Travel industry experts from around the world flew in to Stratford-upon-Avon to connect in the town for the first time – all thanks to Shakespeare’s England.

The destination management organisation for South Warwickshire hosted VIBE – VisitBritian’s annual International Business Exchange – which saw its top representatives from across the globe, including Russia and Germany, visit the tourist destination.

The event, which was held in Warwickshire for the first time, welcomed the international delegates for a day of networking, workshops and tourism talks and offered a unique opportunity for the local travel trade business to meet market specialists from around the world.

Alongside the programme of seminars and networking opportunities, delegates were given the chance to meet with experts for 15-minute meetings with representatives from China, France, Germany, USA, Turkey, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Nordics, South Korea and Spain.

The international staff gave advice on how to gain maximum exposure with local travel trade and, ultimately, how to build international business.

VIBE events take place annually and are held in London with one event held outside of the capital, and this year the tourism team selected the Crowne Plaza in Stratford to host the B2B networking session.

The International delegates were given a taste of the town with an evening to explore all that Stratford has to offer including a dinner at Greek restaurant El Greco.

Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England expressed how useful it was for Stratford to be placed on the global stage for delegates, moving the events away from being London-focused.

She said: “Thank you to the VisitBritain team for choosing Shakespeare’s England as the host location for this conference, and highlight what is going on outside of the capital city.

“To be able to expand the tourism-focus of England to the wider region is a wonderful opportunity and we were so thrilled to have welcomed our VisitBritain colleagues and remind them just how much Coventry and Warwickshire has to offer over and above our Shakespeare-related product. The dinner at El Greco certainly opened a few eyes and minds.”

Carol Dray, Commercial Director for VisitBritain said: “Without the strong partnerships we have with local DMOs such as Shakespeare’s England, events such as this one would not happen.

“The local knowledge from such teams is invaluable and we’re glad to have been able to visit, we’d like to thank Helen Peters and the Shakespeare’s England team for their continued help and support.”

Picture caption: (left to right)  Rae Taylor, Head of E-Commerce and Trade for VisitBritain, Carol Dray, Commercial Director for VisitBritain and Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England.

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