Mike Newman is better known in the industry for his role as Managing Director of the travel trade tourism marketing company b2me. Prior work credits include undertaking the sales and marketing of maps and guides for UKinbound (formerly BITOA) and Visit Britain. He currently maintains a substantial position within the GTOA.

What do you think makes a good group trip?

People are the greatest influence for any group trip that I go on. I couldn’t imagine being in a ski lodge or around a pool with people that I didn’t like.

Describe the best group trip you’ve been on and why?

There’s no one stand out trip. The best group trips I’ve been on were when I was young – going away with one or two friends and making more along the way. Camping in Portugal or on organized trips with companies like PGL have always appealed. The happiest (and haziest) memories always involved great people and a bar or two.

Describe the worst group trip you’ve been on and why?

It was undoubtedly to the wonderful sites at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The group was mixed in every way imaginable and the local cafes were determined to rip everyone off. In the end I told the tour guide that I’d wander around with my wife and find them all later. It was amazing, but only because I could get away and find my own experience.

What’s your favourite UK destination for a group day out?

I’ve just got back from Cornwall and the area around where we were staying would be fantastic for groups. Bude and Boscastle offer beaches, restaurants, great pubs and relaxing walks with stunning views. I’m off to Wales this month, so maybe I’ll feel differently about it then.

MIKE NEWMANWhat do you always pack?

Essentials for me are a kindle, a phone charger and the shirts I am banned from wearing at home.

What do you always leave out?

An itinerary. I prefer finding out what to do and where to go when I am actually in situ. I also find that wandering around on foot gives you a much better idea of quite literally, what’s around the corner.

What was your favourite group trip last year?

It’s pretty mundane compared to some of the other things that people do. Our tennis club (which I was Chairman of at the time) had a Christmas party at the Harpenden House Hotel. The company was fantastic and the food and drink was great. We danced, we sang and we got properly into the Christmas spirit. It was perfect.