New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) The British national tourism agency, VisitBritain, will host its main international travel trade event in Bangalore in 2011, it was announced during Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit Wednesday.
‘Destination Britain and Ireland 2011 or DEBI’ will enable leading firms from Britain to meet 100 of the top buyers from 15 countries across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Australia regions, a press statement issued by VisitBritain in the capital said.
The event is expected to generate nearly pounds 10 million of tourism business for more than 70 companies that are due to take part. The companies range from Selfridges to Merlin attractions that owns Legoland, Alton Towers, The London Eye and Madame Tussauds, it said.
The statement said India was a key market for VisitBritain because the rapidly growing middle class has aspirations and, increasingly, the money to travel.
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: ‘The number of visitors from India to Britain has more than doubled over the past 15 years, and we want to do all we can to ensure this growth continues.’
‘Holding one of its largest events in Bangalore next year will not only inspire more people to visit our shores, but increase in business for all those within the UK tourism industry as well.’
Furnishing statistics to justify the decision, the statement by the British tourism agency said ‘the number of visitors from India to Britain has more than doubled over the past 15 years to 270,000 a year’.
The total number of visitors to Britain is expected to grow by more than 400,000 over the next decade, the statement said.
The organisation has also tied up with the Standard Chartered Bank to issue discount travel cards for tourists from India.
For Britain, India figures among the top 20 overseas markets.