Robert Shaw – ‘Support and camaraderie invaluable’

In a New Year letter, the Chair of the Coach Tourism Association has written to members announcing a 10% membership price lift, after a six-year price freeze.

Robert Shaw, Managing Director of Harry Shaw of Coventry, also urges members to join the annual CTA Conference, staged 5 – 7 February in Belfast.

“I would like to take the opportunity to wish all members a happy and successful 2023.

As we enter a new year, I am sure that like me you are planning for the best while preparing for any challenges that come your way. There are of course uncertainties ahead, but one thing is clear, the commitment and determination of fellow coach tour operators means we will all do our utmost to deliver superb holiday experiences to our customers.

I have always found the support and camaraderie of fellow CTA members invaluable in keeping me focused on the positive. And there is much to be positive about, including a fantastic event coming up next month in Belfast as we take the CTA Conference & Workshop to Northern Ireland for the first time.

We are assured of a terrific welcome from our hosts in Belfast, and we are very grateful to the generous support from Tourism Ireland for the 2023 event which takes place on 5–7 February. I hope as many of you as possible will join me in discovering new product ideas and inspiration. The event includes the ever-popular CTA Workshop on the Monday. If you haven’t taken part in this before, you really should. I am sure you will find it the most profitable business networking session you have ever attended. All the Conference details and the booking link are on a special micro website here – don’t delay, book now.

I believe that membership of CTA continues to deliver real value to coach tour businesses and suppliers and our unrivalled programme of networking events provides members with excellent business opportunities. The CTA team has worked hard to enhance our events in recent years and the positive feedback we have received shows that it is appreciated by members.

We are all aware that cost pressures are a factor for every business at present, and CTA itself is not immune from that. We have been very grateful for the backing from a number of organisations who have helped to subsidise and underpin our recent events, and to the support and commitment of our six Partner members – Caledonian MacBrayne, DFDS, Tourism Ireland, VistScotland, Visit Wales and Wrightsure. However, we do need to balance our budget in the light of increased costs to deliver the events programme and the other activities that CTA is involved in. The CTA board has carefully considered the membership fees for 2023 and agreed an increase of around 10%. I should point out that the membership fees have been frozen for at least six years, and we believe they still provide exceptional value for money.

Turning the page of the calendar to a new year still gives me a buzz as I love this industry, and I have made so many great friends and colleagues over the years through attending CTA events. I look forward to meeting lots of members over the course of this year, and remember, book your place at the Belfast event now.

Robert Shaw

CTA Chair


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