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UK: historic cities form new joint convention bureau

Two neighbouring cities in the southwest of England have joined forces to attract conference business following an ‘extremely difficult year’ for the UK meetings industry.

The port city of Bristol has teamed up with the historic city of Bath to form Meet Bristol & Bath, a joint convention bureau representing both cities and the surrounding area.

Previously both cities were represented by their own bureau.

The partnership aims to benefit local businesses that wish to attract conferences and business events, helping to boost the visitor economy for the region and aid industry recovery.

“Representing two cities with such varying offers, plus their surrounding areas is hugely beneficial and gives us a competitive edge when bidding for events. We are working hard to put plans and actions in place to aid recovery after what has been an extremely difficult year for the industry,” Meet Bristol & Bath convention bureau manager, Amy Bramhall said.

VisitEngland’s head of business events, Kerrin MacPhie added: “The launch of the new convention bureau, Meet Bristol & Bath is an exciting development for the business events industry in England.

“Both destinations offer a wealth of opportunity and leading business events facilities which combined will make an unforgettable visitor experience.  We are excited to promote this new convention bureau to event planners at MeetEngland Virtual alongside 29 other leading English destinations, showcasing the many ways future events can be reimagined in England.”

The joint venture comes as the region develops its venue portfolio with the YTL Arena Bristol due to open in 2023, the Leonardo Hotel is scheduled for 2021 and the Clayton Hotel which will have 255 bedrooms and extensive meeting space, due to open in Q1 2022.

Simon Hughes, chair of Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) said: “The BVEP is delighted to learn of this initiative. The importance of strong local resources to represent and facilitate growth for business events should never be understated. Bristol and Bath and the surrounding region offer some of the best amenities for meetings, conferences, and exhibitions in unique locations. Combining the two cities will undoubtedly create a more efficient and effective marketing platform”.

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