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Mice Net : December 2008
news visitbritian discovery 2008 story By Toni EaTTs If you thInk of Manchester and LIverpooL as grim industrial cities, think again. Both have what it takes to excel in the MIce market. t’s easy to forget that Manchester is the birthplace of the industrial revolution. Put simply, we work the way we do these days because of the changes that took place in Manchester during the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s. And what transpired there wouldn’t have been possible if the port of Liverpool hadn’t been nearby to handle the deliveries of cotton which fuelled the growth of the textile industry, and therefore industry as we know it today. Little wonder then that these cities offer some great venues for conferences and meetings. Added to this are the wonderful incentive opportunities provided by the picturesque Lakes District of Beatrix Potter fame, just two hours drive away. VisitBritain, meanwhile, is determined to capitalise on the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games by promoting what’s available in the UK for business visits and events. To this end, 69 fully qualified overseas buyers and 14 meetings and incentive media representatives (filing for 24 markets) attended Discovery 2008, held on October 19 and 20, in Manchester and Liverpool. The visitors met with 50 key UK suppliers during the event which included a day of workshops at Manchester’s world-famous Old Trafford stadium, home to legendary soccer team Manchester United. I 100 mice.net Speaking at Discovery 2008, Joss Croft, head of Business Visits and Events at VisitBritain, said the aim was to provide prospective buyers with “an inspirational, unique and memorable snapshot of the UK”. “We want to give buyers different experiences in a short time and challenge perceptions of this country. The attractiveness of the UK is not based solely on historic attractions but on Britain’s modernity, dynamism and business efficiency.” Delegates from “South Africa to Poland, USA to China, France to Australia, Portugal to Russia, Italy to Spain, Norway to Germany and everything in between” could see what Mr Croft intended simply by taking a closer look at the host cities. Liverpool is this year’s European Capital of Culture and the Discovery program kicked off with a 50-minute bus trip from Manchester to Liverpool, via Penny Lane, the road immortalised in The Beatles’ song of the same name. It was then onto a champagne reception and private tour of the Beatles Story, a celebration of the lives of the ‘fab four’. This unique attraction is located at Liverpool’s historic Albert Dock, a modernised area that’s a great example of how Britain’s industrial cities are reinventing themselves. After viewing the Beatles Story, delegates undertook a short walk