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Issue № 36 : Early December 2020

Ideas and opportunities for group travel buyers. Brought to you by the team behind GTO magazine, the authoritative source of group travel knowledge.

Hello from all at
GTO magazine!

Cruise lines prepare to set
sail again
 

Many cruise lines have been announcing plans for the restart of their operations when Coronavirus restrictions ease, and to tempt group travellers back in both 2021 and 2022. Programmes feature more destinations from UK ports, and the introduction of new vessels and itineraries, including speciality experiences like voyages on the square-rigged sailing ship, Golden Horizon (pictured), that Tradewind Voyages are bringing to the UK, with departures in April and May 2021.

One of the Ex-UK itineraries for the 272-passenger ship features The Wonders of Iceland, a 14-night voyage designed to beautifully showcase the island’s incredible natural scenery and wildlife.

For more new cruise information, visit the GTO website here.

Grapevine Nuggets

Southport surf resort?

An ambitious £40m year-round beach and indoor resort with surf wave pool, gardens and boardwalk is being planned for Southport, in a deal between Sefton Council and developer Go Surf. The Southport Cove Resort development will include hotel, restaurants and spa on council-owned land by the former Bathing Lake, which shut in the 1980s. 

Find out more >>

Groups can get cracking at RCT

The Royal Collection Trust has announced that bookings for 2021 are now open. Groups can book to visit such treats as the blockbuster exhibition at The Queen's Gallery in London, featuring paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Titian, or to see watercolour scenes from Queen Victoria's and Prince Albert's life at The Queen's Gallery in Edinburgh.

Read more >> 

A Tale of Two Tiers

Theatre Royal Plymouth will reopen on 8th December after eight months with three Christmas shows including the panto Robinson Crusoe. Meanwhile, other venues in England are wrestling with the implications of Tiers 2 and 3, with those in Tier 3 unable to open at all at present. We take a look at some responses from theatres so far.

Read more >>

Setting sail for the West End

We'll probably all be ready for some top notch theatrical whimsy by next May when the Cole Porter and P. G. Wodehouse musical Anything Goes will open for a limited season at the Barbican Theatre in London. This show has tap-dancing sailors, Megan Mullally and Robert Lindsay, and the songs I Get A Kick Out of You and Anything Goes.

Find out more >>

Why not visit Lap Land!

Silverstone will host the UK’s first and only driving light and laser Christmas and New Year attraction from 10th December. In the comfort and safety of their own cars, visitors will drive on the iconic Silverstone Formula 1 track under darkness and be treated to a spectacular laser and light show around the circuit at this theatrical Christmas attraction. 

Find out more >>

Walking tours of London

With London currently in Tier 2, it's possible to get out on a walking tour of the capital, and perhaps take in some Christmas lights and do a little present shopping at the end. Providers of such tours include City of Westminster guide Rosemary Barnes ( pictured above), and London Blue Badge Tour Guide Diane Burstein. 
 

Read more >>

Tourism industry news

The death has been announced of former Thomas Cook boss Andrew Windsor, aged 56, who also spent a period working with Landor Travel Publications, when a consultant in 2016. Windsor’s career in travel included two stints at Thomas Cook, firstly between 1988 and 1993 and then from 1995 until 2002. He was managing director of its UK businesses. He also spent two years as commercial director at lastminute dot com.

 

Daish’s Holidays has confirmed the acquisition of Robinsons Holidays, expanding its current portfolio to 12 hotels, located in 10 popular tourist destinations across the UK. As part of the acquisition, the UK break specialist has welcomed the Imperial Hotel in Eastbourne and the Abbey Lawn Hotel in Torquay to the Daish’s group. In addition, Daish’s has acquired a fleet of 13 coaches, that will operate from a range of pick-up locations in the north west.

Read more >>

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