A super get-together of tourism suppliers and tour planners took place in the wonderful spa town of Harrogate in Yorkshire.

Some clues as to what they got up to could involve soap, chocolate and a very large coach with a driver named Paddy..

Who dun it?

Travel World Association – the nation’s go-to and exclusive club for active tour planners and industry providers – met in the famous Old Swan Hotel once the secret get-away of novelist and crime author Agatha Christie.

The modus operandi of the event saw GTOS and coach and tour operators come together with attractions, hotels, group venues and tour guides – all in a process best described as ‘speed dating for groups’.

Supported by Classic Lodges Hotels, Belle Vue Coaches of Stockport, Continuum attractions and a variety of quality travel trade players, the attendees took in high quality visits to [in Leeds] the Emmerdale Studios Tour, ITV Studies and York’s Chocolate Story.

Despite weather conditions to deter even the best amateur sleuths, a turn-out of keen tour buyers met with industry suppliers and enjoyed a special welcome dinner provided by Classic Lodges Hotels who have the Old Swan Hotel as an important accommodation provider.  The group were also given a highly informative guided tour of the area by local Blue Badge Guides Rosemary and Steve.

The TWA event – one of several planned around the UK including meet the buyer events in Shropshire, Surrey and the Isle of Man – featured some top industry players including the Confederation of Passenger transport [CPT]; Airedale Tours; Bretherton’s Coaches; Norman Allen Group Travel; Travelsphere; Simply Group; Swan Tours of Blackpool; Albatross Tours; Brilliant Tours of Liverpool; PC Coaches of Lincoln and MIKI Travel.

The event also attracted a number of group friendly attractions and providers including the Royal Horticultural Society [RHS]; Ena Mill Retail of Greater Manchester; Brewtown Brewery Tours; Visit Hull; Shepherd Cox Hotels and Summergrove Halls of Cumbria.

Harrogate Testimonials

Lesley –  Airedale “It was great to see you as per usual and a lovely weekend despite the weather, I think the turnout was great, considering.  It’s always great to see the hotels and also some of the attractions, but more importantly to see who is out there with respect to other suppliers and group organisers”

Andrea Golder “Thanks for organising such a great event Carolyn and I both found it beneficial and came away with some useful contacts and lots of info, (not to mention several items from the hotel shop)!

Lynda Kemp Terry Bushel Travel “Thanks for the great time in Harrogate. Lovely hotel and really enjoyed Emmerdale and the updated tour. You did a great job”

Pam Russell  “Graham and I would like to thank you both for putting together such an enjoyable and informative weekend in Harrogate.  We found the Emmerdale Experience fascinating, even though we have never watched the programme, and the York Chocolate Story was great fun.  Would have liked longer for the meetings with suppliers, but nevertheless found them very useful.

James Continuum “It is always encouraging to see so many professionals from the Travel & Tourism industry coming together on occasions such as these. Now, more than ever, we need to communicate and work together to keep pushing our industry forward and events such as these are a great way to do this.”