In a year that will see Harrogate taking centre stage for the ‘Olympics of cycling,’ the UCI Road World Championships, our town has welcomed another major global event for the tourism industry this week.
Hundreds of delegates from more than 31 countries, including China, India, Germany and Brazil, are staying in Harrogate for Visit Britain’s flagship conference, ExploreGB at the Harrogate Convention Centre, which is considered an invaluable opportunity for tourist attractions, travel groups, transport networks and hotel chains to meet and do business with more than 200 international travel buyers.
The president of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, Steve Scarre, has welcomed the conference as another exciting opportunity to showcase Harrogate on the global stage, and hopefully drum up return visitors for business and leisure.
He said: “If Harrogate can put on a good show for events like this, and give people the best welcome, then hopefully they will remember that experience and come back again to do business here - boosting our hotels, and hopefully our hospitality sector in general. It’s fantastic that this is coming to Harrogate, and adds to a big year for the town.”
ExploreGB opened yesterday, Wednesday, and the last day is tomorrow, Friday. Delegates have come to represent attractions such as Blenheim Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, Hard Rock Café London, and travel groups Great Western Railway and London North Eastern Railways - as well as organisations such as Historic Scotland, the Royal Horticultural Society, and Shakespeare’s Globe.
A number of hoteliers in Harrogate have reported a boost from ExploreGB.
The general Manager at the Country Living St George Hotel, Adam Dyke, said: “We are delighted to be hosting international guests from 30 different countries attending the conference. It is wonderful to be able to be part of the event and show the international tourism industry that makes Harrogate so inviting for visitors from all over the world.”
The event consists of up to 50 meetings, based on both supplier and buyer preferences, and has networking opportunities throughout.