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The Pass. Group travel, days out and holidays, April 2016 issue


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Reasons for Coaches to stop in Suffolk and Essex

Reasons for Coaches to stop in Suffolk and Essex

Suffolk tour operator Gemini Travel from Ipswich hosted the cream of the UK travel trade industry during a recent tourism showcase.

Staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Stansted, Essex and arranged by tourism specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd, the group of 45 coach and tour operators and group travel organisers took in a whirlwind familiarisation tour of attractions and coach stops.

Stopping at numerous top attractions such as the English Heritage’s Audley End House and Gardens; the Royal Horticultural Society’s [RHS] Hyde Hall Gardens near Chelmsford and HMS Belfast, part of the IWM family, in London, the tourism VIPS also sampled a number of handy coach stops during their three day scenic tours.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds [RSPB] sites at Minsmere in South Suffolk and Rainham Marshes in London proved that they could provide everything needed by groups – including free coach parking, shops and toilets, excellent food and a chance to view the wildlife too.

And the Suffolk Food Hall in Ipswich showed that it has stunning views over the Orwell River along with a great shopping experience and homemade cooking.

The group also took in tours of Constable Country’s Flatford Mill and the attractive timbered woollen town of Lavenham. Ipswich’s newly regenerated and vibrant waterfront area also stirred a lot of interest from the tour buyers who were on the lookout for new places to take their groups.

Johann Holt, visitor services advisor at RSPB, said: “The tour operators were able to experience for themselves the wonderful service and facilities that many of the RSPB sites around the UK can offer groups. They really are coach stops with a difference – just as handy as many of the more established sites around Great Britain but providing for a rather unique and memorable visit during any group tour.”

The decision makers were shown around the area in style by Gemini Travel. Ed Nichols, the managing director of Gemini, said: “We were so pleased to look after so many top tour buyers from all over the country during this hectic showcase visit. It was good to be able to show off some sites – such as the RSPB Reserves, the Suffolk Food Hall and the Ipswich Waterfront – that might not yet be on the group radar.”