The Coach Tourism Association’s Spring Networking event in Llandudno, sponsored by Visit Wales, attracted 95 members including coach operators, wholesalers and industry suppliers. Held over Sunday 21 to Monday 22 May, the programme included a fam trip, supplier showcase and networking, as well as a social media masterclass.
Visit Wales’ sponsorship of the event demonstrated the importance of coach tourism for Wales.
The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, Dawn Bowden MS, said: “We know from research that coach and group travel is important for Wales’s visitor economy. Using sustainable modes of transport, coach travel can also help us with our aim to encourage people to discover all parts of Wales, all year round. Together with the coach tourism industry we can hopefully grow the numbers of day visits and holidays here throughout the year.”
To generate new operator and wholesaler product, the event included a fam trip to Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens (pictured here), the National Slate Museum, and Penderyn Distillery, Llandudno.
The fam trip was followed by a networking dinner, sponsored by Christmas in Birmingham, giving the opportunity for industry suppliers to meet operators and wholesalers to generate new business.
“CTA’s networking events are valuable to bring industry buyers and suppliers together. The participation of Christmas in Birmingham, presenting the city’s festive events, is a really effective way of attracting coach groups,” says Ben Hau, Tourism Officer at Birmingham City Council.
Providing practical business support to help members grow their online presence, CTA invited branding and communication expert Sid Madge to give a social media masterclass. The popular demonstration was a response to member requests.
The event concluded with a CTA Supplier Showcase, where operators and wholesalers met hotels, attractions, and service providers to provide help developing new day trips and tours, as well as wider business operations.
“Support from Visit Wales and the venues on the fam trip showed how important coach tourism is to Wales. Enthusiasm for the event generated an attendance of nearly 100 members, and glorious sunshine demonstrated the very best of Snowdonia and the North Wales coast,” says CTA Chair, Robert Shaw. “The CTA Supplier Showcase created some very useful discussions to help grow business, and the social media masterclass from Sid Madge, held in response to member requests, was fully subscribed.”
The next CTA event is Hertfordshire’s CTA Summer Networking, taking place on Sunday 23 and Monday 24 July. To see details of all CTA’s forthcoming events, visit https://coachtourismassociation.co.uk/cta-events/