Issue № 23 — Early May 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!

An exciting new way for you to learn about themes for distinctive visits around Britain   

We’ve got something special for you with this edition of the Grapevine, and we’re proud of the work that’s been put in by our Designer Clare Dann to create a really high quality online feature article which we hope you’ll enjoy reading during the current lockdown. It develops a theme that was originally covered in GTO magazine a little while ago, but we’ve now taken the opportunity to bring it to life online and add more information and illustration. It covers the subject of the history of silk manufacture in England, and you can click here for 10 minutes’ delightful viewing!

See also two further related items in the Nuggets section - one giving you more information about this new technique we’re using - and another which links to the fascinating story of the David Evans Silk Mill near London.


Grapevine Nuggets

Musical Fridays

To bring a bit of culture into our homes during this period of lockdown, Hastings International Piano Competition has been presenting a series of short concerts online every Friday evening. This Friday it will be the 2019 prizewinner Eric Guo playing Bach and Beethoven.


Expert View with Ellen Walker

Group travel expert Ellen Walker, of tour operator Travel Editions, discusses what happened when the coronavirus pandemic struck the company in March, with some tours still abroad as international borders started to close. She also looks ahead at the future of travel post-virus.


Virtually view a WW2 legend

The de Havilland Museum in Herts. was the first aviation museum in the country, celebrating the genius of a pioneering aviation family - manufacturers of WW2 combat aircraft the Mosquito. The historic collection of aircraft can now be viewed online.

Find out more >>

NGS gardens open virtually

The National Garden Scheme has opened many of its gardens to online view. Alan Titchmarsh's own garden can be seen as he supports the organisation's efforts to continue to raise funds for vital nursing and health charities during the current pandemic.

Find out more >>

Bringing places to life online

GTO’s publishers are delighted to introduce our new concept in online feature article presentation, as shown by the Silk Road article above. We invite our friends in the travel and tourism sector to partner with us on these, using space and techniques that we have previously been unable to offer in print.

Find out more! >> 

Cumbria counts the cost of covid

A survey by Cumbria Tourism has found that, by the end of May, the coronavirus pandemic will have cost the county almost half of Cumbria's tourism-related income for the year. 26% of Cumbria's working age population work in the tourist industry.


Remembering David Evans

The David Evans Silk Company, which had a silk mill in north Kent with a very popular museum and shop, is mentioned in our Silk Road article (see above), and you can read more about it here. I know many GTOs enjoyed taking their groups there until it closed in 2001.


Join Lucy Worsley interview 

Live online on Thursday 14th May at 7pm, history enthusiasts will have the chance to join an interview between Historic Royal Palaces' Lucy Worsley and Claudia Acott-Williams, curator of the 2021 exhibition, Life Through a Royal Lens. An opportunity to ask questions will follow.

Register here >>

What do you want to read about?

As we continue in a much changed post-pandemic world, the GTO team are keen to put their researching, writing and design skills to use producing material that best meets your needs and interests. Please get in touch with any suggestions and requests!

Contact us >>

Tourism industry news

A letter has been sent to the Chancellor by UKinbound and other trade advocates asking him to correct an anomaly in the Government's coronavirus assistance to the tourism and travel sector. Coach operators, charities, language schools and destination management organisations are unable to access rates relief despite their dependence on national and international travel.


Despite problems of their own (see Coaching Industry in Crisis), many coach operators have provided hope to their local communities during the coronavirus outbreak in different ways. While some have re-deployed staff as ambulance drivers, others have offered free travel to health workers or delivered food and prescriptions to vulnerable people or those self-isolating.


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