CTA Bulletin February 2017

The CTA’s exclusive first ever nationwide Coach Tourism Survey, based on the views of more than 25,000 people, is now available for paid-up members to download. If you would like to see a copy contact admin@coachtourismassociation.co.uk

As previously reported the survey provides in-depth research into the coach market and the views of not just people who currently go on coach tours with CTA members, but also those of nearly 6,000 people who do not. It is therefore a must read document.

“This was an incredible number of people to take part in a survey of this type,” said CTA Chief Executive Chris Wales. “Usually the response rate is 2 to 3 per cent but the survey average was five per cent and for some, more than 10 per cent.  It has provided some really good in depth research which will help operators and anyone involved in the coach industry, plan for the future.”

The survey was sent to their customers by more than 20 CTA coach tour operator members, while magazines such as Choice and Mature Times, as well as Silver Travel Advisor, also issued it to their readers.  Visit Kent, Bournemouth Tourism and CalMac Ferries invited their web users to take part too.

We are extremely grateful to them for helping to make the survey possible. In addition the CTA is indebted to a number of organisations, who helped it fund the research. They were led by Tourism Ireland, which markets the island of Ireland in the UK making it an ever popular destination for coach tours: BAWTA (British Association of Wholesale Tour Agents), whose members organise thousands of tours for CTA members; CTA Partner Towergate Chapman Stevens, the leading insurance provider for the industry; and Irizar, the manufacturer of luxury coaches.

Last but not least thanks goes to Peter Stratton, MD of ICT (Independent Coach Travel), who originally put forward the idea for a survey to the CTA Board and who helped to drive the project to fruition.

We are grateful to Jurys Inn for generously hosting the CTA AGM event at their 4 star Jurys Oxford Hotel, on 21-22 May. Conveniently situated just off the Oxford ring road and near the historic city centre, the 240 room hotel has recently undergone a £10.8 million refurbishment, making it an ideal base to stay for coach groups visiting Oxford, the Thames Valley and Cotswolds.

As usual for the AGM there will be an informal evening networking event with pre dinner drinks followed by dinner with wine. Jurys is kindly hosting coach tour operators and UK domestic tour wholesalers FREE OF CHARGE with suppliers paying £129pp (plus VAT) for DBB.

The Coach Tourism Association AGM on Monday morning will review the work of the CTA since the 2016 AGM last August and in addition there will be voting in the annual elections to the Board. Details for elections to the Board will be issued in early April. Attendance at the AGM is of course FOC for all paid up members. We plan to organise a fam trip and also have a speaker presentation after the AGM.

To register to attend the event please complete this on line booking. form

The CTA will be supporting the major trade event of the year, the British Tourism and Travel Show, being held next week at the NEC on Wednesday and Thursday, 22 and 23 March. We will be among more than 250 exhibitors who include leading attractions, venues, destinations, hotels, transport providers, associations and DMOs. We look forward to meeting members there – our stand no is G74. If you have yet to get a ticket for the show, go to www.tourismshow.co.uk
Discover IHG’s world-renowned hotel brands at IHG EXPO 2017 on Thursday 30 March at the InterContinental London Park Lane. Discover more about IHG, brand transformations, new hotel openings and exciting IHG developments. Share updates on Holiday Inn Express Next Generation, Holiday Inn Open Lobby, Hotel Indigo pipeline as well as introducing a new brand to Europe – Kimpton Hotel Bars and Restaurants.  Take the opportunity to meet face to face with more than 200 IHG hotel representatives from across the UK and Europe.  To do so – and get the chance to win prizes on the day – register now at IHG EXPO 2017 registration
VisitScotland invites you to join them at their premier business to business travel trade event, VisitScotland expo 2017, to be held at the SECC, Glasgow on the 26 and 27 April. The combination of pre scheduled appointments and trade show will help inspire visitors about contracting and selling Scottish products while meeting the key suppliers from the industry. Visitors will be able to connect directly with a number of Scottish tourism vendors, including accommodation providers, visitor attractions, incoming tour operators and Destination Management Companies.

You can register your interest to attend on the VisitScotland expo website and you will then be contacted later to confirm your status. Once approved, you will be able to manage your diary of appointments with exhibitors in advance of the show. For qualified buyers VisitScotland is offering accommodation in Glasgow on the 25 and 26 April, including a ticket to the Network Buyers Evening, as well as the one day post expo fam trip on 28 April, which includes a whistle stop tour of Ayrshire as well as a visit to the award-winning New Lanark Visitor Centre. Register today at www.visitscotlandexpo.com

Lisa Weaver is offering CTA members (and partner/colleague) the opportunity to visit Woburn Abbey and Gardens for a complimentary visit throughout the summer and experience what the Woburn Estate has to offer group visitors. “I am aware that familiarisation events cannot always fit in with everyone’s busy periods,” says Lisa. “So I hope having this flexible option will encourage people to visit at a time to suit.” For further details click on this link.
CTA Partner Condor Ferries is offering four separate fully escorted fam trips for 2017. The trips are FOC and open to anyone working in the group travel industry and who are considering or are currently running tours or day trips to Guernsey or Jersey from Poole.

These days are the perfect way to experience the product, look at the attractions and venues in St Peter Port, Guernsey and see firsthand what there is on offer to  your clients, view our well stocked onboard Duty Free Shop, meet the team in the ports and on the Condor Liberation.

The four dates are 3 May, 20 June, 2 August and 13 September. Sailing times for the fam trips are: Poole to Guernsey 09.15, arriving St Peter Port at 12.15; Depart Guernsey 16.25 to arrive Poole 19.25. For further information contact Graham Hopcraft Graham.hopcraft@condorferries.co.uk

We are delighted to welcome a host of new members who have joined the CTA in recent months:

Tally Ho! Holidays www.tallyhoholidays.co.uk based in Kingsbridge, South Devon, runs a full UK and European coach holiday programme with short breaks and days out, as well as cruises.

Michelangelo International Travel www.michelangelo.travel is a family owned group travel specialist based in Riva del Garda, Italy, offering fixed group allocations in over 300 3-4* group hotels stretching from the Dolomites to Sicily. Operating for over 20 years, we are the only Italian incoming company to be ISO 9001-2008 certified, and successfully handle in excess of 4500 groups annually. UK contact is Ron Hehir ron.hehir@michelangelo.travel

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway www.exbury.co.uk: From the world-famous displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, to riverside walks, the steam railway, tea rooms and art exhibitions, Exbury is perfect for groups.

National Theatre Productions www.nationaltheatre.org.uk groups department provide group bookings for NT productions in the West End and selected UK Tour dates. We offer dedicated group sales service, with flexible payment terms, favourable reservation periods and no booking fees. Book direct with the National Theatre to enjoy our knowledgeable and friendly customer service and advice.

South Devon Railway www.southdevonrailway.co.uk: The multi-award winning South Devon Railway is one of the West Country’s best loved tourist attractions and is the longest established steam railway in the south west. The line runs along the stunning valley of the Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes (Riverside). The steam trains offer a wonderful all day, all weather attraction which transports visitors back in time to the bygone era of the old Great Western Railway.

Stonor Park www.stonor.com: With great links from the M4 and M40, the historic house and chapel has been home to the Stonor family for over 850 years and houses a treasure trove of artefacts and pictures from across the globe. The gardens feature 17th century terraces, Lilly pond with fountains and a Japanese tea house. Light lunches and snacks served in the Pantry housed in the 12th century medieval great hall.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter www.wbstudiotour.co.uk, located at the Studios where all 8 films were produced, offers group visitors the ultimate chance to get up close to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series.

Waxy O’Connor’s www.waxyoconnors.co.uk Named after the famous candle maker from Dublin, Waxy’s is the biggest Irish Bar in London. Located off Leicester Square and close to all theatres and major London attractions, it has several large dining areas ideal for groups. 2 & 3 course set menus available Monday-Friday or at weekends upon request.

Woburn Safari Park www.woburnsafari.co.uk: Groups on coaches can get up close to magnificent endangered animals, listen to keeper talks and demonstrations and explore the Foot Safari with lemurs, elephants, sea lions, penguins and monkeys. Guides can be booked to join the coach and visits can be combined with the historic Woburn Abbey.