Scheme to lure international visitors back to Bath launched to global travel industry

June 17, 2022

A new service to boost domestic and international travel trade business in Bath has been launched as the city’s visitor economy continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The team at Visit West, the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) that runs Visit Bath, identified a potential gap in the market as logistical planning for group and independent travel visits this summer undergoes rapid change. 

The booking window for international visits is now shorter than ever with markets that are traditionally many months in planning now being just a few weeks.

Matched with increased demand to book via a travel agent as well as staff changes at many tourism businesses, tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs), this means that there could be gaps in known contacts, with the potential for inbound business being lost from the region if opportunities are not being serviced efficiently and effectively.

Prior to the pandemic, just under a quarter of all staying trips in the region were by international visitors.

However, these trips generated 43% of all visitor nights and 40% of all spend – meaning Visit West saw it as vital that it do all it could to help market recovery.

This was even more vital in Bath, where the visitor economy was estimated to be worth around £470m a year in 2019 and a third of the nearly 1.2m people staying the area for at least one night coming from overseas.

Under the new scheme, a simple inquiry email can be quickly and easily distributed among local businesses that may be able to fill their inventory at shorter notice than is usual with a travel trade booking – so ensuring the business stays in the destination.

This can also have a longer-term benefit of matching operators and DMCs with products they were previously unaware of.

It also helps where newer staff may not be up to speed with what is on offer in the West of England.

The new Destination Triage service covers all elements of a trip required by the trade, including accommodation, tours, experiences, food and drink, attractions and transportation.

Visit West will promote the service directly to as many travel trade contacts as possible, alongside pushing the message in relevant travel trade forums.

Visit West head of marketing Jon Chamberlain said: “After [national travel trade showcase] Explore GB earlier this year, the team discussed the feedback from our meetings.

“There was a common theme running throughout, that the trade is going to need as much help as they can get this year as international visitors return to the UK. This is when the idea of Destination Triage was born.

“We have the local knowledge and contacts that can help the travel trade and make their lives easier whilst also helping retain or increase the business within our region – a win-win scenario.”

Promotional activity includes a dedicated page on the Visit West travel trade website, direct emails to contacts and databases and social media messaging. 

Top image courtesy of Visit Bath


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