DEBI, VisitBritain’s largest travel trade event for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, took place 14-17 May 2012 in Bangkok. TSE was joined by Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Visit Oxfordshire and Bicester Village.
There were 62 suppliers, 96 buyers and 13 media from 16 markets across the region and a record of 46% new buyers and 32% new suppliers – a record year of new participation.
The event started with a supplier briefing on the latest GREAT Britain advertising, partnership and B2B work in the region. Suppliers also heard from VB’s Country Managers and had one to one sessions to gain more insights into the market. This was followed by the Gala Dinner with Heritage, Countryside, Music and Food as key themes. Over the next 2 days TSE had 56 B2B appointments both with trade and a few media. Our appointments covered Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan Thailand, United Arab Emirates.
Buyers reported general reluctance to travel during the Olympics due to high prices for flights, coaches and accommodation but expecting tours to be displaced to September onwards. Booking time reduced significantly 35-60 days. More buyers booking FIT than previous years.
The outlook is more positive than shown in the UKInbound Business Barometer released May 12, which shows that 67% of tour operators see the global economic climate as an inhibitor to inbound business. This may be due to the operators at DEBI being from Asia Pacific countries which are less affected by the global economic climate.
TSE attends DEBI to represent its partners in the Go! Asia Pacific campaign which as well as the attendees above include Windsor, Brighton, Hampshire, Waddesdon Manor, Hartwell House and Arundel Castle.
‘This was the seventh DEBI I have attended and it is probably the most productive event of the year. In previous years, the key focus has been the Chinese buyers but as we also attended VisitBritain’s China Trade Mission, we extended the target countries this year.’ Karen Roebuck, Head of Marketing & Membership