British Trade Show Draws 5,000

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BIRMINGHAM, England -- The sixth annual British Travel Trade Fair here drew some 5,000 participants plus 500 travel suppliers.

The focus of the show, held in late March, targeted the attractions and events that will mark the millennium.

A minimum of $6.8 billion is being invested in millennium projects with the goal of attracting 30 million visitors to Great Britain.

The BTA is forecasting visitor arrivals to reach 26 million in 1998.

The cornerstone of the millennium projects is the Dome in Greenwich, home of the prime meridian.

While a record 500 international buyers were present at BTTF, there were only 32 attendees from North America.

According to Jeff Hamblin, executive vice president of the BTA in New York, the BTA's goal is to triple that number next year.

"We plan to shift the focus from domestic to international buyers," said Hamblin, adding that the fair has proven to be a successful venue for conducting business.

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