Destination Bristol’s Marketing Manager Jon Chamberlain tells us about his attendance at Destination Britain North America.


Image - one of my appointments at DBNA2017

During September I travelled to Los Angeles to attend Destination Britain North America (DBNA), a travel trade event organised by VisitBritain. The two-and-a-half-day event takes the same form as many such events, with a series of pre-arranged one-to-one meetings between buyers and suppliers alongside seminars and networking opportunities.

DBNA involves the travel trade from USA and Canada being hosted by VisitBritain. At this event there were 47 buyers from across the USA, 16 from Canada and seven travel trade journalists. Destination Bristol had 55 scheduled meetings, which seemed to be more than many of the suppliers in the room.


Image - establishing how I can help the buyers

The 12-minute appointments were just long enough to establish needs from the buyers and a wish-list for follow up. Some were with companies who are already putting business into the city and others were completely new. The excellent transport links to Bristol were firmly presented, including flights to Bristol Airport from the US via Dublin and the other European hubs as well as rail and road links from London.


Image - demonstrating the flights links to Bristol

There was a great deal of interest in heritage tours and with Bristol’s links with the US, this is something the city can (and already does) exploit.

Cary Grant Star in Hollywood

Image - Bristolian Archibald Leach's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, (c) Jon Chamberlain/Destination Bristol

I am also finding there is more and more appetite for using Bristol as a ‘hub and spoke’ destination. Traditionally a concept for staying in London, there are many draws for international visitors within easy reach of Bristol, suitable for day trips. Bath, Stonehenge, Wells, Glastonbury, the Somerset coast, Cardiff, South Wales and The Cotswolds can be combined into a series of day trips whilst being based in Bristol. This can extend the number of nights within the city for both FIT (individuals) and groups.


Image - selling Bristol to the US and Candadian markets

As well as pre-scheduled meetings with buyers and journalists, I was also able to speak to many of the UK-based suppliers who were also there, updating them about plans in Bristol in the coming years as well as talking about some of their clients I may have just met and how we can help facilitate getting that business to Bristol. Many other city destinations and large visitor attractions were represented as well as some accommodation suppliers, not least Destination Bristol member, Clevedon Hall.

Overall, a successful event that will continue to reap rewards for Destination Bristol members in the medium-long term by securing more business from the US and Canada into the city.

VisitBritain publish Market Insights data on all their international markets, including USA and Canada, browse the data here.

To find out more, feel free to e-mail me

Unless stated, all photos credit VisitBritain / Kyle Espeleta