Keeping the group travel industry inspired and connected online.
For the first time in its 45 years, Excursions™, one of the UK’s premier group travel shows, took to the virtual world to deliver a programme of events, to keep its faithful visitors to the annual show, inspired and connected, whilst safe at home.
Show Organiser, Tourism South East, brought together 75 exhibitors online with over 50 exhibitors taking part in the live Zoom Virtual Familiarisation Visits, with our fellow group travel friends and colleagues.
The inaugural virtual event has been a great success with an audience of over 600 across the Virtual Fam Visits programme consisting of coach and tour operators, GTOs and media. Recordings of the sessions have been placed online, for those who were unable to attend a session, and have so far had over 1,300 views. With over 2000 exhibitor profile views, 300 brochures requested, digital brochure downloads and video galleries being made available, as well as a positive social media presence, the event has been hailed a success.
Excursions™ has long been a must-attend event in the travel trade calendar for tour operators, group travel organisers and itinerary planners. Following feedback from exhibitors and visitors, the Excursions Show Week seems to have gone even better than we anticipated.
Feedback clearly shows the will of group organisers to travel, and of tour operators to get back to business as soon as they can. Group Organisers have appreciated the virtual updates and would like them to continue. Now that we’ve all got the hang of the technology, it seems a shame if we don’t continue to use this new platform, so look out for our new monthly sessions. It’s been a great way to build a like-minded virtual community and to see everyone’s faces.
As well as showcasing some well-known destinations such as Shakespeare’s England and Visit Windsor, the event placed a spotlight on the strength of offer in surprising destinations, for instance Reading.
“In general, let me just say that all were so inspiring just in witnessing the resilience and hard work invested into re-inventing, adapting, sharing new and better versions of ourselves... Richmond and Reading were indeed an eye-opener for me and I will certainly create a great itinerary for each, thanks to these presentations.” Pina Di Pietro, Vyvigo Tours and Events
“We were delighted to present Virtual Fam Visits of our most popular holidays and day trips and to showcase some of our new highlights for groups in 2021; as well as to have a platform to announce our new accessible travel options and new brands. Congratulations to the Excursions team for running a great event – for your ongoing support and promotion, and for putting us in front of a great audience and new destinations and attractions for us to partner with. We look forward to developing our business with you.” Jit Desai, Head of Holidays & Travel, The Lucketts Group.
“It was a pleasure to work with Excursions this year with the Virtual Show and VisitRichmond Partners Kew Gardens, Strawberry Hill House, WWT London Wetland Centre, Marble Hill House and Richmond Hotel enjoyed meeting the group tour operators at our Virtual Fam Trip for Richmond upon Thames. We can’t wait to welcome you in person to Excursions new home, Twickenham Stadium in 2022.” Angela Ivey, Tourism & Marketing Manager, Serving Richmond and Wandsworth Councils.
Fran Downton, Chief Executive at Tourism South East said: “We are so pleased with the success of this event, and it’s been really inspiring to hear the enthusiasm from our visitors and our exhibitors. Everyone has been working so hard to make sure that the latest information is available for when groups are ready to go on a trip and it’s safe to do so”.
As successful as the virtual event has been, nothing beats being face to face and we cannot wait to get going on the organisation of Excursions 2022, which will be held in our new home at Twickenham Stadium on 22 January 2022. We will be working behind the scenes to ensure we can adapt to whatever situations are thrown at us next winter, no doubt with some hybrid solutions in place.
Take a look at the recordings at www.excursionsshow.com/familiarisation-visits-ondemand
With thanks to all our supporters:
AGTO | CTA | CPT | The New Meridian Group | WeWantGroups | Steve Reed Tourism | Group Travel World
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