Bois, MP and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG), says he
was 'uncomfortable' with the dismantling of the business visits and events arm
within national tourism agency VisitBritain.
The comments were made in an exclusive interview on IMEX TV
with meetpie.com’s managing editor Martin Lewis,
during the IMEX trade show in Frankfurt, where
de Bois was speaking at the Politicians Forum.
at VisitBritain last year led the agency to end all
organisation and participation in trade shows and exhibitions, while it was
decided it would no longer ‘take up specific issues relating to business tourism and events' in
government unless the issues relate to wider aspects of Britain’s
competitiveness, like VAT or visas.
During the interview, de Bois said: “I am uncomfortable with this concept
because it is effectively linking [business and events travel] with tourism.
I’d like to see that changed and to see the events industry be part of a
business-focused department, unless it becomes absolutely apparent that tourism
and business event marketing are really getting the same focus of attention. My
instincts say they are not.”
"The value of tourism is probably higher on the [government’s] agenda than
the value of business travel, so we have more work to do on that. It’s not just
the fact that business delegates probably on average contribute more than 72
per cent more than tourists do, but it’s about the value-added agenda of the
entire events industry."
The complete interview can
be viewed at: http://internationalmeetingsreview.com/clients/imex/2012/index-13.php
Pictured: Nick de Bois