Cheltenham has today launched a new initiative to support the recovery and growth of the town’s vital and highly valuable business tourism market.
The new Meet in Cheltenham initiative, which is led by the town’s marketing body, Marketing Cheltenham, has been developed to attract more conference, meeting and event business to Cheltenham and its surrounding areas – a sector of the economy that has been amongst the hardest hit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through its new website, the new Meet in Cheltenham service will provide free and professional venue finding for local, national and international businesses or planners seeking to bring their events to the town. From large 2000+ delegate conferences to small, secure, private meetings and from team building away days to corporate incentives, Meet in Cheltenham will help to source accommodation, event space and suppliers, whilst also providing practical destination support and advice. It currently has more than 20 venues involved with further venues expected to join.
David Jackson, Manager of Marketing Cheltenham, said of Meet in Cheltenham, “The business tourism market is worth upwards of £40million to Cheltenham’s economy, so our Meet in Cheltenham initiative comes just at the right time to support our venues and suppliers to bounce back after a really challenging year.”
“With the superb range of venues and event spaces we have in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire as whole, coupled with the new investment that’s coming in, particularly around cyber, there’s undoubtedly a huge opportunity for Cheltenham and the wider region to capitalise on the corporate event and conference market.”
Peter Hendry, Interim Cluster General Manager from Jurys Inn added, “We know that Cheltenham has lacked a centralised conference desk for a number of years, so the creation of the new Meet in Cheltenham venue finding service was something we’ve been pushing for for some time. We’re looking forward to working with the team at Marketing Cheltenham to really capitalise on the pent-up demand for corporate events into 2021 and beyond and to really put Cheltenham back on the map as a major UK conference and business tourism destination.”
Business tourism contributed more than £8billion to the UK economy in 2018. National tourism body VisitBritain and the national Tourism Sector Deal both identify business tourism as one of the key priorities over the coming years, with the ambition to make the UK the leading destination for business events in Europe.