Issue № 32 — Early October 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!

£5.5 million backing for domestic tourism in England

Discover England has announced £5.5 million of funding to 12 projects including The Great West Way, North of England City Experience and Cycle England. Much of the funding is to help these initiatives re-engage with the public once domestic and international tourism returns. The Cycle England project hopes to take advantage of the increase of people taking exercise and enjoying the great outdoors since COVID-19.
The Discover England Fund was founded in 2016, initially for three years, to particularly develop international tourism beyond London (which currently receives 54% of international visitor spend) to the rest of England.

Find out more >>

Quiet autumn for museums

Government figures just out for 10 major museums show an 80% drop in footfall for mid-September over the same dates in previous years. Since eight of these museums have sites in London, this is, perhaps, not surprising - especially with the absence of international tourism in the capital. If you want to visit some of the nation's treasures without the crowds - now is the time to go.


Grapevine Nuggets

Good news for ZSL

Some joy in this difficult year has been brought to London Zoo with the recent arrival of a rare okapi calf. The baby female has been named Ede, and is the second offspring of mother Oni. The secretive animals are from the dense rain forests of central Africa.


Dormant West End opens one eye

Nimax is planning to reopen all six of its West End theatres from October with a special season of shows. Also in London, the National Theatre, Bridge Theatre and Alexandra Palace Theatre have performances. Find out about these and shows around the UK in our online article.


Off with her head!

Though it has now reopened many of its attractions, Historic Royal Palaces is to continue the successful online Curator talks that began during lockdown. The next one can be enjoyed on 7th October, and features Lucy Worsley on the subject of Anne Boleyn.  


Interview with Invisible Cities

Philanthropic tourism initiative Invisible Cities was a worthy winner of an Editor's Award at the Group Travel Awards last month. The company helps people affected by homelessness to become walking guides of their city.
Find out more in our interview with founder Zakia Moulaoui. 

Read the article >>

Panto possibilities

Cinderella will go to the ball - in a few places, anyway. Though almost all big venue city-centre pantos have been cancelled, we've scoured the desolate theatrical landscape for some festive shows and musical events that are still taking place. 

What to see >> 

Lottery fund helps save the Mary Rose

Portsmouth’s Mary Rose Museum has been awarded £250,000 National Lottery support to help it survive losing 84% of its annual income due to the pandemic, and the ongoing high cost of maintaining the correct environment for the fragile remains of Henry VIII's lost warship.

Find out more >>

Tourism industry news

Hospitality group Accor is courting groups and has announced a new B2B group offering, Re-group with the Love of Leisure. The promotion aims to give group organisers the confidence and assurance that booking a group visit to one of Accor’s European hotels comes with extra peace of mind and added value.


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