CTA Bulletin September 2018

The CTA Xmas Social takes place on Sunday 25 November, hosted by Strathmore Hotels at The Cairn, Harrogate, and promises to be a lovely festive end to our meeting calendar for 2018.

Once again, Coach Operators and Tour Wholesalers may attend the event free of charge, while the cost for Suppliers for DBB (including pre-dinner drinks, disco and lots of networking) is £149pp plus VAT.

Before the networking dinner, there is a fascinating Fam trip in the afternoon to Markenfield Hall, a few miles north of Harrogate, where there will be a guided tour followed by tea and cakes (see here for more info).

Don’t miss it! Book your place now using this link.

The regular CTA reception at World Travel Market takes place at the Fox pub on Monday 5 November from 1100 to 1300. We look forward to seeing lots of members there for what is always a really valuable networking opportunity. Just turn up at the Fox and join in!

And, if you haven’t yet registered for WTM, please use the link below which gives you access to all three days including the invitation-only Monday.

This year’s WTM London includes new Inspiration Zones which are based around particular regions as places to browse, explore and discover niche products and upcoming trends. The conference programme has also been enhanced and has nearly doubled in size with added sessions related to the Inspiration Zones. From ForwardKeys looking at the Chinese market to Mintel looking at the UK and Ireland, you’ll get new insights you can’t get anywhere else.

The Tuesday evening of WTM London (Tuesday 6 November) will also host the inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards at Tobacco Dock. Tuesday starts with a Speed Networking session and also sees the UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit, while the Wednesday features World Responsible Tourism Day.

“WTM London is the event where ideas arrive, offering unrivalled opportunities to engage and listen to the greatest minds in the industry, helping delegates to improve their margins and launch new businesses,” says WTM London senior director Simon Press “We anticipate more than £3billion worth of business will be agreed due to this year’s event between more than 5,000 exhibitors and more than 10,000 senior industry buyers.”

Please find your exclusive link below:

While the government continues to claim that Brexit negotiations “are progressing well”, it has now published further documents which outline the potential consequences of a ‘No deal’ scenario, including a warning about the possibility of serious implications for coach trips to Europe beyond 29 March 2019.

If there’s no deal, the government warns that UK bus and coach operators could no longer rely on automatic recognition by the EU of UK-issued Community Licences (O licences). “EU countries may choose to recognise that UK-issued operator licences and associated authorisations are based on the same standards as EU Community Licences and not require further authorisations,” according to the document. “This would ensure continued passenger movement, but cannot be guaranteed.”

The UK currently participates in the Interbus Agreement, since the EU as a whole is a member. This agreement allows bus and coach operators to carry out occasional services (including coach tours and holidays) between the participating countries. In addition to the EU countries there are 7 eastern European members: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey and Ukraine.

The UK intends to join the Interbus Agreement before or soon after 29 March 2019 as an independent member. Requirements on operators would be largely the same as the current EU rights – for example, a waybill would need to be carried. Unlike the EU rules, Interbus does not allow cabotage, so a UK operator would not be able to undertake work entirely within the EU.

UK drivers will continue to be able to drive in all EU countries after we have left, under the Geneva and Vienna Conventions, but this may now require an International Driving Permit to be obtained before departure and carried whilst driving for both commercial and private purposes in the EU.

The government has confirmed that it will maintain the transport manager and driver CPC schemes, and EU-issued CPC documentation will be recognised in the UK after we leave the EU. This includes both transport manager CPCs and driver CPCs. If there is no deal, automatic recognition by EU countries of UK-issued CPCs would cease, but if the UK joins the Interbus Agreement, UK bus and coach drivers holding a UK CPC would be able to drive for work in the EU.

The document says: “If there is any delay to the UK joining Interbus (for example, if there is a time gap between 29 March 2019 and Interbus coming into force) then, as with Community Licences, EU countries may choose to continue to recognise UK-issued CPC in practice, but this cannot be guaranteed”.

The government advice suggests that UK operators who are taking travel bookings which involve coach travel in Europe after 29 March 2019 may wish to consider contractual terms with their customers that allow them to subcontract all or part of the coach travel to EU-based operators if necessary.

On the question of contracts, the Confederation of Passenger Transport also suggests that operators may wish to also consider contractual terms with customers which could limit liability to compensation and recommends operators obtain legal advice. CPT points out that in the airline industry, which faces a similar risk from a no-deal scenario, some operators are selling tickets for travel after 29 March with a clause that limits their liability to a refund in the event of it being impossible for them to carry the passenger for the journey they have booked.

CPT has also warned that other important questions remain unanswered, including whether British coach drivers will need working visas or work permits.

For full details see the government document, in addition to related ‘No deal’ documents on driving, vehicle insurance and trading:

Operating bus or coach services abroad if there’s no Brexit deal

Driving in the EU if there’s no Brexit deal

Vehicle insurance if there’s no Brexit deal

Trading with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal

(Photo: Ireland Fam trip at Blessingbourne Country Estate)

CTA members were among coach and tour operators who took part in a six-day Fam trip to Ireland organised by Tourism Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland and Failte Ireland, reports Stuart Render of Stuart Render Tourism.
The trip started in Belfast Cathedral where Northern Ireland Tourism welcomed the group for a B2B workshop, bringing coach and tour operators together with representatives from destinations, visitor attractions, hotels and tourism suppliers.

Two full days in Northern Ireland included a visit to Blessingbourne Country Estate, a relaxing cruise on Lough Erne on the ‘Lady of the Lake’ as part of the exploration of the picturesque Fermanagh Lakelands, a visit underground to see the spectacular Marble Arch Caves, and a tour of the famous Belleek Pottery.

Crossing into the Republic of Ireland, hosts Failte Ireland produced an itinerary focusing on ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’. This included a cookery demonstration at Ghan House in Carlingford, and a visit to the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre near Drogheda. There was an opportunity to bake bread, dance a jig, play a bodhran and milk a cow at Causey Farm, and hear about the filming of ‘Braveheart’ at Trim Castle. But it was a visit to Slane Castle, home to the eponymous distillery, and the location for the famous rock concerts, that provided the biggest surprise. Sitting down to the usual ‘welcome’ video inside the castle, we were greeted on screen by the owner Lord Henry Mountcharles. Sitting in a comfy chair, and seemingly without notes, he told the story of the castle, its destruction by fire, and its restoration. It was a remarkable piece of storytelling, and surprisingly emotional, leaving many of the group, and this writer included, with a tear in the eye.

The main part of the trip ended with a B2B workshop at Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa. Congratulations to the teams from Tourism Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland and Failte Ireland for a well organised, enjoyable and informative fam trip.

Pauline Bull (Taurus Holidays) with Claire Muir (Andrews of Tideswell) at a bread-making class at Causey Farm.

More photos at www.stuartrendertourism.co.uk

Royal Museums Greenwich and Shakespeare’s Globe, in conjunction with MBNA Thames Clippers is running an exclusive fam trip ‘Shakespeare and the Stars’ on 22 November 2018.

Shakespeare was heavily influenced by astronomy, showing a strong knowledge and keen interest of the night sky throughout his writings. This fam trip gives you the chance to explore The Royal Observatory, home of space and time, before heading down the Thames on MNBA Thames Clippers to arrive at the famous reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. 

”Comets, importing change of times and states. Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky”- William Shakespeare Henry VI Part 1

10:30   Arrival at Royal Observatory for self-guided audio tour
12:00   Free time for lunch in Greenwich
13:00   Regroup by Greenwich Pier
13:10   MBNA Thames Clippers departs Greenwich to Bankside Pier
13:37   Arrive at Bankside Pier outside The Globe Theatre
13:45   Walk to Exhibition entrance of Shakespeare’s Globe and view exhibition with complimentary audio guide
14:45   Guided tour of the Globe Theatre
15:30   Finish

If you wish to arrive into Greenwich by MBNA Thames Clippers, please advise so that we can issue additional tickets in advance. 

Places are limited, so if you’d like to take part, email TravelTrade@rmg.co.uk

‘Something To Look Forward To’, a charity founded by CTA’s web and IT facilitator, Andy Coldron and his wife Fiona, has just been presented the top achievement award from the National Lottery. It is well deserved recognition of the great work the charity does to help other families affected by cancer and ‘cancer poverty’.

The charity has been supported at previous CTA events and with the help of annual raffles, and generous gift donations by some of our members, it has gone from strength to strength. The awards ceremony was shown on BBC1 this month to over 1 million viewers and there are also plans for a feature on the BBC ‘One Show’ which is viewed by over 6 million viewers.

As a result of all this publicity the charity desperately needs more gifts from CTA members to help families affected by cancer to have ‘Something To Look Forward To’. These could be family passes to a zoo… theme park… castle… stately home… football ground, or a night away at a hotel… tickets to the theatre, a meal in a restaurant. Whatever you can donate to this charity will go directly to a family affected by cancer.

To see some of the previous CTA supporters and to get in touch with the charity please visit this link.

CTA member CroisiEurope is inviting coach tour operators to experience its product first hand, with a Fam trip on board the MS Renoir, on the river Seine in Paris.

CroisiEurope Paris Round Trip takes place from Sunday 11 Nov to Thursday 15 Nov 2018. The trip embarks from Quai des Grenelles in Paris and visits Andelys, Rouen and Honfleur. International flights and transfers to/from the ship are not included.

To apply, please contact: Gabrielle Alam, Croisieurope Cruises Tel 0208 328 0649 email: salesuk@croisieurope.com

More info here

The Package Travel Regulations and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 are now governing the sale of holidays. Travel Advice Centre is being asked for clarification of what it means for operators and has offered the following advice on how to implement the new regulations.

Travel Advice Centre quotes an example of a business owner who has been providing hotel accommodation with instructors sent over to organise daily sports sessions. Is it a package, they asked? Most definitely. These regulations turn a simple, small personal business into something much more complex.

What does the business need to do?

The first thing is to ensure customers are protected against the possibility of a company’s financial failure as well as ensure adequate liability insurance covering the business against accident and injury liability claims and also consider professional indemnity cover. If a spillage is left on the floor in the hotel and a customer slips and suffers injury, the claim will lie against the company. Similarly an outbreak of food poisoning allegedly caused by food consumed at the hotel could also result in claims against the business. If poor advice is given by a sports instructor that he has provided, results in injury, it will now be the company’s responsibility.

Terms and conditions are so important, says Travel Advice Centre. They need immediate updating. The new legislation provides specific ‘key rights’ wording that must appear via hyperlink on websites. If hyperlinks are not possible then a specifically-worded paragraph has to be reproduced. (See Schedule 2 and 3 in the regulations) This information is not shown on a number of CTA members’ websites at present, according to Travel Advice Centre.

Some breaches of the regulations constitute criminal offences so turning a blind eye is not an option.

The regulations specify the information that MUST be provided before the contract is concluded. If selling through the trade, the retailer and organiser can agree which of the two will provide that information but if there is a failure to meet the regulation, both organiser and retailer are liable.

There is a new requirement to support a client in difficulty, not simply direct him/her to their insurers. A key requirement of the regulations is ‘Travellers are given an emergency number or details of a contact point where they can get in touch with the organiser’. This should be a 24/7 number for your company.

There are stronger cancellation and transfer rights for the consumer. A passenger on a booking can transfer arrangements to another traveller and any charges applied need to be explained and justifiable.

The customer has the right to cancel and receive a full refund if a surcharge of more than 8 per cent is applied to the booking.


Joss Croft has been appointed as UKinbound’s new CEO. Croft’s career includes16 years at VisitBritain, where he held a number of senior positions including manager Spain & Portugal, head of business visits & events, and marketing director. In the latter role, he was instrumental in the delivery of the GREAT campaign, and forged strong working relationships with a variety of UK institutions and international destinations.

He is currently director of network communications at the Department for International Trade (DIT) and his previous posts include the London Tourism Board and Convention Bureau (now London and Partners), Parc du Futuroscope, and Disneyland Paris Resort.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been given this fantastic opportunity to represent UKinbound at this critical time for the UK’s international tourism industry,” says Croft. “Tourism provides jobs and growth across the whole of the United Kingdom and represents nearly 10 per cent of all UK GDP. Without question, the UK is the best destination in the world, and I look forward to working with the Association’s membership and colleagues to build on its success in the coming years.”


CTA chief executive Chris Wales joined Adele Godden and Debbie Mills from Hospitality Line and Vicky from London Eye Cruises for a fam trip to the London Eye and Thames Cruise.

Meanwhile one of the latest offerings from Hospitality Line is the Postal Museum, which brings together fascinating exhibitions and the unique Mail Rail.

Groups can journey through five centuries of world-class curiosities that changed the world. From global innovations and crackpot schemes to pirates and highwaymen, they can discover how the world’s first social network kept us all in touch.

The experience includes boarding a miniature train and traveling back in time through the narrow underground tunnels of Mail Rail on a 15-minute interactive ride. Guests pass through original station platforms that come to life during this spectacular glimpse into the heyday of this century old railway.

A group package including the Postal Museum & Lunch or Afternoon Tea at the nearby Hilton Doubletree, is available from Hospitality Line.


ICT managing director Peter Stratton is taking part in a charity cycle ride from Canterbury to Disneyland Paris (approx 200 miles) this month in aid of the London Black Cabs childrens’ charity. Peter reports that it is the 25th Anniversary of this superb Black Cab “convoy” for children with life-threatening illnesses and would welcome your support with fundraising. You can donate at the JustGiving here.
Mersey Ferries has released 2019 dates for its Summer Evening Cruise programme which enables early booking for its live entertainment cruises on the River Mersey.

Mersey Ferries Summer Evening Cruises provide an addition to any itinerary and feature live music from the North West’s best local talent, a fully licensed bar and great views of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront.

Tickets are priced at £12 per person for groups of 20 or more for the two-hour Summer Evening Cruises which take place on Fridays and Saturdays. Many of the 2018 dates sold out months in advance.

“Our cruises provide a fantastic evening of live entertainment and leave passengers with great, lasting memories of Liverpool over the summer,” says Mersey Ferries’ Gary Evans. “As an event, they offer something completely unique in the North West – bringing together culture and entertainment on one of the world’s most recognisable waterfronts.

“For 2019, many of the local performers we’re securing are already incredibly popular with North West audiences and residents, so we’re anticipating the appetite for this type of intimate gig to be incredible. We’d advise large groups to book in advance to avoid disappointment if they’d like to join us on our summer sailings.”