The Coach Tourism Association annual conference is known for its presentations, one-to-one workshop meetings, and social networking, but few delegates ever realised that making a winning bid for a charity auction prize could lead to a new tour programme.
But that’s just what happened when Barry Cobb of Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel made the winning £600 bid for a Hovertravel VIP Experience at the CTA’s 2019 event. The offer from Hovertravel included sole use of a hovercraft, meeting up with the Captain and crew at the Southsea Terminal, a demonstration of how the hovercraft works, and a flight across the Solent to Ryde in the Isle of Wight.
Barry said: “My initial gut feeling was correct as, when launched we sold the entire 78 seats in a morning, and we quickly built up a wait list that exceeded the maximum pay load.”
With such enthusiastic demand from customers, Johnsons and Hovertravel soon arranged a new group rate and carried over 200 passengers on the Hovercraft VIP excursion by the Summer.
Pat Sowerbutts of Hovertravel added: “Barry’s enthusiasm was shared by his customers as we have now built up a regular schedule of excursions with Johnsons and we have had the opportunity to introduce our exciting hovercraft flights to hundreds of more passengers thanks to that initial auction. We look forward to continuing with our excellent working relationship with Hovertravel in 2020.”