The first GO Travel Show North, which took place at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds on 29th October 2016, was declared a success by exhibitors and GTOs alike.
Elizabeth Mounser who helped to organise the show for Landor Travel Publications said, ‘We were delighted with the show and to welcome a varied range of exhibitors from across the North and further afield as well as over 260 GTOs to Leeds. I’d like to pay especial thanks to Alfa Coaches and Fletcher Coaches who between them provided eight coaches allowing GTOs to easily attend the show and also the organising team at Royal Armouries whose staff were without exception, helpful, and ensured the success of the day. I’d also like to thank our show partners Visit Leeds and Discover Durham for their hard work.’
The show was the ideal forum for GTOs to meet travel trade suppliers face to face to learn more about attractions, destinations, accommodation suppliers and holiday and tour operators, and to find out how trips and holidays could be tailored to their needs. As well as the networking and meeting opportunities there was the chance to book a fam trip to Durham and to take a walking tour of Leeds.
GTO editor, Val Baynton (pictured left) was able to join 31 GTOs on the Durham Familiarisation Trip which included visits to Durham Cathedral, Beamish – The Living Museum of the North, Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Centre, the Bowes Museum and information about the developments at Bishop’s Auckland as well as an overnight stay provided by Durham’s Marriott Hotel, Royal County.
Blue Badge Guide Jan led the group and her insights and incredible knowledge of specific attractions and the heritage of the city and surrounding area was excellent. Val reports that the group much enjoyed the tour and taster visits organised by Discover Durham with many of the group planning a return trip to the city with their members. She would like to pass on her thanks to everyone who made this trip possible and to GTOs for their company.
GO Travel Shows bring the chance to experience tourism in action, such as the excellent walking tours of Leeds offered by Blue Badge Guides. A number of GTOs signed up for the taster tours and they were much appreciated. Typical comments were ‘the tour gave us a great insight into the rich heritage of Leeds – the behind the doors approach to the historic buildings was wonderful.’
GTOs were entered into a Free Priza Draw Raffle and thanks to the generosity of donors (including Harewood House, Castle Howard, Wensleydale Cheese, York’s Chocolate Story, Constantinou Bros Hotels, Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Centre, Taylors of Harrogate, Landor Travel Publications and Scratching Shed Publishers, we were able to offer two prize hampers.
The winners were Thelma Davies from Liverpool and Christine Mitchell from West Yorkshire. Meanwhile, Douglas Spencer from Matlock won the Visit York Pass.
A Show for Doing Business!
Jan Hurst from Greatdays Travel Group said: “We found the show well organised and well attended. GTOs visiting our stand were keen to discover our range of products including our new ‘Cruise the World Musical’ lunches being held around the UK from Chester and Blackburn to Warwick and Maidstone, in June and September next year. We announced the theme for the 2017 Christmas Show Party as Mamma Mia, which will be held in the above cities plus St Albans, whilst registrations were also taken for our tour to Oberammergau in 2020.”
Alex Guntrip of Harewood House said: “The show has been good for us. We’ve met lots of different people who we wouldn’t normally meet… it was a new local event for us to go to and we hope to see business from it in the future.”
Glynis Hartley, First Direct, Leeds said: “This was an extremely delightful event over two days. Our Blue Badge Guide in Durham, Jan, was absolutely amazing with the knowledge she had of the city and surrounding area and we found it most informative. Everyone we met was friendly and made our stay most welcome. Would we recommend Durham as a place to visit, absolutely! There’s so much to do and see, so we’ll be looking to put something together for next year. We also found exactly what we were looking for at the exhibition stands on Saturday and found ourselves animated talking to the different exhibitors and came away with so many ideas.”
Hugh Baxter, H & M Travel said: “A most enjoyable and informative outing giving group organisers plenty to think about. I’ve not been to Leeds for a long time but shall certainly look to bring a group there as soon as possible. Probably one of the best city centres I’ve been to for a long time.”
Marion Waldock – East Ardsley Flower Club said: “Excellent Events Show at Leeds Armouries – brilliant location. We have already booked a hotel in Norfolk that was being promoted so we are looking forward to that.”