survey results.  Visitor bookings are up and expected to stay up, with more people holidaying closer to home, while inbound tourism is enjoying a record high – with more overseas visitors than ever before,” he says.

The second Domestic Tourism Industry Snapshot Survey was completed before and during the event by travel and tour operators, DMOs, visitor attractions, destinations and hotels.  Its findings show continued positive growth for the sector and upbeat optimism for the opportunities ahead.

The survey found that 67% of respondents saw an increase in domestic visitor numbers and bookings in 2016, and 57% who completed the survey think that customer spending habits will improve over the next year.  78% are feeling either very or fairly optimistic about the future of the domestic travel trade.

A general consensus is that Brexit will continue to have an influence on future consumer spending (with mixed opinions on the actual impact of the Brexit vote on business’ prospects).  When asked specifically about the Brexit vote: 39% said last year’s referendum result had no discernible impact on their business, while 28% reported a positive impact.  The remaining 33%, many of whom also cater to the outbound tourism market, said it was already having a negative effect.  Notably, many respondents commented that it may be ‘too early to tell.’

As one may expect, value for money, experience and location (in that order) top the list of the three main factors their customers consider when booking an outing or trip.  Culture, accessibility catering, and being family friendly are next down the list.

An increase in staycations, more last minute bookings, a rise in inbound tourism (from China, the US and Canada, for example), a greater focus on experiential holidays and breaks, a rise in digitisation, more away days, and exploring lesser known locations outside of London, have been identified as some of the key trends to watch, among others.

To view the full results, please visit: www.tourismshow.co.uk/domestic-tourism-industry-snapshot-survey-2017-results.

Show highlights

From coastal retreats to heritage historic houses and big city attractions, this year’s British Tourism & Travel Show featured the best of what the British Isles has to offer.  Highlights included a revamped Historic Houses and Gardens area, the new Accessibility Clinic, and returning regional pavilions from Experience Scotland; Tourism South East; Visit Wales; and Tourism Ireland – each offering a wealth of new packages, ideas and inspiration for a range of group trips and tours.

The number and quality of visitors in attendance has led many exhibiting companies to already rebook for the next edition in 2018.  Among them are Warner Leisure Hotels, Hilton, Visit Liverpool, Encore Tickets, Greatdays Travel Group, Lucketts Travel, Roeville Reservation Software, Norman Allen Group Travel, Knowsley Safari, Devon’s Top Attractions, and Choice Hotels.

“British Tourism & Travel Show 2017 was a cracking show and again provided a great opportunity to meet existing customers and strengthen the Roeville brand.  We were also surprised by the number of new visitors and it was a pleasure to introduce them to our great line-up of coach hire and tour reservation products,” says John M Roe, managing director at Roeville Reservation Software.

“The show provides us with the opportunity to talk to coach operators, GTOs and tour planners.  The 2017 show was very busy and provided a platform to keep in touch with both regular customers, as well as making some valuable new contacts,” says Steve Christian, destination development manager at Visit Southport.

To view the 2017 exhibitor list, please visit www.tourismshow.co.uk/who-exhibits.

TV presenter Julia Bradbury, celebrity zookeeper Benjamin Mee, and senior representatives from TripAdvisor, Euromonitor International, and Travelzoo drew in the crowds over the two days.  Key issues and opportunities facing the domestic tourism sector, including Brexit, online bookings, new itinerary ideas, legislation, social media and the future of domestic tours, were discussed in exclusive Keynotes and panel sessions.

Big name attendees 

Top level travel organisers and tour operators who attended the show over the two days included: Acorne, Albatross Travel Group, British Airways Holidays, Daily Mail Travel, David Urquhart Travel, Great Rail Journeys, Heritage Railway Industry, JAC Travel, Johnsons Coach Travel, Kuoni Group Travel Experts, London Tourist Coach Operators Association, Marchants Coaches, National Holidays, Newmarket Holidays, Rondo Travel, Saga Holidays, Shearings Holidays, Titan Travel, Travelzoo, Virgin Trains, and Woods Travel.

“This is my favourite show, which I attend each year without fail.  Its packed full of inspiration, new products and you even get to listen and engage with guest speakers.  The two days enable you to speak to many suppliers and attractions in person, and I always come away with exciting new ideas for tours,” says Joanna Watson, specialist tours manager at Rondo Travel.

“This is my favourite show and is an absolute must for tour operators wanting to find new tour ideas and to network with suppliers,” says Denise Hanson, proprietor at Hanson Exclusives.

“One of the most productive travel trade shows I have attended in recent years.  A good mix of suppliers new and old and I have made some great contacts.  I will hopefully secure some good commercial agreements over the coming weeks and months,” says John Mullen, area manager at Wanup.

“A truly excellent way of meeting those involved in travel tourism in one place with a great atmosphere. I will encourage our members to attend in 2018,” says Peter Bradley, director of administration and development at London Tourist Coach Operators Association.

“My first experience of the show was an ‘eye opener’, with so many potential opportunities.  It provided real visual growth to progress within the travel industry.  I look forward to the next event,” says Sarbjit Singh, operations manager at Maya Travel Limited.

“It was good to be able to talk face to face with the representatives on each stand, all of whom prove very welcoming.  The exercise will enable us to plan our programmes more easily and efficiently for later this year,” says David King, director of TourLux UK.

Save the date for 2018

British Tourism & Travel Show returns to the NEC Birmingham on 21-22 March 2018.  For further information, please visit www.tourismshow.co.uk.



Media enquiries and photography requests to:

Sharna Waid, PR Executive
t: +44 (0)1273 645144
e: [email protected]
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DiversifiedUK
Website: www.divcom.co.uk

Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: [email protected]

Event enquiries:

David Maguire, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645127
e: [email protected]
Website: www.tourismshow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tourism_show
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TourismTravelShow

Exhibitor enquiries:

Lloyd Jones, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1733 889 684
e: [email protected]


BTTS 2018 logo: https://www.tourismshow.co.uk//wp-content/uploads/btts_2018_logo.png

High res images can be downloaded below.  More available on request:


Benjamin Mee Keynote – https://www.tourismshow.co.uk//wp-content/uploads/BTTS_Highlights-056.jpg

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast-growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  In addition to British Tourism & Travel Show, Diversified UK’s portfolio includes British Coach Tourism Awards; Coach Monthly; CDC News; miniPLUS; CDC Coach Tourism Yearbook; Coach & Bus Live; Euro Bus Expo; RouteONE magazine; RouteONE Operator Excellence Awards; Accountex; lunch!; Casual Dining; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; Commercial Kitchen; Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair & Natural Products Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; Natural and Organic Awards; camexpo; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; and MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference.  For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations.  Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management.  Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries.  For more information, visit: www.divcom.com.


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