Good Day

Welcome to the winter newsletter, here you will find up to date news, events and invitations, as well as a round off to this year!

– Steve

TWA & SRT Events

If you have not already joined the new exclusive club for active group travel buyers, check out the upcoming events.

  • 9/10 Feb. Whitby, Harrogate Showcase TWA.
  • 1-3 March Southern Wales Showcase
  • 17-19 March English Riviera BID Group Buyer Showcase.
  • 25, 26 March BTTS. NEC, Birmingham.
  • 31st, 1st June Group Buyer Forum RAF Cosford
  • 20 Sept. Surrey Group Showcase, Hickstead hotel.
  • 21 Sept. Group Travel Forum-South, Denbies Vineyard, Surrey.
  • 2-5 Oct. Lake District and Blackpool Daish’s Holidays Showcase.

Dream Ticket for Tourism Industry

Travel Businesses to Partner for Group Buyer Forums.
One of the UK’s top travel trade companies is combining forces with a major group travel magazine to arrange a series of exciting tourism set pieces.

Group Travel World magazine, based in Peterborough and Steve Reed Tourism Ltd of Hampshire – each with a country-wide reach – are to work in partnership in delivering the established Group Buyer Forum events.

The Group Buyer Forums have become popular within the coach tourism and group travel sectors over recent years as practical and cost effective ways for tourism businesses to meet and arrange group bookings directly with tour planners. Recent Forums have taken place across the country at a variety of high quality attractions such as Painshill Park and Brooklands Museum in Surrey and the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and the Lowry in Salford Quays.

Now the new arrangement will see Group Travel World working closely with Steve Reed Tourism to arrange a new generation of Group Buyer Forums with events already planned for Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking in Surrey on Monday 21st September and at RAF Cosford on 1st June 2020

‘We’re very happy to be working with Steve Reed Tourism for these events and can see that they’ll develop in a positive and beneficial way for the many exhibitors and tour planners that they attract,’ says Harley Denham of Group Travel World magazine.     

Any tourism business requiring information about the Group Buyers Forum events coming up either to exhibit or to visit as a tour planners should contact tel: [01733] 293249.

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland

Marsham Court Hotel Hosts GTOS. 
Group travel organisers from around the UK had a top festive time at a well-known and established English seaside resort.The Marsham Court Hotel – right on the East Cliff seafront beside the famous Russell Cotes Museum – hosted the Bournemouth Group Buyer Showcase this week.

Arranged by the Travel World Association [TWA] the buyers took in the annual Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland event.  Over 100 glittering trees and illuminations, the group also explored the Alpine Market and the enchanting Victorian Lower Gardens.

A family run and fully serviced hotel, the Marsham Court offers a refreshing blend of contemporary and traditional comfort – providing a group-friendly experience at all times.

The attendees – all TWA tour planners – enjoyed a hugely enjoyable familiarisation programme which took in a lunch at the hotel; a guided tour of the unique Russell Cotes Museum; a welcome to Bournemouth dinner in the hotel and this included a presentation by Resort Manager John Weaver; and a fabulous evening tour through the spectacular Christmas Tree Wonderland event.

Bournemouth based Yellow Buses gave the delegates a nocturnal open top bus tour of Bournemouth which included the yuletide sights and sounds of the Wonderland.  The group also enjoyed panoramic views over the resort, beaches, pier and chines from the Bournemouth Big Wheel – courtesy of Visit Poole and Bournemouth.

The buyers – each of whom were on the lookout for ideas for their groups – next day took in lunch in the Harbour Station Café on Poole waterside before a sunny cruise around the picturesque Harbour onboard the City Cruises Poole boat.

Jane Swift is the Business Development Director for the Marsham Court Hotel:

‘We were very glad to host the GTOS and felt that they enjoyed their time in Bournemouth during the Christmas Tree Wonderland event. The Marsham Court Hotel is an ideal base for groups of all types throughout the year and they’ll find – even in November – that there is always something exciting and rewarding too,’

says Jane.

The Christmas Tree event takes place from mid-November right through until early January.

Anyone requiring more information about the Marsham Court Hotel in respect of groups should contact:

Jane Swift, Business Development Director
Marsham Court Hotel
01202 446612

Hull: ‘We’ll Be Back’ say Travel Trade

Buyer Showcase Stuns Operators. 
Tour operators from all over the UK sampled the delights of a delightful and for many, a surprising city.

Hull – which was crowned UK City of Culture in 2017 – was hosting a group of coach and tour operators and GTOS during the 2019 Visit Hull Group Buyer Showcase.

Reading like a who’s who of coach tourism the delegates included Crusader Holidays from Aylesbury; Norman Allen Group Travel from Hereford; Albatross Travel from Kent; Grey’s Travel Group from Barnsley; Roadmark Travel from Sussex; Leon’s Holidays from Staffordshire and Brilliant Tours from Liverpool.

Based at the conveniently located and high quality Hilton Double Tree Hotel Hull just beside the Central Railway Station and the Hull Truck Company, the event was arranged by Visit Hull working in conjunction with UK travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd. Well known coach operator Paul Acklam of Acklam’s Coaches kindly provided the coach transport for the groups during the showcase.

A welcome dinner at the Marco Pierre White’s restaurant at the Double Tree Hotel preceded a walking tour of Hull concluding at the Maritime Museum where the attendees met Malcolm Dunn of Yorkshire’s Maritime Cities initiative.

Led by Tour Guide Paul Scofield, the group took in a highly enjoyable tour of the Taphouse Brewery and dinner at the Ambiente Restaurant – both on the famous Humber Street food, drink and entertainment area of Hull. And a very special ale tour of Hull’s historic and uniquely quaint pubs cheered the operators.

On the next day the VIP visitors – each with the buying power to bring lots of spending coach parties back to the area – took in a visit to Hull’s impressive Museum Quarter followed by lunch and a tour of Hull Minster. And for some of the group a stunning roof top tour of this historic building.

As well as the tour of Hull Minster, the attendees were also able to enjoy a unique insight in the world famous Sistine Chapel within the Minster itself. Rome came to Hull.

Next on the fact-finding itinerary was Hull’s iconic attraction The Deep. Here the buyers were treated to tours of this fascinating aquarium – located right on the banks of the River Humber – and took part in a special face to face business workshop where they met Hull tourism businesses in a series of meetings.

Tina Mott is from Visit Hull:

‘The group of tour visitors were undoubtedly impressed by what they saw, ate, drank and experienced in Hull. We’ve always believed that the best way to ensure that coaches full of passengers keep coming back to our great city is to show the decision makers themselves what we have to offer,’

says Tina.

Anyone wishing to have more information about bringing groups to Hull should contact Tina Mott:
Direct: +44(0)1482 391536

Daish’s Holidays Celebration on IOW.

One of the UK’s top group travel holiday and hotel companies celebrated the milestone of 40 years providing a top service to GTOS.

Arranged by UK travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism of Hampshire, Daish’s Hotel in quaint Shanklin Village on the Isle of Wight was the setting for a special get-together of group travel organisers from all over the country. Fact-finding tours of the island and four nights in this cosiest of group hotels underpinned the experience for the delegates.

45 GTOS descended on the hotel and what a time they had.

Owner and founder of Daish’s Holidays Jeannie Wilson acquired this, her first hotel, in 1979 and this set the scene for an expansion of further hotels around the UK. Each hotel in popular tourist spots. Now her empire has grown to take in nine destinations and a total of ten hotels.

Tours of the island included highly enjoyable trips to the historic village of Godshill; a ride on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway; English Heritage’s Osborne House and the Isle of Wight Zoo. The group also took in Carisbrooke Castle. The attendees travelled to the IOW onboard the Wightlink Ferry.

One of the highlights of the showcase, amongst so many, was the chance to meet at [safe] close quarters the wonderful rescue animals at the IOW Zoo including star attraction lions Casper and Frosty [see attached pictures]. The group also savoured the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing steam train trip through the unspoilt IOW countryside, all of the happy group on the look-out for red squirrels as we travelled.

Daish’s Holidays have ten hotels in nine resorts across England: The Prince Regent and Russell Hotels in Weymouth; The Sands Hotel in Bournemouth; the Claremont Hotel in Eastbourne; the Devonshire Hotel in Torquay; Barrowfields Hotel in Newquay, Daish’s Hotel in Shanklin, Isle of Wight; The County Hotel in Kendal; The North Shore in Blackpool and in Llandudno North Wales, the Somerset Hotel.

Her latest hotels are the County Hotel in Kendal, right in the heart of the Lake District and the North Shore [formerly known as the Manhattan Hotel] located on a prominent position on Blackpool’s North Promenade.

Plans are now afoot for the next Daish’s Holiday Showcase – this time featuring the two new hotels and destinations further north, in the Lake District and Blackpool 2-5 October 2020.

Anyone wishing to have more details of the 2-5 October 2020 Lake District and Blackpool event should contact Steve Reed Tourism Ltd:

Tel [01420] 560288

Lowry Event for Groups in Salford Quays

Group Travel Forum Welcomes Tour Buyers and Tourism Industry.  
The annual Group Buyer Forum-North event took place at the Lowry near Manchester – an occasion when group buyers came face to face with hotels, attractions and destinations from all over the UK.

Arranged in conjunction with Classic Lodges Hotels, Group Travel World magazine and Travel World Association [TWA], the event attracted many exhibitors from around the country. Reading like a who’s who of UK tourism the exhibitors included the Royal Horticultural Society; Visit York; Ena Mill of Greater Manchester; The Royal Mint Experience from South Wales; Ramside Hall Hotel from County Durham and City Cruises of London, Poole and York.

Nola Collinson is the Director of Sales at Staybridge Suites in Newcastle upon Tyne: ‘It was a great day and a super location too – your events are always about quality rather than quantity and we get to know lots of people as a result,’ says Nola.

The Forum attracted lots of tour buyers and Sue Cooper of Susan Cooper Events was one of them: ‘Thank you for arranging a great exhibition – we made some excellent new business contacts   and also said hello to existing clients,’ says Sue.

And Travel Editions of London said ‘Great event, we look forward to the next one!’

Some of the group buyers attended a showcase visit to the Northwest before the Lowry event. They firstly took in a welcome lunch and showround at the recently re-branded Bliss Hotel on the waterfront at Southport – all courtesy of Visit Southport.  The group then enjoyed a fam’ visit to Courtyard at Tarleton – a popular retail stop for coaches in the Lancashire Village of Tarleton.

And Farington Lodge Hotel in Leyland near Preston hosted a highly enjoyable dinner and overnight stay kindly provided by Classic Lodges Hotels.

The attendees also took in an after event Cruise by City Centre Cruises of Manchester where the buyers savoured a sightseeing tour of the ever changing Salford Quays attractions and developments.

There will be another Group Buyer Forum on Monday 21st September 2020 and this will be at the beautiful venue of Denbies Wine Estate and Vineyard in Dorking, Surrey. Again, like the Lowry event the Forum will take place from 10.30 – 14.00 and will feature exhibitors and group buyers from all over the UK. And the RAF Cosford attraction near Telford is next up with a Group Buyer Forum in June 1st.

Any tour planner of tourism business requiring further information about the Denbies or RAF Cosford events should contact or   Tel [01420] 560 288.

2020 Southern Wales Event Announced.

The date of the 2020 Southern Wales Group Buyer Showcase has just been announced.

This now well established annual set piece for the travel trade takes places 1-3 March 2020 and will feature two night’s accommodation, attraction visits across the region and a high quality ‘Meet the South Wales Tourism Industry’ Workshop.

Organised by Southern Wales Tourism and coordinated by UK group travel specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd, coach and tour operators and GTOS are being invited to apply to attend the showcase.

This will be the fifth showcase arranged by Southern Wales and it is seen as the ideal opportunity for the coach and tour industry to organise their new tours, holidays and excursions. The Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran will be hosting some of the buyers.

Any tour planners wishing to attend this complimentary event should contact Steve Reed Tourism Ltd. Email Tel: [01420] 560288.

‘Observations’ in Beautiful South Wales.

Tourism Landscape mapped out in New Coach Itinerary.
The tourism industry of Monmouthshire and Newport in South Wales came together in one of the most beautiful parts of Great Britain.

The Georgian Shire Hall in Monmouth was the venue for a group travel day in the lower reaches of the beautiful Wye Valley with an emphasis on a unique and undeniably picturesque trail for visitors.
The event was arranged by Visit Monmouthshire with funding from the Welsh Government Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014–2020, and coordinated by UK travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd.  The day focused on the opportunities of the group visitor market for this part of Wales.

A new coach itinerary was launched at the event to celebrate the 250-year anniversary in 2020 of William Gilpin’s boat tour down the River Wye in 1770, an event that heralded the birth of British tourism.
Gilpin was a pioneer of the ‘Picturesque’ and his ideas led to the concepts of landscape appreciation and conservation, culminating in the designation of protected landscapes such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), including The Wye Valley AONB which was designated in 1971. The group explored the changing coach and group travel scene in the UK as well as new and innovative ways to attract coach parties. Businesses included attractions such as Tredegar House, Caldicot Castle, White Castle Vineyard, Nant Y Bedd Gardens, and Abbey Mill in Tintern; and hotels such as the Holiday Inn, Newport.

The group received a presentation from Phil Coates (Professional Blue Badge Tourist Guide) on the new Wye Tour coach itinerary, and they met Hereford-based tour operator Liz Hill of the successful Rural Concierge business.

“Group travel is an important market for the area and the new Wye Tour coach itinerary will help reinforce the appeal of our area to tour planners,”

says Nicola Edwards, Destination Manager for Monmouthshire.

“Groups already love coming to this area and we now want visitors to experience exactly what William Gilpin wrote about all those years ago in the world’s first travel guide ‘Observations on the River Wye”. 

Nicola Edwards MCIM
Rheolwr Cyrchfan
Destination Manager
Cyngor Sir Fynwy
Monmouthshire County Council
07771 624259