British Tourism & Travel Show – the leading annual meeting place for the UK and Ireland’s multi-billion-pound domestic tourism industry, has released a preview of what’s new from exhibitors at this year’s show.
Taking place at NEC Birmingham on the 22-23 March, the popular two-day trade event will showcase over 260 leading attractions, venues, destinations, hotels, transport providers, associations and DMOs from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Visit Wales is celebrating the Year of Legends, with attractions, events and activities at legendary locations across Wales. Attractions include its Roman harbours and Victorian piers, around 230 beaches and 50 islands. Activities include zip wires, mountain bike trails, and the world’s first complete coastal path. As a fifth of the country is National Park, this landscape is scattered with standing stones and burial chambers, and 641 legendary castles – more per square mile than anywhere else on Earth (stand B61).
Marketing Liverpool is exhibiting alongside its ten partners: Albert Dock, The Beatles Story, Jaguar Land Rover, British Music Experience, Mersey Ferries, National Museums Liverpool, Biennial, Liverpool FC, Cavern City Tours and the Hard Day’s Night Hotel. This year, Liverpool will host 50 Summers of Love; a season of performances and events inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. New Spring openings include the British Music Experience (BME), in march, and the Royal Institute of British Architects. While other highlights include The Open Championship, and The Clothes Show Live (stand E20).
Tourism Ireland is exhibiting its new attractions, including Seamus Heaney’s home place, HMS Caroline, Game of Throne’s filming locations, and world class culinary delights. Encompassing over 5,000 years of history, Ireland’s Ancient East route stretches from the Boyne Valley to Cork, and features some of the island’s oldest and most culturally important monuments. Whilst Dublin offers a vibrant city centre life, and charming coastal villages less than 30 minutes away. Also showcasing: Wild Atlantic Way and Titanic Belfast (stand C37).
Kents Cavern is launching its bespoke underground tasting sessions for the daytime market. Food and drink is becoming an important and growing part of the groups tourism sector, and Kents Cavern is working with many award-winning suppliers. Visitors can choose from a selection of Sharphams Vineyard’s best wines and cheeses or Bays Brewery’s local and increasingly popular ales – all created just a few miles from Kents Cavern. Combination day trips to Coleton Fishacre (National Trust) and other Devon attractions are also available (Devon’s Top Attractions, stand D76).
Bletchley Park is bringing a replica Enigma machine (the German encryption device that was broken by famous mathematicians, including Alan Turing, during WW2) to the show. Also previewing: Off Duty–High Spirits and Low Times, which opens on 30 March. Bletchley Park staff will also be on hand to give an introduction to codebreaking hero Bill Tutte, who will be the subject of a new exhibition from 14 May (stand D71).
First time exhibitor, GULHOS – Hospitality Photography is showcasing the work of Lorentz Gullachsen, and his associates, for a variety of destinations, tourist boards and travel specialists across the UK and internationally; including a new body of work for Ragley, Warwickshire (stand F22).
The Great Gardens of Cornwall is launching its new book The Great Gardens of Cornwall: The People and their Plants to celebrate their twenty fifth anniversary, inviting guests to join them to explore some of the most captivating gardens in the world. Also showcasing: the castle setting of Caerhays, with its long traditions of magnolia and camellia propagation dating back to the days of the Victorian plant hunters, and the cutting-edge modernism of contemporary garden sculpture at Tremenheere (stand G50).
Airedale Tours is unveiling its new department specifically aimed at the small groups market. Catering for groups of between 12 and 20 people, it offers the flexibility of arriving independently (or as a group). March will also see the new Airedale Tours website launched, which is full of information including special events in the UK for 2017/2018, and an online brochure (stand C56).
Discover Newmarket has a number of new tours launching in 2017. These include The History and Heritage Tour and the Munnings Tour, which includes a visit to the Munnings Museum in Dedham for a guided tour and lunch. Visitors will then travel back to Newmarket to experience the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. For groups of 20, Discover Newmarket is currently offering a discounted price of £70pp (stand E73).
Coach Monthly is launching its new re-brand at the show. The newly named Group Tourism & Travel Magazine will feature fresh itinerary ideas, destination guides, attraction & entertainment reviews, and travel & tourism news (stand E57).Dolphin Spirit Inverness
is launching the new RIB vessel, Dolphin Mischief. Carrying up to 12 thrill-seeking passengers, this new two-hour adventure goes farther and faster than Dolphin Spirit, up beyond the narrows of Chanonry Point, and into the wilderness beyond. Its flagship vessel, Dolphin Spirit, has been newly refurbished for the 2017 season, with the addition of two new language sheets in Spanish and Italian, along with the German, French, and English, for improved accessibility (stand B12).
Launching its new branding at the show, Southport is promoting its new events schedule, including hosting the 146th British Open. Miss England and Miss Northwest will also be joining them on the second day, as the current Miss England was crowned in Southport last July. Also promoting its discount voucher books, driver facilities, and secure coach parking at only £5 per day (stand E35).
ArcelorMittal Orbit is promoting its special offer created for groups, which includes a two-course meal, hot drink, and general entry ticket from just £16.50. The world’s tallest, longest tunnel slide are challenging visitors to ‘Ride the Slide’ or enjoy breath-taking views of up to 20 miles across London from the two viewing galleries. This can be accessed by high speed lifts and provide panoramic views of Canary Wharf, The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral and out to Wembley Stadium. Also showcasing: The Podium Bar & Kitchen, which has a number of bespoke menu options (stand H5).
Strathmore Hotels, at the Visit Scotland stand, is launching new packages for groups in 2017 and 2018. This includes: the ‘All-inclusive’ package; ‘Drams & Dances’ at the Royal Hotel in Oban; ‘Fizz & Fayre’ at the Cairn Hotel in Harrogate; and ‘Christmas Market’ packages at St Nicholas Festival, York, or German Market, and Christkindlemarket in Leeds (stand B2).
Away Resorts is promoting its £500,000 investment in accommodation and new breaks, featuring 11 new shows and big-name stars, including Martin Kemp (currently on BBC’s Let it Shine), Des O’Connor, Joe Longthone, and Lemar from BBC’s Fame Academy (stand H45).
Visit Northumberland’s first ‘Guide for Groups’ is available at the show, providing a wealth of information about planning a group visit to Northumberland (it’s also available online). The guide is designed to inspire and inform organisers, making it easy to create an itinerary that will give groups an experience of a lifetime (stand C1).
Wales Millennium Centre is showcasing its new production, which tells the story of Cardiff’s docklands area in the early 1900s, when ‘coal was king’ and the multicultural character of Butetown region was born (starring John Owen-Jones). Also promoting: Festival of Voice, which was created to celebrate Wales’ timeless connection with song. The city’s first biennial international arts festival will be back in the summer of 2018, featuring a new season of live jazz, contemporary music and cabaret (stand C65).
Hospitality Line has unveiled four new group packages, in partnership with City Cruises. These include classic afternoon tea cruises (combined with the ultimate Shard sightseeing experience), exploring the south coast while enjoying a traditional lunch of fish and chips, and a steam train journey through the countryside. Groups will also have the chance to explore the secrets of Greenwich, or opt for an evening sightseeing cruise, following dinner at a top local restaurant (stand F46).
Roeville Reservation Software is showcasing PHCloud, a new web based management product for coach operators. Their experienced and dedicated team builds the market leading T3 passenger reservation and tour management systems, plus the WebRes e-commerce sites used by the UK’s leading coach tour brands (stand F11).
River Escapes is showcasing its selection of cruises in North East England, including a cruise on the historic and picturesque River Tyne, where groups can take in Newcastle/Gateshead's most famous riverside scenery. A River Escapes’ sightseeing cruise offers a way to take in one of the North's great cities – from the once thriving maritime heritage to world renowned icons, such as the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Tyne Bridge, The Sage Gateshead and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (stand H43).
Original Shrewsbury is promoting Sabrina Boat at the show, and various group packages with restaurants, garden centres, farm shops and the Blist Hill Victorian Museum in Ironbridge (stand H31).
Berrys Coaches (Taunton) is promoting its new double decker, and single deck coaches, which are ideal for holidays, short breaks and excursions. Also promoting: its 16-77 Executive Coaches, which includes WC, tea, coffee, and water facilities, reclining seats, Wi-Fi and specialist staff (stand E65).
Continuum Attractions is showcasing its group travel bookings, including Edinburgh’s warren of underground streets at The Real Mary King’s Close, York’s Chocolate Story, The Emmerdale Studio Experience and Emmerdale Village Tour in Leeds, Oxford Castle Unlocked, The Royal Mint Experience in Wales, Chaucer at The Canterbury Tales, and Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (stand D60).
Information Apps’ Criton is a self-build digital concierge for the travel sector. It allows rental property owners to create their own branded app in just a few minutes, and publish it on the App Store and Google Play. Users can add as many features as they want for their property, such as online booking, location, wifi password, TripAdvisor reviews, places of interest, check-in and check-out information, contact details and much more. The idea is to replace the guest information book with an app that can be updated at any time. Criton works with an affordable subscription model, starting at £6.99 + VAT per month (stand F23).
Group Travel World is showcasing its new website (www.grouptraveloffers.com) which offers group tickets to a range of UK attractions and theatre shows. Group Travel World is a monthly magazine full of inspiration, ideas and advice for group travel organisers (stand H37).
Galina Group Tours specialise in Battlefield Tours for adult groups, as well as school trips and study tours. Due to the popularity of the Educational Tours, Galina has recently extended the range to include art tours, cityscapes and landscape tours, First World War poetry tours, UK heritage tours, and Christmas market tours for adults (stand B47).
Fleetwood Market & Discover Wyre is promoting the newest additions to its 200-stall Fleetwood Market (one of the oldest markets in Lancashire). New stalls include Fleetwood Market Café, which offers a varied menu of breakfasts, toasties, salads and main meals with vegetarian options; The Shack, which specialises in quality modern furniture, lighting and gifts; and Bigfoods UK offering big-brand food products (stand F39).
The Slate Caverns is showcasing its new Deep Mine Tour experience, an immersive ‘time-travel’ experience for visitors. Featuring light projections, enhanced reality technology, video, 3D audio, and explosive special effects, all explaining the story of the Welsh slate miners’ lives. Using cutting-edge technology (never used at such a depth underground), the tour culminates in a memorable cinematic light display, which sees one of the cavern walls transformed into a cinema screen (stand B62).
First time exhibitor, Waterperry Gardens is promoting its eight acres of gardens, featuring a 200ft herbaceous border, rose garden and a riverside walk. The Gallery and Gift Barn offer gifts and unique artworks by British artists. There are plants in the garden shop and the Rural Life Museum is packed with quirky ephemera. The Teashop serves lunches and some of the best cakes in the county (stand D62).
Award-winning attraction, The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction is promoting its discounts and options available for groups. These include traditional afternoon tea with Peter Rabbit in the private Tea Garden, a lively themed talk with ‘Beatrix Potter’ herself, or a personalised tour of the garden. There are also combined tours with other local attractions in the Windermere area available, which their dedicated World of Beatrix Potter Attraction Group Bookings Manager can arrange (stand B41).
BBC Tours is promoting its award-winning behind the scene tours. Each year, its informative, entertaining guides welcome thousands of visitors to its buildings across the UK, pulling back the curtain to show what happens behind the scenes of ‘your’ BBC (stand B1).
City of Newport – Heritage is exhibiting its range of heritage attractions, including a transporter bridge – one of only six working worldwide, a large 15th Century merchant ship, remains of Roman barracks, baths and amphitheatre in Caerleon, St Woolos Cathedral, and the city’s museum/art gallery – including the Chartist’s March in 1839, plus Fourteen Locks Canal Centre (stand C71).
The award-winning East Lancashire Railway runs steam and diesel train services through Pennine Lancashire scenery. There are plenty of things to see and do, from luxury dining trains to award-winning events, and its stations are well-equipped for group visits with cafés, pubs, gift shops and a dedicated Transport Museum (stand A20).
Poole Tourism & Attractions is promoting its summer events calendar, which takes in the natural world heritage Jurassic Coast, Poole and the surrounding area. Ideal for a seaside getaway, with miles of Blue Flag beaches and a bustling quayside. This summer, City Cruises Poole has a wide range of cruises departing from Poole Quay and Swanage Pier, including one of its most popular cruises, Sea Train Adventure (stand B56).
Marine Hotel, Paignton offers 53 en-suite bedrooms and is situated directly on Paignton seafront, with only a short walk to Paignton town centre. It serves traditional home cooked food, can cater for special dietary requirements, and has a friendly team of staff (stand C51).
British Tourism and Travel Show will return to the NEC Birmingham on the 22-23 March 2017. For more information and to register for a free ticket, please visit www.tourismshow.co.uk (direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/3merbygtnzi4j)