The British Tourism & Travel Show, the highlight of the group travel sector’s annual calendar, promises to ignite the imagination of attendees with an emphasis on inspiring group travel itineraries. Featuring a stellar line-up of over 200 leading attractions, destinations, hotels and venues, including more than 50 new exhibitors, the show is set to showcase the best of the UK and Ireland when it arrives at Birmingham NEC next month.

Keynote programme

A major highlight of the two-day show is its free seminar programme. The Keynote Theatre will play host to experts and inspirational speakers who will inform and enhance coach tour operator and group travel organisers’ tour plans. Esteemed industry leaders will delve into current trends, market insights, evolving customer expectations and opportunities facing the travel trade.

Keynote highlights: Wednesday 20 March

The programme begins with updates from Visit England on England’s tourism landscape. Following this, Alexander Göransson from Euromonitor International will delve into ‘Destination UK: Traveller Trends & Types’. This session will unveil the latest forecasts for trips and spending, examining eight distinct traveller types with a spotlight on the luxury segment as a key opportunity for the UK.

In the afternoon, Navigate’s CEO Anthony Rawlins takes the stage to explore ‘Marketing Trends for Growth & Positive Impact’. Drawing on industry data and insights from over 50 tourism brands, he will address real-time challenges, consumer behaviour trends and key principles for ensuring success in 2024.

The day rounds off with a panel discussion on ‘Changing Customer Expectations’. Stuart Render (Stuart Render Tourism), David Blake (Blakes Coaches), Jason Edwards (Jason Edwards Travel), and Amanda Harrington (Bakers Dolphin) will explore how coach tour operators, hoteliers, attractions and suppliers are adapting.

Keynote highlights: Thursday 21 March

Thursday morning brings insights from the Association of Group Travel Organisers on ‘Changing Expectations in Group Travel’. Panellists including Stuart Render, Wendy Hartley-Scarff (AGTO) and Colin Duncan (formerly of Dunwood Holiday Group), will discuss how GTOs and suppliers are changing their products to meet evolving group travel expectations.

This will be followed by a session on how to ‘supercharge your business’ through trade association membership. Coach Tourism Association members including Robert Shaw (Harry Shaw, CTA Chair), Jennifer Cormack (Windermere Lake Cruises), Shaun Read (Ashley & Newey) and Tim Southby (Heathside Travel) will discuss how to capitalise on opportunities.

The event promises further keynotes over the two days, including talks from Blue Badge Guides. Drawing on their in-depth local knowledge they will unveil hidden gems, cultural nuances and historical context on a variety of destinations, helping visitors plan immersive, educational and unforgettable group tours.

Over 50 new exhibitors

The exhibitor line-up features stalwart brands and newcomers alike. Brands including Continuum Attractions, Cumbria Tourism and Tourism Ireland will be joined by over 50 newcomers, including Bouden Coach Travel, Dolphin Spirit Inverness, the Museum of Cider, Visit Derby, Visit Essex and MammaMia The Party!

Beyond myriad exhibitors and informative keynotes, visitors can indulge in the Food and Drink Trail, immersing themselves in local delicacies to spark inspiration for food-focused tours. The event also provides ample networking opportunities, offering a chance to glean insights and share experiences.

For more information and free registration visit

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