This year’s British Tourism & Travel Show (BTTS) has been postponed until 24-25 March 2021, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The show had previously been postponed until October, following an earlier postponement from its regular March slot. However, the magnitude and unprecedented scale of the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent government restrictions have hit the travel, tourism, hospitality, and leisure sectors the hardest.
The show’s organisers says that while the UK’s strict lockdown measures are expected to ease over the coming months, social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings will remain for the foreseeable future. Notably, many of the show’s exhibitors and visitors are among the 7.5 million people currently furloughed, with thousands of businesses and destinations waiting to reopen, which makes it even harder for firms to plan many months ahead.
“Like all businesses, we have been closely following the rapidly changing developments during these difficult times,” says David Maguire, BTTS group event director. “Whilst we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by the autumn, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run this year’s British Tourism & Travel Show. Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better event in 2021.
“We appreciate how important BTTS is to the industry it serves and are very sorry to disappoint the thousands of attendees that were planning on exhibiting and visiting. However, the success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, speakers and visitors has always been our priority and we are hoping that everyone will get behind this tough but necessary decision.
“We would like to thank everyone – our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners – for their support, and we look forward to working together to ensure that BTTS continues to be the celebration and gathering the industry deserves – and can be proud of.”
The decision to postpone has been widely supported by the show’s exhibitors and associations, including Coach Tourism Association, Visit Wales, Tourism Ireland, Albatross Travel, Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Liverpool, Action Tours, ITO Tours, Ashley & Newey, Advantage Now, Greatdays Travel Group, Roeville, Warner Leisure Hotels, Cotswold Tourism, and Devon’s Top Attractions, among others.