Positive Exhibitor Feedback and a strong increase in Quality Visitors at Excursions™ 2019
Official Press Release
30th January 2019
Excursions™ 2019, one of the UK’s premier one-day domestic group travel shows took place at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 26th January 2019.
Now in its 43rd year, Excursions™ 2019 brought together engaged members of the Group Travel community including attractions, hotels, resorts and destinations from across the UK and Europe plus close GTOs and Tour Operators. Amongst the visitors were eight coaches of special guests, who had received a personal invitation from coach tour operators and enjoyed exclusive access to the VIP area and a wine tasting reception courtesy of Denbies Vineyard.
The day began with a hilarious, show opener from Only Fools The (cushty) Dining Experience and had been organised by Group Travel Company, Groups Direct. The fully immersive and interactive sketch successfully drew in the waiting crowd. Gavin Davies, Managing Director of Groups Direct explained the reason for choosing such an original show opener, “Groups Direct wanted to help showcase what fun groups can have by booking a dining experience with us. We love working with the team at Interactive Theatre International as they provide good fun dining experiences including Only Fools and Horses and Faulty Towers. This year we took two stands at Excursions as we now offer Holidays and Cruises as well as Theatre and Day Excursions. The visitors were all looking for something a little different, which is what we specialise in.”
A number of exhibitors at Excursions™ 2019 announced details for celebrating important anniversaries and milestones in 2019, amongst them Tower Bridge. Built 125 years ago years ago to ease road traffic while maintaining river access to the busy Pool of London docks, today the iconic bridge is unmistakable in the London skyline and arguably one of the most recognisable structures in the world. Taf Masendu, Marketing Executive at Tower Bridge and The Monument, said about the day, “It was fantastic to attend Excursions™ again and engage with other attendees about what Tower Bridge has to offer. If was also very exciting to finally be able to talk about what we’re planning for Tower Bridge’s 125th Birthday in June, and the commemorative ticket, talks, artistic inventions, and special events coming up to celebrate this occasion.”
Visit Chichester, the official Destination Management Organisation responsible for promoting tourism and supporting the visitor economy in the region used Excursions™ 2019 to help launch their 2019 Visitor guide. In a departure from previous formats, the new guide has moved towards a travel magazine style with an introduction by best selling author and Chichester resident, Kate Mosse OBE. Commenting on her attendance at Excursions, Louise Adlam, Destination Marketing Executive at Visit Chichester said: "We were delighted with the reaction to our new Visitor Guide from group organisers and operators visiting our stand at Excursions™ 2019. The inclusion of suggested itineraries in the guide was particularly welcomed together with the ideas for places to visit within our region but outside of Chichester such as Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey."
Having only recently launched their product in June 2018, Excursions™ was the first trade show for Backwater Tours and an ideal opportunity to introduce their classic car tours to the group travel community. Lynn Woods, CEO at Backwaters Tours explained, “We were kept busy throughout the day, meeting many GTOs who were at the show looking for new, group-friendly tour experiences. It seems that the opportunity for groups to explore France’s hidden canals and rivers on board our new electric-hybrid day boat, combined with hotel accommodation and visits to local visitor attractions, really captured their imagination."
Mascots and furry friends also made an appearance at Excursions™ 2019 including Hugo, the 16 stone St Bernard supporting the Switzerland Travel Centre, a White Faced Cops Owl from Leeds Castle’s Falconry team and Hope, UK Parliament’s Lego Suffragette, whose relevance this year is twofold; she marks the centenary of the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons and also represents the theme of ‘activism’ that the exhibition Parliament & Peterloo will seek to mark the 200th anniversary of the massacre at St. Peter’s Field Manchester.
The new “Street Market” themed area proved a popular addition to the 2019 show. Featuring 20 producers of local and regional artisan produce, visitors were offered a variety of samples including olives, jams, baked goods and pies. At heart of the market was the custom designed Hambledon Wine Bus offering the chance to taste some of England’s finest wines.
Sharing her views on the 2019 show, Fran Downton, Senior Marketing Manager at Tourism South East, who organise the show, commented, “As Excursions™ continues to evolve, we were really pleased to welcome such a high quality of GTO and coach and Tour operators to the show. With such a large variety of exhibitors to research and talk to face to face, we know that bookings were conducted on the day and will continue to do so throughout the coming year. Tourism South East is proud to continue to support the groups industry with such a successful show. We look forward to welcoming back both visitors and exhibitors in 2020.”
Excursions™ will return to Alexandra Palace in January 2020. For more information, please visit www.excursionsshow.com.