The cream of the UK tourism industry rose to the challenge when they took part in the annual Southern Wales Group Buyer Showcase last week.

Organised by Southern Wales Tourism, coordinated by Steve Reed Tourism Ltd of Hampshire and featuring some of the top attractions in the Principality, the three day educational event shone a spotlight on some of the stars of Welsh tourism.

With coach and tour operators, inbound operators, tour wholesalers and group travel organisers playing their part to the full, host hotel – the Best Western Heronston Hotel in Bridgend – looked after the group for the duration of the Showcase.

With Blue badge Tourist Guide Steve Griffin leading the way, the buyers – each on the look-out to generate new group tours to South Wales – took in fact-finding visits to a variety of top quality attractions, destinations and venues.

Trips to Tredegar House and Gardens in Newport and to the Angel Hotel in picturesque Abergavenny preceded wine tasting and dinner at the Llanerch Vineyard.

The tour operators met the Southern Wales tourism industry face to face to talk business at the Showcase held in the National Museum Cardiff. This was followed by a tour and banquet in the nearby Cardiff Castle.

Visits to Caerphilly Castle, Bedwellty House and the Royal Mint Experience concluded the educational trip for the buyers.

 Vicky Jones is the Project Officer for Southern Wales Tourism:

‘This was the fifth successive Showcase for South Wales and was probably one of the very best in terms of quality of tour buyer’, says Vicky.

‘We are grateful to the attractions and accommodation providers involved in offering such a warm welcome to our guests.’

The tour buyers came from all over the UK and included for example JAC Travel; Norman Allen Group Travel; Airedale Tours; Richmond’s Coaches; Ellen Smith Tours; MIKI Travel; Simply Groups and Albatross Group.