Excursions™ 2015 has been proclaimed a great success with nearly 1,250 visitors packing the Great Hall at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, 24th January following the show’s successful move into the larger space last year
Many hadn’t attended the exhibition before and were genuinely keen to discover what exhibitors had to offer.
The dynamic one-day group travel show attracted 306 tourism businesses with 46 booking space for the first time, including attractions, destinations, accommodation providers and tour operators. There was also a significant increase in European exhibitors from France, Belgium, Ireland and for the first time, Croatia.
Delighted with the show’s ongoing success, Excursions™ 2015 co-organiser Joanne Channon from Tourism South East said; “We were very pleased to welcome such a large number of quality visitors at the show. Many took advantage of the exclusive show-only offers and our new London product familiarisation trip for coach and tour operators was a great success with all tickets sold out well ahead of the date. Exhibitors were also able to make important new business contacts and even take bookings during the day. We look forward to welcoming both visitors and exhibitors back in 2016.”
For the first time this year visitors to Excursions™ 2015 could sample some group travel experiences at the show. Winchester Science Centre brought along their six-metre mobile planetarium where regular shows attracted queues throughout the day for an out-of-space experience. Commenting on the visitors reaction to their planetarium experience Director Verena Cornwall said: “People come out commenting on how insignificant humans are in the great scheme of things; we are delighted we were able to bring the planetarium to Excursions and, as a result, have a large amount of interest by visitors to book a group visit to Winchester”.
Summing up their experience of the day Richard Aldred from the Ironbridge Gorge Museums and Andrea Webster from Weston Park, sharing the Shropshire Star Attractions stand, were both impressed with the genuine interest from possible new visitors to their region. They also remarked on the positive enquiries from a large number of U3A members who visited their stand this year, a market which they are keen to expand.
Barry Grant from the Ambassador Theatre Group added; “Excursions™ is always a very busy show for us and this year was no exception. As ever we were impressed with the quality of buyers and it was good to see old faces and make new contacts”.
Finally Stef Harlow from Leeds Castle commented: “We were extremely busy with hardly time to have a bite to eat! We were delighted that bringing our falconer Mark, and his two beautiful owls, was such a success and meeting the birds at close quarters was enjoyed by so many visitors. The show had a great vibrancy about it this year and we were very pleased with our location; I would certainly like to attend in 2016 and book the same stand”.
Excursions™ is co-organised byTourism South East and Group Travel Organiser magazine, and works in partnership with London & Partners and VisitEngland. Excursions™ 2016 will be held on Saturday, 23rd January at Alexandra Palace; to find out more visit www.excursions.org.uk. Follow Excursions™ on Twitter @Excursionsshow; visit our Facebook page at ‘Excursions: Group Travel Trade Exhibition’ and join our LinkedIn group ‘Excursions2016’