National tourism boards VisitBritain and VisitEngland have appointed Chris Foy as the new head of business visits and events.
Foy joined VisitBritain in 2003 and has held a variety of senior roles within the organisation, including most recently as head of nations and regions. Prior to this he spent time on secondment to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, reporting to the central GREAT Britain campaign team at 10 Downing Street – a role that has given him contacts at high level in parts of FCO, UKTI and DCMS.
Foy takes up his new role on 1 April and is charged with leading the business visits and events strategy to contribute to the overall growth of business tourism in Britain.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland director of marketing Joss Croft said: “I’m delighted to appoint Chris as the new head of business visits and events. He brings a wealth of experience and industry contacts to the role as well as a proven track-record of project management, negotiation and diplomacy that will be a real asset as we work towards growing and spreading the economic benefits of business tourism across all of Britain’s nations and regions.”
Foy said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with Britain’s world class destinations and venues to drive more business tourism and generate export platforms for British industry.
“I’ve seen the positive impact that major events can bring first hand through my work on the 2012 Games and look forward to working on other successful projects over the coming years.”
Foy’s career at VisitBritain also includes four years as head of VisitBritain’s 2012 Games Unit which provided insight into the priorities of key destinations beyond mainstream tourism.
In his new post key focuses will be working with UK destinations to win international business events focusing on national priority industry sectors, maximising the visitor spend from business events through increased delegate numbers and extended stays, and maximising the potential legacies of international events through investment and export opportunities. He will also support the wider England priorities on business visits and events.
As part of VisitBritain’s new strategy for business visits and events, the current Britain for Events campaign, which has run since 2010, will be replaced in 2016 by Events are GREAT Britain and will form part of the government’s wider GREAT campaign.
Events are GREAT Britain will act as the umbrella brand for the UK’s drive to deliver more international business to the UK, working closely with the Business Visits & Events Partnership and newly created UK Events Industry Board.
Events are GREAT Britain will be launched to industry stakeholders and media at an exclusive ‘Kick Off’ event at Stamford Bridge on Thursday 14 April.