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Issue № 30 — Early September 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!

Tomorrow's the big day for our pioneering Celebrate Group Travel Day live TV broadcast from London. Don't miss this innovative new way to connect with the best in group travel, beginning with our Group Travel Showcase hosted by the BBC's Dean Lydiate from 2pm, and then the live broadcast of the 2020 Group Travel Awards from 4:45pm, hosted by TV personality Patrick Kielty. You can either watch us on TV via YouTube, or by going online.
This Thursday's afternoon showcase includes features, information, and ideas brought to you by the GTO team. Join Val Baynton exploring walled gardens, Guy Thomas at aviation and motoring heritage attractions, discover hidden delights in Dorset with Geoff Moore, and see where all the cruise liners are moored waiting to resume activity! And find out if you've won one of our four superb prizes. Then, join us again from 4:45 to see which suppliers, attractions and destinations have won our prestigious Group Travel Awards.
It's all on Thursday 3rd September, starting at 2pm!

Pre-register for your chance to win one of our prizes >>

Riviera Travel to offer groups booking flexibility and destination health checks

Which recommended tour operator Riviera Travel plans to entice adventurous groups post lockdown with several adaptations to the threat of Covid-19. These include flexibility over tour changes and cancellations, as well as sending staff abroad to investigate resort and travel hygiene and safety measures. 

Find out how they've adapted to our changing world in our enhanced digital feature.

Read more >>

Grapevine Nuggets

Good news from 2 coach operators

We've recently heard of two coach operators on either side of England who are now back in action and proceeding with their holidays and day trips. It's great news for Hunt's Coaches in Lincolnshire and Bakers Dolphin in Somerset - as they go back on the road again, with a few new adaptations in place.

Read the latest >>

Next stop Covent Garden

The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden will re-open its doors in September after closing for an unprecedented 173 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors can once more discover how public transport has shaped life in London over the last 220 years.

Find out more >> 

RMG welcomes groups back

Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) in London is now welcoming groups of up to 30 people back to two of their major attractions - the historic sailing ship Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory, Home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Prime Meridian of the world and London’s Planetarium.  

Read more >> 

Fictional crime hotspot

Murder is afoot in the English shires. Again. Or is it the return of the Midsomer guided walking tours of Thame? These hour-long guided outdoor tours take small groups to filming locations in the town used in the popular ITV series Midsomer Murders. They will run until late October.

Take a look >>

Fake News! Jonathan Pie on tour

If you can't believe what you're seeing on the news these days (ambiguity intended) - then opinionated reporter Jonathan Pie is the man for you. Comedian Tom Walker's fictional character will be touring in 2021 - no doubt with plenty to say about coronavirus, "woke" activism, and politics.

Find out more >>

Christmas at Waddesdon

Tickets have just gone on sale for this year's Christmas event at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Winter Light is promised to be an extravaganza of magical lights and glowing gardens- with the façade of the Manor illuminated with dancing lights set to music.

Find out more >>

Tourism industry news

STA Travel has gone into administration, with the loss of 500 jobs in the UK at its 50 High Street branches and London headquarters. The Australian company has been a familiar name to generations of students since its formation in 1979, and specialised in holiday packages for young backpackers. 2000 jobs are likely to be lost worldwide.

Click here to read more

Cruise industry news: 
the former chief executive of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has bought some of the collapsed cruise line’s assets in hope of relaunching the company in the future. Meanwhile, the former chief executive of Saga, the over-50s travel provider which operates many cruises, has returned with a large cash injection. . .

Read more

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