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Island at Confex 2004 2 March 2004

Representatives from the Department of Tourism and Leisure attended Confex 2004, the UK's largest conference exhibition attended by conference buyers from the UK and Europe, at Earls Court in London last week. Richard Cuthbert, Conference Executive, and Michael Brunt, Marketing Services Manager, attended the exhibition to promote the Isle of Man as an ideal destination for companies, associations and charities to hold their conferences.

It was the perfect opportunity to announce the re-opening of the Villa Marina as a conference venue for larger conferences, which the Island has missed out on since the closure of the complex for refurbishment.

Tourism Minister David Cretney commented:

"We have a number of large conferences already booked in at the Villa Marina for 2004 and 2005, and the conference bureau is working on re-establishing links with organisations who have come to the Island in the past, as well as finding new business. However, the conference bureau also assists conference organisers in finding venues for the smaller corporate business meetings in hotels and other excellent venues throughout the island."

Department of Tourism Conference Executive Richard Cuthbert said:

"Attendance by the Department of Tourism at Confex proved to be a worthwhile exercise, and a number of significant contacts were made. The conference market is a very lucrative, but also a very small market, and business is generated through establishing and building relationships with conference organisers and buyers. It is important that the Isle of Man has a presence at Confex to meet the people who actually book the conferences."

Representatives from the Department of Tourism are also attending the British Travel Trade Fair at the NEC in Birmingham this week. They will meet both existing and new clients including tour and coach operators and conference organisers.

Marketing Services Manager Michael Brunt said:

"We exhibit at BTTF every year. It has always proved to be a very productive show for the Department and the Island. The quality of contacts that are generated at this event are of the highest calibre and there is always a good level of interest in the Island's products."

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