CTA event achieves record numbers
The Coach Tourism Association’s (CTA) Winter Networking event in Bournemouth attracted 126 delegates including coach tour operators, wholesalers, and suppliers, over Sunday 20 and Monday 21 November. The total is a record for a CTA end of year winter event.
“The fully booked event generated widespread new product leads, and it was great to see so many first-time attendees from our expanding membership,” says CTA’s Chair, Robert Shaw, of Harry Shaw. “The scale of participation showed the optimism in market recovery and demonstrated the importance of bringing operators and suppliers together to create day trips and tours for their customer base.”
The contribution from the event’s sponsors also showed the commitment the BCP area is making to coach tourism. Jon Weaver, Head of Destination and Events, BCP Council, spoke at the event’s dinner and explained the sustainable value that coach tourism can bring. Councillor Nigel Hedges, Chairman of BCP Council, and Councillor Robert Lawton, The Charter Mayor of Bournemouth, also addressed the event to express their support of coach groups inbound to the region.
The event was hosted at the Marsham Court Hotel and attendees enjoyed a fam trip to Poole with lunch at Hennings, followed by a City Cruises’ boat tour in glorious conditions within Europe’s largest natural harbour. Following a visit to the Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival, the group returned to Bournemouth to experience the Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland, complete with illuminations, festive market, and outdoor ice rink. Preceding evening dinner, Brewhouse & Kitchen, which includes a microbrewery in each of its 23 locations, provided guided beer and gin tasting.
The following morning, operators met with suppliers from the BCP area and across the UK in a busy CTA Supplier Showcase to research and develop new product.
“New supplier members were impressed with the ease of access to so many operators at the event. Likewise, our coach operator members were pleased by how many new suppliers there were in attendance that they hadn’t previously dealt with,” says Robert. “Despite how established Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole is during the spring and summer seasons, the fam trip demonstrated the new and varied attractions the area also has to offer in autumn and winter.”