CTC Chief Executive, Chris Wales, reports on partnerships . . .

On the up
This month, I am happy to report that the CTC is pushing ahead with its Partner programme.

CTC Chief Executive, Chris Wales

CTC Chief Executive, Chris Wales


CTC Partners will have a number of exclusive benefits including a free advertisement on the recently re-designed CTC website, www.coachtourismcouncil.co.uk, as well as their logo on the thousands of CTC e- mails, bulletins and print communications issued each year. They will also benefit from having free places and a promotional presence at CTC events such as the Coach Holiday Conference 2012, which will be held from 4th to 5th March at The Best Western Premier Queen Hotel in Chester.

Members outside the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum in Holywood, County Down

Members outside the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum in Holywood, County Down

Any member can become a Partner and those that do will not only raise their business profile, but help us expand the organisation. Their additional support will ensure the CTC has a stable and bright future and as a member of the soon to be launched CTC Advisory Board, they will be able to have a greater say in CTC policy and future development.
Current Partners already include Wightlink Ferries, Stena Line, Lucketts, Go Leicestershire, Menzies Hotels, Tate, Severn Valley Railway and The National Trust for Scotland.
With most of the major hotel groups now on board, we also plan to launch the CTC’s Hotel Charter shortly. Aimed at ensuring all group customers get the holiday experience they expect and deserve, the Charter or Seal of Approval offers hotels the chance to underline their commitment to welcoming coach groups.

Members enjoying the racing at Newmarket

Members enjoying the racing at Newmarket

As I mentioned last month, we run a number of taster trips to promote coach touring to consumer journalists from national newspapers and magazines and, of course, regional newspapers. The latest press trip was kindly hosted by Tourism Ireland, and attracted an excellent cross section of journalists who quickly discovered why the Emerald Isle is regaining its popularity as a must visit destination for groups. The National Stud and Japanese Gardens in County Kildare welcomed the Queen on her visit to Ireland this summer, and we found out why it is such a fascinating attraction for groups. However, the main feature of the trip was to show why Ireland is one of the best destinations for touring by coach – and a drive around the famous Ring of Kerry and Lakes of Killarney highlighted this perfectly. An unknown gem was discovering the story of the monastic island of Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The latest familiarisation visit for CTC members, kindly hosted by Stena Line, was a whistle-stop visit via the excellent Harwich-Hook of Holland overnight ferry service to the site of the World Horticultural Expo, Floriade 2012, outside the Dutch city of Venlo. Floriade will be a huge attraction for groups next year and any tour should be combined with a visit to the medieval walled city of Den Bosch. Members have also had the opportunity to visit Ulster and Newmarket Racecourse in recent months.

Coach Tourism Logo

Looking ahead, members can get a taste of Christmas, or rather the food and produce of Leicestershire, on a familiarisation trip from 2nd to 4th December with Leicester Shire Promotions, featuring the Christmas Market at Melton Mowbray.