We catch up with some of the companies, tour operators and attractions exhibiting at this year’s Group Leisure & Travel Show to find out what new offerings they’ve got for groups.

It’s all very well saying ‘good things come to those who wait’ – but for the active group travel organiser, waiting usually isn’t an option.

That’s why we’ve pulled together some new and exciting group-friendly ideas that organisers can take advantage of now, in order to make these memorable days out and holidays become reality.

All of the mentioned companies will be exhibiting at this year’s Group Leisure & Travel Show, so you’ll be able to meet them face-to-face on 12th October at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Royal Horticultural Society announced some big news at the end of last year about a brand new flower show opening at Chatsworth in Derbyshire this summer. Due to run from 7th until 11th June, the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show will have a floral marquee, show gardens and shopping areas, plus interactive workshops, decorated walkways, tunnels and bridges and wildflower meadows.

And guess what? Group travel organisers booking for parties of 20 or more people will receive discounted entry rates, plus free coach parking.

The Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. (Photo credit: RHS and Georgi Mabee).

Arena Travel, meanwhile, has launched a new holiday catered towards groups with an interest in quilting, textiles and a broad range of crafts.

Stitch & Knit in the Faroe Islands is a seven night holiday that includes craft workshops and tours of the pretty landscapes of the Faroe Islands. The group holiday will be based in Tórshavn and is available to book now.

Another new idea to think about is a Battle of Messines commemoration tour available from Galina Group Tours. The experience will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Messines in Belgium and is available to book this summer.

The trip includes a tour of the Messines battlefield, a commemorative service at the Island of Ireland Memorial, as well as a choice of tours of the Ypres and Passchendaele battlefields or the Somme battlefield. Groups will be accompanied by a Galina tour guide.

The Menin Gate, Ypres.

If you organise for people who enjoy guided tours but prefer to stay a little closer to home you can book now onto a new experience launched by Groups Direct called The Kia Oval Tour & Afternoon Tea which will take groups around the cricket venue in Kennington, London.

The Oval has been the home of Surrey County Cricket Club since 1845 and groups are invited to enjoy a 90 minute tour that visits the Test Match Special commentary box and the dressing rooms, plus take afternoon tea in the member’s pavilion.

What about something food related? Kents Cavern, one of the companies in the Devon’s Top Attractions collection, has launched a new cheese and wine tasting experience that takes place in the cavern itself. Certainly an experience to cause some serious chatter on the way home.

Kents Cavern

Kents Cavern prehistoric caves in Torquay, Devon.

You will be able to enjoy Sharpham wine – which is produced in a vineyard just 15 miles away from Kents Cavern – as well as a sample of Sharpham cheese. And private group tours of the caves can be arranged for groups of 20 or more.

Foodies can also enjoy a new ‘Treaterie’ at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. The Treaterie is a space in the stables serving freshly made sweet treats and delicacies, where you can indulge in crêpes and waffles, ice-cream, cakes, pastries, macarons, fudge and sweets. All are made in-house and served in what’s described as a modern and relaxed setting.

Warner Leisure Hotels will roll out a new option exclusively for groups this year called My Warner Table. This gives GTOs the option to reserve a place in their preferred zone of the late lounge in whatever Warner Leisure property they are staying in, guaranteeing everyone a seat in the same place for the whole of their stay.

Cricket St Thomas in Somerset.

My Warner Table will be available at Thoresby Hall Hotel in Nottinghamshire from March and shortly afterwards it will be available at Cricket St Thomas in Somerset and Gunton Hall in Suffolk. The remaining locations will then have My Warner Table launched throughout 2017.

About the GLTS 2017

The Group Leisure & Travel Show 2017 will take place in Hall 18 at the NEC, Birmingham on Thursday 12th October, and if you register for free entry now you can take advantage of our free parking offer*.

You’ll find the simple Visitor Registration form at grouptravelshow.com/register – why wait?

Companies interested in exhibiting can telephone Sharon Yandell on 01908-613323 for more information or e-mail sharon.y@yandellmedia.com.

(Lead Image Credit: Group members on an arts and crafts holiday, organsied by Arena Travel.)