THE CHANGING MARKET & LAUNCH OF GTBF MEMBERSHIP, TATE MODERN

Group Travel Business Forum

The Forum held a successful event in November…

Wednesday 23rd November

The annual winter meeting of the GTBF at Tate Modern on London’s Bankside saw around 40 group professionals consider further findings from the National Group Travel Report 2011, including those that highlighted the growth of day trips – particularly overseas – and UK short breaks. Michael English of groups specialist Tailored Travel explained how his company changed its business model from purely offering the single destination of Italy to expanding further across Europe to meet his group customers’ needs. He has seen 40% of his business based in the UK this year, and emphasised the importance of suggesting different ideas to retain business if groups can no longer do what they used to. Gerry Brown of sector skills council People 1st highlighted the importance of customer service in the overall group experience. The UK was ranked 17th in the world in terms of customer service and People 1st are working to get it into the top ten with its World Host programme, particularly as the Olympics are approaching. Kurt Janson of the Tourism Alliance welcomed the Forum into the Alliance and gave an overview of the campaigns the organisation is working on. He was pleased that the group travel sector will now be represented in tourism policy debate. Discussion followed including the impact of the Olympics on tourism next year, educating the industry about how to treat groups well, particularly in the hotel sector, and a round-up of the new membership scheme for the GTBF, which brought us several new members on the day.

For more information, please visit the Group Travel Business Forum.