CTA Bulletin August 2017

We are sorry to report that Paul Ovington has decided to leave his role with the CTA. Paul has been associated with the organisation for 12 years, firstly as PR consultant and in addition, for the past 11 years he has run the CTA administration office too.

During this time he has been the main link with the membership, developed and run the CTA’s annual events programme, helped build membership and headed the development of the two websites and annual Handbook. At the same time he has helped to give coach tourism a positive profile in the national and regional consumer media through a series of press trips in the UK and abroad and handled our PR work both internally and externally.

“I’ve really enjoyed working originally for the CTC and latterly for the CTA,” said Paul. “But what started out as very much a part time role has become a full time position and at my age I want to have more time for family life and leisure.”

“I’d like to thank everyone associated with the CTA for their support, not least Sean Taggart who I worked with during his 10 years as chairman and more recently our current chair, Denise Bridges, and of course all of those who have served on the CTA Board. Last but not least my oldest friend Chris Wales, the CTA CE, who originally got me involved with the organisation and with whom I have worked – I like to think successfully – for many years. I am sure we’ll continue to hold ‘meetings’ in Weatherspoons! As Chris tells journalists on press trips you start out as strangers but at the end of the trip you are friends. Over the years many CTA members have become firm friends and I hope I’ll be able to keep my connections with them in the future.”

Paul will continue in his role for as long as it takes for the CTA to find his successor.

The Board of the CTA have decided to create a new role of ‘Membership Support Services’. If anyone would like to see the Tender Document please contact Chris Wales at chris@coachtourismassociation.co.uk

The Board recently decided with regret to withdraw the CTA Hotel Charter. Although the Charter had been streamlined, modified and updated some hotel groups found it difficult to agree to some of the points laid down while some of their individual hotels would not accept rules agreed by their head office.

Having said that many if not all Hotel groups now have their own Charter schemes which replicate what the CTA Hotel Charter had set out to do and most have individual agreements with operators and tour wholesalers. So while it is disappointing, the hotels have taken on board the need to treat coach groups as they would individuals and provide a better service to them. We do hope this will continue and that individual hotels will also buy into the objectives laid out in the Charter.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the hoteliers that contributed to drafting the original CTA Hotel Charter and we look forward to working with them on future initiatives that will enhance the coach customer hotel experience.

In a joint initiative between the CTA and Martin Laver of White’s Tours & Hotels in Ireland, more than £1,000 has been raised for Guide Dogs for the Blind in memory of CTA Board director and owner of Wayahead Travel, Brian Way, who sadly died in June.

Nearly £800 was raised at the CTA Summer BBQ at the Burn Hall Hotel with special thanks going to all suppliers who generously gave a variety of prizes for a raffle. For his part Martin is hoping to raise more than £500 through Just Giving having cycled close on a hundred miles from Nottinghamshire to Burn Hall. If you were not at the BBQ and would like to donate go to our Just Giving page.

The money raised will not just help pay towards the training of a guide dog but include two named bricks being laid in a pathway in Brian’s memory, at one of the charity’s centres.

Pictured: Martin Laver at the end of his near 100 mile charity cycle ride to the Burn Hall Hotel with (from left) Louise Fitzpatrick, Marriott Hotels, CTA chair Denise Bridges, Gina Halden of Greatdays Travel and Paula Turton of Accor Hotels

CTA members Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are inviting CTA members to join a fam visit on Friday 1 September, to include private tours at both venues with refreshments, lunch and tea all included.

  • Take a fresh look at the Houses of Parliament.  The tour will offer a vivid glimpse into the activities of a busy 21st century working building. Following the processional route taken by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament, the fam group will pass through the Robing Room and the Royal Gallery before entering the Prince’s Chamber and the majestic Lords Chamber. The tour continues through the Commons Chamber before finishing in the medieval Westminster Hall.  Tours to the Houses of Parliament now also include the opportunity for groups to enjoy a stylish afternoon tea beside the River Thames.
  • Afterwards take the short walk to Westminster Abbey for a Verger-led tour of the Abbey, one of the world’s greatest churches with a history stretching back over a thousand years.  The Abbey has been the Coronation church since 1066, and the setting for many other great events in the life of the nation, including sixteen royal weddings. It is the burial place of Kings and Queens, and of other distinguished figures in the nation’s history, from writers and musicians to politicians and scientists.

This fam trip will run from approximately 11am through to 4pm, To register your interest, please contact Lucy Hillyard, Marketing Manager, Westminster Abbey.  Tel: 0207 654 4862; Lucy.Hillyard@westminster-abbey.org

Royal Museums Greenwich is inviting CTA members to join a fam trip on 10 October to see the world famous Cutty Sark and the Queen’s House, as well as a new coach drop off point in Greenwich.

The visit will start with a tour of Cutty Sark, to experience what life was like on board the historic sailing ship. After seeing the new central coach drop off point, the group will go on to the Queen’s House, to firstly enjoy the new group product of Queen’s House Afternoon Tea before having a guided tour of the beautiful royal villa, designed by Inigo Jones for James I’s queen, Anne of Denmark, which was later completed around 1638 for Charles I’s queen, Henrietta Maria.

The fam trip will run from 11am until 4pm. To register please email TravelTrade@rmg.co.uk

Following on from the success last year, the CTA is again hosting a networking reception for members who are visiting World Travel Market on the first day on Monday 6 November. It will again be held on the Mezzanine of Starbucks/the Fox Pub (on the concourse close to the entrance to Excel). This will take place from 11am to 1pm and refreshments will be available.

The CTA has also again come to an agreement with WTM organisers for CTA members to receive passes for the opening day, when entry is usually restricted to invited buyers and suppliers. The link for this will be added to the website later but if you would like to attend the reception, please e mail admin@coachtourismassociation.co.uk

Members can now also register for the annual Christmas social and networking event on Sunday 26 November, being hosted by Marriott Hotels at the 4 star, Marriott Cheshunt Hotel in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. Marriott is hosting CTA coach tour operators and UK domestic tour wholesalers free of charge. This includes a pre dinner drinks reception, dinner and overnight accommodation and breakfast. The charge for suppliers is £109pp (plus VAT). To register to attend please complete this booking form.
We are delighted to welcome more new members who have joined the CTA in recent months, bringing the number for the year to more than twenty.

Bayliss Executive Travel www.baylissexecutivetravel.co.uk in Kent, set up in 2004 the company today has a rapidly growing extensive day breaks and tour holidays programme to some of the most sought out destinations in the UK and Europe.
Kirbys Coaches www.kirbyscoaches.co.uk in Essex offer a carefully selected choice of holidays by luxury coach which include favourites visited during its 65 years as well as ‘new’ destinations.

Visit Herts www.visitherts.co.uk is a partnership of attractions, accommodation and destinations across the county. The team is dedicated to working with the coach industry to deliver exciting and engaging product ideas, itineraries, contacts and images.

Lifton Farm Shop & Restaurant www.liftonfarmshop.co.uk off the A30 in south Devon is the perfect coach stop for journeys into and out of Cornwall. The family run, award winning barn style 200 seater restaurant prides itself on friendly staff with a kitchen using produce reared and grown on the farm.. Open seven days a week.

Poole Tourism www.pooletourism.com offers a mixture of fascinating history and top attractions from the vibrant quayside with harbour cruises and world famous Poole Pottery to the gardens of Compton Acres (recently voted the UK’s top tourist attraction by Trip Advisor).

Scone Palace www.scone-palace.co.uk in Perth is a magnificent stately home where once the Kings of Scots were crowned on the famous Stone of Scone. Today Scone Palace is home to the Earls of Mansfield and houses an extensive collection of French furniture, magnificent paintings and beautiful antiques with 100 acres of spectacular grounds and gardens.

Westminster Abbey www.westminster-abbey.org is one of the world’s greatest churches, with a history stretching back over a thousand years. The Abbey has been the Coronation church since 1066, and the setting for many other great events including sixteen royal weddings. Guided tours, led by Abbey vergers, are available to groups.

Photos from the 2017 CTA Summer BBQ

Pauline Black (right) of Classic Britain Hotels won a West Midland Safari Park ‘tiger’ donated by Sue Day in the charity raffle. They are pictured with Melanie Cox, Gardiners NMC and Chris Wales

Simon Warwick of Groups Direct shows a brave face while handling an owl. Giving him support are Monique White of Continuum Attractions, Adam Kerrigan of Shearings Holidays and Bobby Szente of Hospitality Line.

Lyndsay and Adrian Smith of Gardiners NMC with Stuart Render

Elizabeth Mounser with Joanne Scurr of the Grand Hotel in York and Sharon Johnson of hosts Best Western

Chris Wales is pictured with Charles Wilson of the German National Tourist Office, Margaret Palmer, one of the founding members of the then CTC and Andy Callingham of Albatross Travel

Liz Young of the National Trust for Scotland, Rona Wallace of VisitScotland and Barry Cobb, Johnsons Coaches.

Gavin Davies of Groups Direct with Diane Richmond of Richmond’s Coaches

Former member Tony Laver with Helen Millbank of Group Travel World and Ken Hays, Roeville Computer Systems

Tom Bache, West Midland Safari Park, with Janet and Mike Scutt, Viewfinder Tours, Lesley Terrell, Historic Royal Palaces and Tony Laver

CTA treasurer Steve Lee of Anderson Travel is looking suitably proud on announcing his impending fatherhood with his partner Marietjie Snyman

Annette Gallagher of Rezidor Hotels with her partner Steve Woodhouse

Julie Cousins, Group Travel World, Adam Reeves, Planet Hollywood, Sam Noble, Group Tourism & Travel, Bobby Szente Hospitality Line and Helen Millbank, GTW

Pauline Black, Classic Britain, Adam Kerrigan of Shearings and Paula Turton of Accor Hotels

QHotels Zoe Gould and Alan Lloyd, Maggie Wright and Robert Easton of Eastons Holidays, Cormac O’Suilleabhain of Tourism Ireland and Louise Fitzpatrick, Marriott Hotels

Martin Laver is pictured at the end of his near 100 mile charity cycle ride to the Burn Hall Hotel with (from left) Louise Fitzpatrick, Marriott Hotels, CTA chair Denise Bridges, Gina Halden of Greatdays Travel and Paula Turton of Accor Hotels

Photos from the VisitScotland Workshop

A VisitScotland Workshop was held on the morning after the BBQ with suppliers from Scotland taking tables for one to one meetings with CTA operators and wholesalers. The CTA’s Paul Ovington is pictured with VisitScotland’s Rona Wallace , Robert Easton, Eastons Coaches, Ian Fox, CalMac Ferries.

Gillian Kretzschmar of Motts/Crusader with of Abbotsford

Lynne Cooper of New Lanark World Heritage Site with ICT’s Ian Marsh

Karen Kelly of Clyde Cruises with Katharine Worsley and Gina Halden of Greatdays Travel Group

Louisa Fortune of Jurys Inns with Tina Felstead and Andy Callingham of Albatross Travel

Robert Easton of Eastons Holidays with Wendy Hannam of Redefine BDL Hotels

Photos from CTA Member Events

Pictured at the naming ceremony of Thames River Services new fleet addition, the Thomas Doggett, are from left CTA members Debbie Mills (Hospitality Line), John Wales, Encore Tickets, Ann Wilson, Historic Royal Palaces, Thames River Services’ Stephen Duder, and Adele Godden, Hospitality Line

Chris Wales is pictured at Visit Kent’s annual garden party with Steff Harlow of Leeds Castle, Olivia Horner of the Historic Dockyard Chatham and Alanna Kite of Visit Kent

Northumbrian based CTA member Gardiners NMC has taken over the holiday programme of Epsom Coaches with Melanie Cox, a Board Director of the CTA, heading up the southern division of the company along with Alistair Scott. Melanie and Alistair are pictured with Steve Whiteway on his retirement as MD of Epsom Coaches and wishing them well are Alan Lloyd of QHotels, Nadia Bowman of Best Western and (right) Joanne Scurr, previously of Best Western