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Gloucestershire tourism to be showcased to world

Representatives of Gloucestershire's tourism industry will meet international buyers at travel trade events next week.

Staff from the official destination organisations of Cotswolds Tourism and Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism association will be taking part in events with VisitBritain.

The hosted visits are all part of the national tourism agency's Showcase Britain event, which gets underway with a networking event for international buyers and travel media at Tottenham Hotspur's stadium in London on January 26.

The representatives from Cotswolds Tourism and Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism will have one-to-one meetings with international buyers at the event, followed by a hosted familiarisation trip for international buyers from the Netherlands.

The event closes with a destination showcase event being held in Bristol on January 29, with presentations which will highlight the gems of the Cotswolds and the wider area, including Forest of Dean, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.

Rebecca Clay, from Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tourism, said: "We are looking forward to working with Cotswolds Tourism to present the destinations to a range of buyers from the UK's three largest inbound markets - the USA, France and Germany - as well as from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, India, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, South Korea and Spain.

"Prior to the pandemic, the destinations had worked together on trade-focussed projects such as Uncover the Cotswolds and US Connections. This enabled us to set up a dedicated travel trade website for the wider region, with authentic bookable local experiences from across the whole area."

Sally Graff, from Cotswolds Tourism, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming operators back to the area in one of our first hosted familiarisation trips since the pandemic. We will highlight the destination to buyers from the Netherlands following the events in London.

"We want to extend a big thank you to the businesses involved, including the Close Hotel in Tetbury and Rodmarton Manor and garden. We are keen to work with local businesses who want to learn more about working with inbound tour operators and enhance our trade website with new experiences and accommodation providers, to ensure we are promoting the comprehensive offer of the wider destination."

VisitBritain's latest forecast for 2023 estimates 35.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 86% of 2019 levels and 18% higher than levels seen in 2022. Its forecast for overseas visitor spending in the UK this year is £29.5 billion, a projected record high for annual inbound visitor spend.

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