CTC Chief Executive, Chris Wales, reports on upcoming events

CTC prepare for a summer of socials.

CTC Chief Executive, Chris Wales

CTC Chief Executive, Chris Wales

Following the sell out success of the 2011 Coach Holiday Conference, we are delighted to announce details for another key event in the CTC calendar, the CTC AGM, which will take place on 5th and 6th June at the four-star Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel & Spa, courtesy of Accor Hospitality.
The Albrighton Hall Hotel, part of an 18th century manor house with a lake and 15 acres of grounds, is in the countryside just outside Shrewsbury.
With a familiarisation trip to the nearby World Heritage site of Ironbridge Gorge on the Sunday afternoon, networking evening and dinner, and an industry seminar following the AGM, this is a not to be missed event. The AGM includes the annual elections to the Board.
Royal Ascot is always a really popular occasion for coach operators but there are many other meetings throughout the year, which also attract groups, so we are delighted to be invited to visit the world famous racecourse, which is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2011.
CTC operators will get the chance to take a tour and see the facilities for coach groups before enjoying lunch and an afternoon in the Grandstand at the meeting on 9th July. Afterwards, Hilton is kindly offering the party the opportunity to stay overnight at the contemporary Hilton Reading Hotel, which opened last year.
The CTC’s Summer BBQ has also become a popular and established event and for 2011 will be hosted by Thistle on 31st July at their four-star Thistle Cheltenham Hotel, set in landscaped grounds just outside Cheltenham. Welcome Pimms, a barbecue with wine, entertainment and overnight B&B accommodation will all be included.
Our many events and higher profile is, I am delighted to report, helping us to attract even more new members. More than a dozen organisations have already joined since the beginning of the year with some high profile names the latest to come on board.
With the help of television we all have an idea of the workings of Parliament but it’s now possible for groups to take a 75-minute guided tour with new member, The Houses of Parliament, joining the CTC.
Meanwhile, Chatsworth, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is also one of Britain’s most popular attractions, and the house and grounds are a must visit for any group touring the Peak District.
Groups are also welcome to visit another new member attraction, St Michael’s Mount, off the Cornish coast, home to a medieval church, sub tropical gardens and the castle of the St Aubyn family.
We also welcome The National Trust for Scotland, which looks after more than 90 of the top historic attractions across the country including the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Culzean Castle, Glencoe and Culloden Battlefield.
Coach companies are, of course, the lifeblood of the CTC and we are therefore delighted to welcome back to membership leading West Midlands operator, Parrys International, along with three new tour operators. They are the Bowen Travel Group, which runs tours through Bowens of the West Midlands, Nottingham City Coaches of Loughborough, Applebys of Lincolnshire, Yorks of Northampton and Jeffs of Banbury, as well as Milestones Tours, which has been operating worldwide escorted tours for more than 60 years and the family-run David Smith Travel of Newton-le-Willows on Merseyside.
Coach manufacturer Plaxton, which has kindly provided the CTC with a coach for its ‘stand’ at the last three Best of Britain & Ireland shows, has come on board too.