The Coach Tourism Association (CTA) reports that its Spring Networking event in Llandudno, sponsored by Visit Wales, attracted 95 members including coach operators, wholesalers, and industry suppliers. Held on Sunday 21 and Monday 22 May, the programme included a familiarisation trip, supplier showcase and networking, as well as a social media masterclass. Visit Wales’ sponsorship of the event also demonstrated the importance of coach tourism for Wales, the CTA said. The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, Dawn Bowden MS, said: “We know from research that coach and group travel is important for Wales’s visitor economy. Using sustainable modes of transport, coach travel can also help us with our aim to encourage people to discover all parts of Wales, all year round. Together with the coach tourism industry we can hopefully grow the numbers of day visits and holidays here throughout the year.”
To generate new operator and wholesaler product, the event included a visit to Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens, the National Slate Museum, and Penderyn Distillery, Llandudno, which was followed by a networking dinner, sponsored by Christmas in Birmingham, giving the opportunity for industry suppliers to meet operators and wholesalers to generate new business.
“CTA’s networking events are valuable to bring industry buyers and suppliers together. The participation of Christmas in Birmingham, presenting the city’s festive events, is a really effective way of attracting coach groups,” said Tourism Officer at Birmingham City Council Ben Hau.
The CTA also invited branding and communication expert Sid Madge to give a social media masterclass in response to member requests. “Support from Visit Wales and the venues on the fam trip showed how important coach tourism is to Wales. Enthusiasm for the event generated an attendance of nearly 100 members, and glorious sunshine demonstrated the very best of Snowdonia and the North Wales coast,” said CTA Chair Robert Shaw. “The CTA Supplier Showcase created some very useful discussions to help grow business, and the social media masterclass from Sid Madge, held in response to member requests, was fully subscribed.”
The next CTA networking event will be held in Hertfordshire’s this summer, taking place on Sunday 23 and Monday 24 July.