CTA is once again a Partner with the British Tourism & Travel Show which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on 25-26 March. CTA will be holding a Members’ Reception at 3pm on the first afternoon in the main exhibition hall. No need to book, just drop in and see us.

If you haven’t already registered for BTTS, do so now with this link 

Accor has kindly offered a special rate at its Mercure Birmingham West hotel which has just had a multi-million refurbishment. You can also arrange a show-round of the hotel while you’re there. A special rate of £45 per room, per night, including breakfast, car parking and wi-fi, is available for 24, 25 or 26 March – see details here and Email: HB538-SL@accor.com and quote BTTS2020.

The show is a great opportunity to discover inspiring new ideas for your customers and a chance to meet more than 270 attractions, destinations and hotels to build your itineraries for the year ahead.

We look forward to seeing lots of members at the Reception and during the show and here’s a taster of what is to come at BTTS:

Hambledon Vineyard will be unveiling plans for a new tasting room and visitor centre overlooking the vineyards. New tours and increased wine storage capacity will be coming in September 2020 at Hambledon, the only gravity-fed winery in the UK (stand A41).

Gwili Railway will be hosting a special London Transport Weekend to celebrate VE Day on 8 May 2020. Gwili will be entertaining visitors at BTTS with information on the dining train and how volunteers can get involved in the evacuee experience. A GWR Pannier Tank L92 steam train (5786), courtesy of the South Devon Railway, will be available for driver experience days during March, April and May and will also take part in their Steam Gala in June and Classic Transport Weekend in July (stand G16).

Sefton Council Southport and Visit Southport will be inviting visitors to discover ‘Southport Pick ‘n’ Mix, a selection of inspirational ideas for a 4-night group-friendly itinerary that combines the town’s many attractions with visits to neighbouring destinations. There will also be an opportunity to win a 2-night VIP short break for two people (stand E20).

Harewood House is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Bird Garden this year. Groups can take guided tours to discover more about the birds Harewood cares for, as well as revisiting Harewood’s heritage as a royal household and filming location through two newly enhanced exhibitions, Becoming the Yorkshire Princess and Harewood on film (stand B1).

Ashley & Newey is launching a unique website on 23 March which will allow coach operators to instantly search and book available tours and group hotel space in real-time (stand D30).

Finesse Chauffeurs are launching new Cotswold Tours, which will take visitors off the beaten track to show them some amazing sights and experiences. They are offering luxury, personalised travel for up to seven people (stand E22).

The Silverstone Experience is a new immersive visitor attraction. The Silverstone museum, located at the famous grand prix venue, is an interactive exhibition which takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of British motorsport. The experience offers their clients a chance to test their skills as a WW2 pilot, try out a pit gun and walk on the original grand prix circuit. This half-day experience will thrill visitors old and young and is open 364 days a year (stand F25).

Mayflower 400 is telling visitors about The Box, a new heritage and cultural centre opening in Plymouth this May marking the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. Opening with the exhibition: Mayflower Legend and Legacy, this state-of-the-art venue has permanent and touring exhibitions and houses Devon’s archives. Groups are welcome, with tours available (stand F20).

Tornado Railtours ‘The Aberdonian’ is a new programme of steam trains, running from July to September 2020, starting in Edinburgh. The train is hauled by world-famous steam locomotive Tornado. Passengers travel over the iconic Forth Bridge before heading north along the picturesque Fife coastline to Aberdeen. There are options to visit the local castle and distillery (stand C10).

Royal Horticultural Society will be promoting its world-class gardens and show. Learn about the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Greater Manchester, Europe’s biggest gardening project (opening 30 July 2020), the new RHS Garden Wisley Welcome area and new National Centre for Horticultural Science opening in 2021 (stand F1).

Norman Allen Group is unveiling a wide selection of new tours to add to almost 200 existing tours (stand D28).

Dunster in Exmoor and The Yarn Market Hotel is offering several residential breaks in 2020 in conjunction with the West Somerset Railways events, including their 1960s day and dance and 1940s weekend, as well as the railways regular Gala weekends (stand E14).

Cruise and Maritime Voyages is showing its biggest ever program dedicated to the British cruise market. It will also be offering a Buy One Get One Free offer on every cruise booked by 31 May 2020. CMV offers four ships sailing from 12 UK and Ireland ports, and 166 worldwide cruising holidays (stand C21).

Business Companion, the government-funded website, will be at the British Tourism & Travel Show to raise awareness of their latest guidance for the travel sector and to provide guidance on the requirements of the Package Travel Regulations 2018 (stand F12).

Ian Burnett Highland Chocolatier offers a first in tourism — guided Chocolate Tasting “Flights” delivered by an  Master Chocolatier. Tours are given by staff or through multi-lingual audio-guides. Flights are available for all group sizes/interests, at any venue, on board a coach or at chocolate visitor attractions on main route out of Edinburgh/Glasgow (stand C5).

Welsh Mining Experience has launched an evocative audio-visual presentation. Colliery Boy tells the story based on Joseph Keating, the 12-year-old child miner from South Wales. Listen to his daily routine as he tells of the trials and tribulations that no child should endure (Stand A19).

Lake District Estates has a brand-new launch for 2020. Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway is launching a new 1st class observation carriage. Sit back, relax and enjoy a trip in true style and comfort. Offering panoramic views of the Eskdale Valley, this new carriage is perfect for groups of up to 14 passengers (stand F8).

Bear Grylls Adventure is now able to accommodate coach and travel trade business. The new tour packages allow for groups and corporate clients to take part in their epic experiences (stand B2).

Bletchley Park is set to unveil their top-secret impact on the planning and implementation of D-Day in a new immersive exhibition, D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion. Featuring a specially commissioned film projected on a 22m screen, the audio-visual experience is in the newly restored Teleprinter Building (stand E51).

Leisureplex Hotels added two new hotels to their portfolio in 2019. The Monarch Hotel in Bridlington and the Metropole Hotel in Torquay, which is a 5-minute walk from the beach and is a convenient base to explore beautiful Torquay (stand D24).

Visit Wales is celebrating the wonderful outdoors of Wales in 2020 and 2021; inviting visitors to explore the national parks, mountains, coastline and UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Wales, and discover how the outdoors has shaped Welsh culture and identity (stand A10).

The Jewellery Quarter BID wants tourists to get the most out of their visit to the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham with two new overnight packages. Visitors can treat their partner with the “Romantic Jewellery Quarter Birmingham City Break” or get creative with friends in the “Jewellery Quarter Craft City Break”. Both packages include an overnight hotel stay (stand D50).

Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia at Adventure Parc Snowdonia will welcome its first guests in December 2020. The new hotel promises views across Adventure Parc Snowdonia’s world-first inland surf lagoon and the Conwy Valley’s mountains-and-forests landscapes. It will also include an indoor/outdoor wellbeing spa, gym and a destination dining restaurant overlooking the surf lagoon. They hotel will also launch with an expert Adventure Concierge service, which will encourage guests to explore a variety of instructor-led activities in North Wales (stand A20).

Lowther Castle & Gardens’ numerous group experiences include a Head Gardener Tour, Guided e-Bike cycling tour, and even a guided tour by Jim Lowther, the son of the 7th Earl (F8).

Royal Opera House tours include an introduction to the colourful history of the theatre, workrooms and a look at all aspects of current productions (stand G48).

Welsh Water Adventures’ has visitor attractions at Llyn Brenig, Elan Valley, Llandegfedd Lake and Llys-y-Frân Lake, with activities including walking, cycling, fishing, watersports and star gazing after dark (stand A16).

Four Boat Tours’ new Forth Sea & Train Adventure, includes a 90-minute cruise and a 90-minute trip on a steam train with Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway (stand C9).

Carmarthenshire County Council is leading on a new way to experience West Wales and Ireland’s Ancient East. In partnership with Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Wicklow, Waterford and Wexford council’s it is launching Celtic Routes, a contemporary Celtic experience that gets you closer to the coast, the countryside, the people and the places that tell the Celtic story (stand A18).

Wales Millennium Centre’s flagship international arts festival – Festival of Voice – is returning to Cardiff Bay in October 2020 with a new format (day and weekend-long wristbands are now available). Across four days, audiences will be treated to a wealth of performances and events. And Cate Le Bon will join this year’s festival as both a performer and a guest curator for part of the programme (stand A21).

Grant Arms Hotel – known as the UK’s Wildlife Hotel – is located in the Scottish country town of Grantown on Spey, not far from the famous river Spey, in the Cairngorms National Park. Home to the Bird Watching & Wildlife Club (BWWC), it also hosts celebrity guided holidays and HERO events such as The Scottish Malts, Canadian Philatelic Convention, the Scottish Rock Garden Club Conference, the Soka Gakkai Buddhist Ladies’ Summer Conference and more (stand A1).