CTA Bulletin May 2018

As you’ll no doubt be aware from your Inbox, the new General Data Protection Regulations come into force on 25 May 2018.

CTA has contacted all members regarding consent for us to contact you and to share data with other members. If you haven’t responded yet, please do so immediately!

Here’s a link to the form if you haven’t already completed it.

In addition, we have been asked by a member about the application of GDPR to CCTV on coaches. The Information Commissioners’ Office has updated its guidance and Code of Practice, much of which was already applicable from previous data protection legislation. It is recommended that operators who have CCTV fitted to their coaches download the document and review their processes accordingly.

For more information view this ICO document.

Tourism Ireland is planning a coach and group fam trip in September taking in attractions and experiences across Northern Ireland and through Ireland’s Ancient East. The fam trip will take place from Thu 13 to Tue 18 September 2018.

Places are limited to 20, so don’t delay – register your interest now by email – CMulligan@tourismireland.com

(Photo: CTA chair John Wales with Tourism Ireland’s Megan O’Connor, trade & industry assistant; Juno Thompson, trade & industry executive; and David Wood, trade, industry & business tourism manager)

CPT partner Towergate has provided an update on the forthcoming changes to the package travel regulations.

Are you ready for the EU Package Travel Directive changes from 1 July 2018?
As one of the market leaders in consumer protection insurance, including financial failure insurance, travel bonding and passenger protection insurance, Towergate has created a new (TRIP) financial failure and travel insolvency insurance scheme in order to meet the requirements of the EC Package Travel Directive in force from 1 July 2018. The scheme is fully backed by an A-rated insurer (Zurich) and can easily be extended to include linked travel arrangements.

What is the EU Package Travel Directive?
The latest version of the new regulations can be found here .
These will become applicable from 1 July 2018 and extend the 1990 EU Package Travel Directive beyond traditional package holidays to protect consumers who book other forms of combined travel, such as a flight plus a hotel purchased together online. Under the new directive, such combinations are regarded and should be protected as a package for insurance purposes.

How does the EU Package Travel Directive affect tour operators, travel agents & group organisers?
The directive applies to three different types of travel combinations:
Pre-arranged holiday and travel packages – pre-arranged packages from a travel agent, tour operator or holiday operator made up of at least two elements, such as flights, transportation, accommodation, car rental, etc.
Customised holiday and travel packages – a selection of holiday and travel elements for the same trip, bought by the traveller from a single business, whether in an online or offline sale.
Linked travel arrangements – other linked marketing combinations for travel services. For example, if a traveller, after booking a travel service through a website, receives a targeted or specific invite and makes another booking through the same portal within 24 hours, they are not formally being offered a package. However, under the new regulations, in certain conditions his or her pre-payments will be protected by TRIP.

Wholesale changes to trust accounts
Whilst trust accounts are still an option in complying with the regulations, many changes have been made to ensure they are administered properly and respond to claims in full including repatriation cover.
The person or firm arranging and administering the trust account must be independent of the organiser.
Shortfall insurance arrangements must be purchased in relation to repatriation claims and the continuing of holiday arrangements prior to repatriation.
Please ensure if you operate a Trust Account you refer to points 23 & 24 in the new regulations (link provided above).

Travel Regulation Insolvency Protection scheme
Towergate’s specially-designed Travel Regulation Insolvency Protection scheme is available to all tour operators, travel agents, holiday operators and accommodation/villa providers (subject to status upon application). Its in-house experts that specialise in travel protection insurance, passenger protection insurance and financial failure insurance can advise the right Travel Regulation Insolvency Protection cover for you and the policy can be extended to include Linked Travel arrangements.
Towergate is an ABTA Partner+ and endorsed by ABTA for its products and services. The policy has been approved by ABTA as acceptable for membership purposes.
01932 334 140

Welcome to new members

We offer a warm welcome to the following new CTA members.

Coast Road, Llanerch-y-Mor, Mostyn, North Wales, CH8 9DX

Abakhan Fabrics, Hobby & Home are a family-run Retail & Craft Centre located on the North Wales coast in Mostyn, Flintshire and specialise in Fabrics, Yarns, Sewing and Crafts.
It runs Sewing & Craft Classes in a dedicated workshop as well as offering free in-store demonstrations. A warehouse-style Café can cater for up to 150 people and offers breakfasts, lunches, sandwiches, cakes, snacks and afternoon teas.
With a designated coach entrance and parking area, disabled facilities and lift access the destination has a wide range of products over a number of buildings and a 5.46 acre site, offering something to suit Sewing, Craft & Knitting enthusiasts.

10 Ings Mill Complex, Dale Street, Ossett, West Yorkshire  WF5 9HQ

Utrek is dedicated to saving money and reducing time spent on planning for clients and uses a vast network of hoteliers, to get you:
1. Availability in the required location.
2. Best value for money options, through negotiated rates.
3. Extra detail, to ensure your traveller’s expectations are exceeded.
Working closely with hotels throughout the UK & Europe Utrek promises the perfect hotel at the perfect price for you. Its hotel standard ranges from 3* to 5.

Littlecoates Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire DN34 4LX
01472 240024

A 4* hotel, nestled in the heart of Lincolnshire. All rooms with views over the Grimsby Golf course. Brasserie and private dining available. Easy access motorway links to Lincoln, Skegness, York and Whitby. Large free car park.

The latest news from Tourism Ireland focuses on Northern Ireland including new and expanding hotels and a Seamus Heaney tour offer.

Recently-opened hotels include the AC Hotel Belfast where guests can enjoy titanic views of Belfast from the riverside hotel; the 4-star Maldron Belfast City within walking distance of shops, restaurants and historic landmarks; Titanic Hotel Belfast: located in the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff, in the Titanic Quarter; and the Bullitt Hotel in the heart of the city.

Opening in June 2018 is The Grand Central Hotel which will boast 300 bedrooms and a roof-top bar on the 22nd floor with panoramic views across Northern Ireland.

A special tour operator rate of £6 per person is available for the Seamus Heaney Home Place tour which offers an amazing journey through the world of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, and explores, through his words and imagination, the people and place that so inspired him.


Brodick Castle, on the Isle of Arran will re-open in 2019 with a promise of a new approach to the visitor experience. The castle has been undergoing a major refit designed to safeguard the structure and its world-class collections of art and artefacts from the threat of fire. The National Trust for Scotland decided to keep it closed for the rest of 2018 to focus on the visitor experience at Brodick Castle.

When the castle re-opens there will be new interpretation and displays, exhibitions and brand new café facilities within the grounds.

“Our new approach is not about the importance of these objects and the artwork in our care – we already know how valuable these items are to Scotland’s cultural heritage – but how we manage and utilise them to tell our collective stories,” says Dr David Hopes, head of collections and interiors policy, National Trust for Scotland.

“We will be investing £3million over the next five years in improving the condition of our collections and enhancing visitor understanding and enjoyment.”

Meanwhile, the National Trust for Scotland advises that the gardens, grounds and Isle Be Wild adventure playground are all open to enjoy this summer. There is a 2018 gardens group rate (£5.50) and group catering offers. 2019 group rates are available and all bookings and requests for Brodick Castle and other NTS properties in 2019 should be made via the National Trust for Scotland trade team on traveltrade@nts.org.uk and 0131 458 0204.


New Lanark Mill Hotel celebrated its 20th anniversary this month, having opened its doors for the first time on 14 May. The hotel opening followed years of painstaking restoration work at the historic mill buildings. Since then it has become a very popular destination not only for a short break but for weddings, events and conferences.

Over the past 20 years, the hotel has welcomed many guests from around the world including a visit from the Queen who enjoyed lunch in the Robert Owen Suite in 2000.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us throughout,” says New Lanark Mill’s Lynne Cooper. “Without your loyal custom we would not have become the destination that we are today. We have many happy memories and look forward to creating new memories with our guests over the next 20 years.”


CTA member Blueprint Travel Media welcomed Verity Tiff, a Blue Badge Guide from Heart of England, to Shrewsbury for a prize presentation and a tour of some of the town’s top attractions and destinations to highlight its appeal to the groups market.

In conjunction with local attraction Battlefield 1403, Blueprint presented Verity with a prize hamper, which she won as a result of entering a competition at the British Tourism and Travel Show.

A tour of Shrewsbury’s attractions included the Sabrina Boat, a 45-minute cruise on the River Severn showing off the stunning views of Quarry Park with commentary about the history of the town.

“Battlefield 1403 is definitely worth a visit and I was particularly impressed with the Visitor Centre display, which gives a lot of information about a probably relatively unknown battle in our history,” says Verity. “The boat trip was also very good – just about the right length with a clear commentary.”

Blueprint reports this was not only an enjoyable day for Verity but also an informative one, packed full of ideas and information about potential destinations for groups in and around Shrewsbury. It hopes this visit will help inspire more group travel organisers to consider Shropshire as a destination to include in their itineraries.


CTA member Freedom Hotels reports that it still has space to accommodate groups at its Isles of Glencoe and Ballachulish Hotels for Christmas this year.

Ballachulish & Isles of Glencoe Hotels Christmas package
• 4 nights arriving on the 23rd December 2018
• DBB on the 23rd with arrival tea and cake
• DBB on the 24th with a glass of sparkling wine
• Full board on the 25th to include Christmas lunch, glass of wine and evening buffet DBB on the 26th to include a glass of wine with dinner (we can also offer lunch at £15pp additional to the package if your guests would like to add this on!)
• Nightly entertainment
The rate is £240 per person for the full 4-night package (£80 single supplement)

A warm welcome awaits guests at the Ballachulish Hotel. Situated in a breathtaking lochside setting at the foot of dramatic Glencoe. Roaring log fires, peaceful surroundings, a cosy atmosphere and over one hundred years of traditional hospitality make the Ballachulish Hotel a real highland gem.

Almost afloat, the Isles of Glencoe Hotel & Leisure Centre nestles on the side of a peninsula reaching into Loch Leven. The friendly, modern hotel offers everything you might need on holiday; spacious bedrooms with loch and mountain-views, and a relaxed atmosphere.

If you would like more details or want to take up this opportunity, please contact:

Terri McAllister
Group Sales Team Manager
Crieff Hydro Ltd
01764 651 837


UK Coach Awards

CTA member Woods Travel was crowned Top Small Fleet Operator at this year’s UK Coach Awards which were held in Blackpool.

Here’s a photo of CTA board director Kristy Elsmere and Roger Elsmere receiving their award with TV’s Carol Kirkwood and award sponsor, PSV Glass’ Tony Hurndall, and a photo of Kristy presenting the CTA-sponsored award for the “Top Express Operation” to the team at Scottish Citylink Coaches.

CTA chief executive Chris Wales was invited by made to the launch of the 950-seat open-air pop-up Rose Theatre constructed in an open space by York’s Clifford’s Tower for summer season of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.Chris was hosted by Billi-Jo Highdale and Vince Mutty from made. For full details see: www.shakespearesrosetheatre.com
CTA member Nord-pas-de-Calais recently hosted a fam trip to the WW2 Dunkirk beaches and the WW1 Tank Museum at Cambrai. The coach was provided by new CTA board director Roger Bull’s company RB Travel and the ferry crossing by new board member Colin Fawcus from DFDS Ferries – outward crossing  Dover/Dunkirk and return Calais/Dover.

Seen here are a group of CTA members taken on the deck of the Dunkerque Seaways.