The meetings and events industry - which accounts for an estimated quarter of UK tourism revenue - has called for greater support from government, after research revealed that corporate budgets are being tightened.
While the market is worth an estimated £22b - 26% of tourism revenue - investment in events and meetings in the UK has fallen as a result of corporate procurement strategies driving reduced costs, according to Hotel Brokers International.
Michael Hirst, chairman of Business Tourism Partnership, demanded more support from government, calling for ministers to attend overseas trade presentations and help attract business events to the UK, as happens in other European countries.
"If it can happen for sports events such as the Olympics, why can't it happen for business events?" he asked.
Kurt Janson, policy director of the Tourism Alliance, agreed, revealing that without the meetings and events sector, tourism in the UK would have actually declined over the last decade.
by Emily Manson
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