This month see the British Tourism & Travel Show return to the NEC Birmingham – and event organisers have just revealed the top experts, authorities and experienced group tour providers lined up for the popular Keynote Theatre. The line-up will give coach tour operators and group travel organisers inspirational and expert guidance from across the full spectrum of the group travel trade, see www.tourismshow.co.uk.
Day 1 - March 22
The presentations will kick off with hard data on the latest travel trends and new opportunities for tourism, as Alexander Göransson from Euromonitor delivers valuable market research to help coach tour operators and GTOs plan their tours for 2023 and beyond.
He'll be followed by Andy Headington of Adido, who will show tour organisers how to generate more online bookings in the tourism bounce back, with case studies from tourism brands using digital marketing to increase sales and leads.
Clare Dwight from Visit Wales will give a session on how to use trails – heritage trails, music and literature trails, restaurant and distillery trails, and more – to enhance Welsh itineraries, exploring the country's UNESCO World Heritage Sites and cultural riches using exciting themes.
Next will be a panel session on 'The Good and the Bad of the Group Welcome', featuring consultant Stuart Render, R.B. Coach Travel's Roger Bull, Acklams Coaches' Louise Webster, and D.J. Thomas Coach Holidays' Chris Morgan. This session will examine how staff shortages and other factors following the pandemic have impacted the quality of the welcome given to coaches and groups by attractions and destinations, and what needs to be done.
Day 2 - March 23
Wendy Hartley-Scarff, CEO of the Association of Group Travel Operators (AGTO), will get proceedings underway, focusing on how GTOs are influencing climate change – including the environmental friendliness of coach travel, and choosing suppliers based on their green credentials.
Simon Jones from Navigate will then dive into the world of 'experience culture', with insight into why the concept has been so popular in tourism, how it's evolving, and what it will look like over the next few years.
A Coach Tourism Association panel session will follow, focusing on new ideas for tour itineraries and themes.
Valuable learning opportunities
Lloyd Jones, Event Manager, says: “We're delighted to have some of the top names in the British group tourism sector speaking in the Keynote Theatre. The programme is a hugely valuable part of the British Tourism & Travel Show, giving coach tour planners and group travel organisers excellent insights into key trends and business practices, which they can use to create compelling itineraries and successful tours.
“Each Keynote session represents a free learning opportunity for our visitors, and we believe they'll be particularly valuable as the industry takes group tourism forward.” As well as the inspiring Keynote Theatre line-up, the British Tourism & Travel Show promises hundreds of brands, including more than 50 exhibiting for the first time, when it returns to the NEC Birmingham on 22-23 March 2023.
Hotels, visitor attractions, venues, top-rated tours, and both popular and off-the-beaten track destinations will showcase the best of Britain and Ireland for the groups market. Major new exhibitors include Aberglasney Gardens, Celtic Royal Hotel, Chorley Borough Council, Discover Melton, Visit Harborough, King Richard III Visitor Centre, Visit Leicester & Leicestershire, Visit Oswestry, Saundersfoot Harbour, Visit Shropshire, South Scotland Destination Alliance, and Wakefield Council.