The Association of Group Travel Organisers (AGTO) held its 25th Anniversary Showcase Weekend on 28 to 30 October. The venue was QHotels’ Dunston Hall Hotel near Norwich.
On the Friday afternoon, AGTO CEO Mike Bugsgang introduced presentations from Pete Waters, Executive Director with Visit East Anglia, and Jason Triandafyllou, from marketing agency Designate. This was followed by a Networking Showcase with Associate Members (suppliers) giving delegates the opportunity to find out more about latest products and services.
On the Friday evening, delegates enjoyed an informal dinner, with magical entertainment by Roy Davenport from Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, and Rachel King, a very talented multi-instrumentalist.
On the Saturday, delegates took advantage of three familiarisation trips. The first visited Cromer where a Halloween open day was being held in the Pavilion Theatre at the end of the pier. The photos below reveal some of the Halloween characters that popped up during the visit. The trip then travelled along the north Norfolk coast to Sandringham House. The second fam visited Norwich Cathedral, Banham Zoo and Melford Hall. The third fam visited Wroxham Barns and Great Yarmouth and its pleasure beach, with a Southern Comfort Paddle Boat trip on the Broads. The very well turned out coaches and drivers were provided by Eastons Coaches.
On the Saturday evening, in partnership with the event’s main sponsor, made tourism marketing, delegates were entertained by West End stars Emma Hatton (‘Wicked’) and Oliver Tompsett (‘Guys and Dolls’).
Here’s a selection of photos from the weekend taken by Stuart Render and Mike Bugsgang. The photos can also be seen at www.facebook.com/stuartrendertourism.
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.”