The Coach Tourism Council has become the Coach Tourism Association as the trade organisation moves to better describe its purpose.
Announcing the change at the CTA AGM held on 8 August, Chairman Denise Bridges said that the term ‘Council’ was misleading and that the new name more accurately describes the trade organisation. A new logo has been designed that maintains the organisation’s green theme.
Brian Way, the owner of Wayahead Travel in Bournemouth, was elected to the CTA Board. He joins chair Denise Bridges of Albatross Travel, vice chair Jane Duffelen of Shaws Coaches, Robert Shaw of Harry Shaw, and Louise Fitzpatrick of Marriott Hotels who were all returned unopposed.
Members heard that the CTA is to support an initiative for a comprehensive survey to help the coach tourism industry plan for the future and exploit the potential to increase the number of people taking coach tours. For more information, go to www.coachtourismassociation.co.uk
The AGM formed part of a weekend hosted by QHotels at its 4-star Cheltenham Chase Hotel. Members enjoyed familiarisation visits to Gloucester and the WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, as well as the traditional CTA summer barbeque.
Dan Kelly, general manager of the Cheltenham Chase Hotel, says: “We were delighted to welcome CTA members to our hotel. With 122 rooms, and our location just off the M5, we regularly welcome groups of all sizes.”
The city of Inverness has become the 28th recipient of the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK’s prestigious ‘Coach Friendly Towns, Cities and Villages’ status.
The status acknowledges the commitment made by Inverness to understand and meet the requirements of coaches, drivers and passengers arriving in the city.
Jeremy Tinsley, manager for CPT Scotland says: “Highland Council, in partnership with Inverness Business Improvement District (BID), has worked tirelessly over several years to deliver and provide high quality facilities in Inverness for visiting coaches and their passengers. It has made excellent provision in terms of passenger pick-up, drop-off and coach parking and CPT, drivers and passengers alike are delighted with the service provided by the Coach Ambassadors who offer a true ‘Highland Welcome’.”
Alf Scrimgour, CPT’s tourism executive and administrator of the scheme, says: “We are extremely impressed by the way all the stakeholders in the city have pulled together to present a true ‘Coach Friendly’ face to the industry, its vehicles, staff and visitors. Inverness clearly appreciates the value of coach tourism to the city and region, and this Coach Friendly status is very well deserved.”
Mike Smith, manager of Inverness BID says: “BID is delighted to have worked with the Highland Council on delivering a successful coach friendly facility in Ardross Street. This drop off and pick up area will be used by a fantastic 1,900 coaches this season – up 18% from 2015. The feedback from coach passengers, guides and drivers is that they all are very pleased with the “Welcome” we have provided for them.”
Provost of the city of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael, says: “This is great news for our ‘City in the Highlands’ which not only prides itself on our ‘Highland Welcome’ but recognises the major economic importance of the tourist industry and the vital part that the coach travel sector plays in making Inverness the fourth most popular destination in Britain. A dedicated coach drop-off and pick-up point supported by the appointment of a Coach Ambassador has greatly enhanced the coach tourism experience for visitors to Inverness. Central Ward Members have been instrumental in ensuring that the new arrangements at Ardross Street are a success and are most supportive of the Award. Congratulations to everyone who has helped to make this happen.”
The formal presentation of Coach Friendly Status to Inverness will be made at the CPT Scottish Conference on 4 October.
CPT has also launched a new website giving details of its ‘coach friendly’ initiative. There are details of the recipients of the ‘Coach Friendly Towns, Cities and Villages’ status, and the recently introduced ‘Coach Friendly Visitor Attractions’ status. For more information, go to www.coachfriendly.co.uk