Today (27th September) marks World Tourism Day, and in response, a handful of the team members working behind the scenes at the Group Leisure & Travel Show share some of their best travel and tourism experiences.
A bit of background: Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has celebrated World Tourism Day on this day. The purpose is to raise awareness on the role of tourism and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
Here at the Group Leisure & Travel Show, we celebrate the role of tourism and highlight why group travel is so important to providers across the UK and beyond. We hope to see many of you, visitors and exhibitors, at the show on Thursday 12th October – find us on Stand 654 (Group Leisure & Travel magazine) and 655 (the GLTS). Come and share your own amazing travel and tourism experiences as well as picking up plenty of ideas and inspiration for future trips.
Elena Dimama, editorial assistant
Top travel experience: Rome, Italy
“Rome is by far my most favourite destination and no matter how many times I visit, it never ceases to impress me. Given its vast history and beauty, Rome is one of those cities where you can enjoy superb sightseeing simply by walking down a central road. Museums in Rome are also ideal for people who love history and culture and I would recommend visiting every one of the big ones: the Vatican, Castel Sant’ Angelo, Capitoline Museum or Galleria Borghese.
“However, Rome is so much more than just history; it’s brilliant for groups that love walking (you can never get lost in Rome, thanks to the River Tiber), eating amazing food or even shopping. I cannot recommend a trip to the Eternal City strongly enough – you will fall in love with it at any time of the year.”
Laura Sexton, editorial assistant
Top travel experience: Forest of Dean, England
“I enjoyed five days in the Forest of Dean back in May. My partner and I stayed in a log cabin with Forest Holidays, which also caters for groups, and enjoyed the luxurious space, hot tub, and peaceful area. With Forest Holidays you can arrange activities such as canoeing, archery and kayaking. We enjoyed a treetop trail experience, and a night-time wildlife trail which involved night vision scopes, ideal for those who love nature and animals.
“The surrounding area provided plenty as well and we enjoyed a trip to Puzzlewood, which is famous for being a filming location for shows such as Doctor Who, it also stages outdoor theatre throughout the year. Clearwell Caves was another highlight of our trip and resulted in us learning more about the area’s mining industry and its history.”
Lydia Ricketts, graphic designer
Top travel experience: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
“A travel highlight for me has to be climbing the Harbour Bridge in the iconic city of Sydney, Australia. As I am scared of heights, I was rather nervous as they kitted us up in our overalls and harnesses, but once we were safely attached and I could see the route ahead, I felt really safe, and it was all worth it for the spectacular views from the top.
“My family of four joined another eight climbers and although we were all strangers, we felt like friends by the end as the instructors encourage you to help and support each other on the way up. Prices include a photo of the group at the summit which is a fantastic lasting memory of the experience.”
Graham Yandell, managing director
Top travel experience: Killarney, Ireland
“One of my favourite places is Killarney in Eire. Yes it’s a bit touristy, but it really is a lovely part of the world and conveniently located for all sorts of interesting locations nearby. Apart from great pubs and restaurants and of course the Guinness, I have found a marvellous hotel – The Europe Hotel & Spa – a modern hotel finished to an exacting standard, which is situated at Fossa, just outside Killarney and which enjoys a stunning panorama and wonderful grounds, with spectacular views over the famous lakes and mountains.
“The delicious full Irish breakfast would defeat anyone, irrespective of how large an appetite they have, and dinner options include the superb Panorama restaurant and the less formal Brasserie. Bedrooms are spacious, especially the Lakeview with balcony, and very comfortable indeed. The lounges, library and patio areas are wonderful and the ambience is relaxing and therapeutic. Spa areas are really lovely and there are lots of treatments.
“I like to visit near to Christmas if possible with a group of friends for a short break, and the hotel, although not cheap, offers excellent packages.”
Keeley Rodgers, editor
Top travel experience: Inca Trail, Peru
“It may sound cliché but very often with travelling, it’s more about the journey than the destination. After completing the Inca Trail in Peru with G-Adventures, the phrase has never had more resonance. At times on the 26-mile trek through the Andes, I thought of giving up. Others, I was blown away by the incredible porters, who run past carrying three times their body weight; it certainly gives you a sense of perspective.
“The scenery of course is breath-taking and the ultimate destination as impressive as you could imagine. But above all, it’s the people who made it. My fellow trekkers, who spur you on, our guides, who make you laugh while keeping you safe, the porters, who make the journey all the more comfortable and everyone we met along the way. It’s not about where you’re heading, but how you get there.”
Rachel Bailey, associate editor
Top travel experience: The Lake District, England
“Anyone who knows me will be aware that the Lake District is my absolute favourite place to visit, always. Not only is the scenery beautiful and the small towns chock full of rustic charm, the whole region is simply a very peaceful place to visit. Despite its newly award Heritage Status, I found on a recent holiday that outside of the main towns, there’s still so much open space where you feel it’s you, and you alone.
“For me, travelling and exploring new place is something I often want to do with minimal crowds – I like to pretend somewhere is ‘my place’, that I’ve found it, and that I’m the only person who’s experienced the peace and quiet, the beauty of the landscapes and the overall majesty of what the British outdoors has on display. The Lake District ticks every box for me, and I can’t recommend exploring it more.”
Don’t miss out: Register to visit the GLTS
This year’s Group Leisure & Travel Show will be taking place on 12th October at the NEC, Birmingham.
You can register for free entry now, and take advantage of our free parking offer. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.