The annual Great West Way Marketplace event has been deemed a huge success following feedback from international and domestic buyers, and VisitBritain/VisitEngland who welcomed over 35 international and domestic tour operators at the recent Ascot Racecourse event.
The Great West Way – a touring route between London and Bristol – held this year’s hybrid event with a virtual meeting day on 16 November, a networking day hosted by Ascot racecourse on 18 November, and a series of Discovery Visits for buyers taking place over the weekend on 19 & 20 November.
This event brought together tour operators and wholesalers with products and services that feature on the Great West Way, including attractions, hotels, transport, ground handlers and other sectors of the route’s tourism infrastructure.
The five-day Great West Way business event consisted of over 1,000 one-to-one business appointments with 25 tourism businesses, a networking day supported by event sponsor Ascot Racecourse and a series of four educational Discovery Visits to Great West Way Ambassador businesses and destinations along the route. The Discovery Visits showcased the popular destinations along the route such as Windsor, Henley on Thames, Newbury, Reading, Bath and Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
Florence Wallace, Head of Travel Trade said, “We now have approximately 100 Official Tour Operators in 17 countries, who are committed to packaging and distributing on-brand Great West Way programmes. We are delighted that our annual Marketplace event has been so useful to both trade buyers and suppliers, with reports of new Great West Way programmes and new bookings for businesses already having been secured, leading to an increase in international and domestic tourism visits and spend along the route for 2023 and beyond.”
To coincide with the event, a hard copy of the fourth edition Travel Trade Directory was made available to all the travel trade who attended. This is a one-stop-shop resource for buyers to find out more about Great West Way and the Ambassador network, making easier to create bookable itineraries, contract suppliers and promote the region to the ‘curious visitors’. It includes key trade information such as new specialist tours, attractions and inspirational itineraries and approximately 400 up-to-date supplier listings.
For further information on the Great West Way, please visit the website or contact Florence Wallace, Head of Travel Trade.