TravelGBI

April 2015

Trade paper for the domestic tourism and inbound tourism industry in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

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14 travelGBI Month 2015 Visit Highland Safaris. Come face to face with Britain's largest land mammal, the Red Deer & Ossian the Barn Owl. Ideal experience for FIT's and groups. Scheduled and private Red Deer and Barn Owl encounters available. www.highlandsafari.net Add something special to your Group Programmes: • Red Deer Centre • Off-Road Safaris • Coffee or Whisky on the hills • Gold Panning Centre • Picnic in a Mountain Bothy • Visitor Centre with Café & Shop • Group Rates from £6pp • Open all year Free coach parking, easy access, disabled access & facilities, free driver refreshments, food & picnic packages available. Aberfeldy • Perthshire • Scotland • PH15 2JQ 01887820071 Imagine... The Stories They Could Tell The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Experience More in 2015: Tour | Café | Shop Explore Edinburgh's Hidden History Tel: 0845 070 6255 www.RealMaryKingsClose.com £500k facelift for Real Mary King's Close Stand K24 The Real Mary King's Close, which dates back to the 1600s, will get a new entrance on the Royal Mile, along with a new cafe and exhibition area, thanks to an investment worth £500,000. The attraction is run by Continuum attractions, which has sites including Coronation Street Sporting Lets expands international appeal Stand B27 CKD Galbraith's Sporting lets department plans to capitalise on growing demand from countries that are not traditionally associated with fieldsports. The company caters for experienced and novice sportsmen and women who come to Scotland to see the red deer rut, grouse, salmon and sea trout. Robert Rattray, head of Sporting lets, said: "Scotland unquestionably has some of the finest sporting estates and opportunities on offer. This is increasingly being discovered by nationalities that traditionally have not been a major driver of demand. "There is also a growing trend for an authentic Scottish experience on a highland estate and this is attracting new clients from across asia, the Middle east and Russia. Scotland's 2014 Stand K19 New nature walks and guided tours for groups are among the fresh options on offer from the National Trust for Scotland. NTS looks after more than 60 of Scotland's finest historic attractions, and buyers at expo can find out more about what is new for 2016 and beyond. Pietro Cecchini, head of travel trade at NTS, said: "led by our expert rangers, these easy- grade, one-hour nature walks are available at some of Scotland's most outstanding locations. "Clients can choose from stunning Glencoe – location of the James Bond blockbuster Skyfall – the majestic Culzean Castle and Country Park, exotic Inverewe Garden and estate and a 'Bronze age' experience at Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park." New themed guided tours are Strathmore showcases group discounts Stand J23 STRaThMoRe hotels and sister brand Strathmore Travel will be at the expo to highlight group discounts and themed breaks. The hotel chain features seven properties in Scotland and the North of england, in the popular tourist areas of Fort william, oban, Speyside, Perth, harrogate and the lake District. Group rates include one free place for groups of 20 or more and the hotels run themed breaks including sequence dance, National Trust for Scotland offers new walks and tours available for groups at Culzean Castle, as Scotland prepares for VisitScotland's 2016 Year of Innovation, architecture and Design. Cecchini said: "our latest guided tours have been created by Culzean's expert team, exclusively for the group market. "Visitors can come face-to- face with the past when they meet a 'marquess', delve into the stories of the Kennedy family, enjoy a special cookery demo in our Upstairs, Downstairs event, and marvel at [architect] Robert adam's genius on our celebratory enlightenment Tour." Fans of the Outlander TV series and books can follow the Outlander Trail at several NTS attractions, while the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre has a new package for winter programmes. The dedicated trade website features new 2016 group rates, special offers and themed itineraries. nts.org.uk/traveltrade Lothian regions team up to attract groups Stand C2 C4 C6 VISIT west lothian, Visit east lothian and Midlothian Council have joined forces to woo groups to their region. They will showcase the lothians and have launched a new website at lothiansgrouptravel. com, with ideas for itineraries and offers for groups. Bordering edinburgh, the regions are easily accessible by air, road and rail, and offer murder mystery and tribute weekends, easter, Turkey & Tinsel, Christmas, Twixmas and New Year. Strathmore Travel offers coach hire for groups travelling to the hotels and on excursions. strathmorehotels.com strathmoretravel.com free coach parking and deals for groups. They are also working with partners such as Rosslyn Chapel, hopetoun house, National Museum of Flight, the livingston Designer outlet and Glenkinchie Distillery. lothiansgrouptravel.com Macdonald Hotels & Resorts investments Stands: C21-23 MaCDoNalD hotels & Resorts has invested more than £10 million in properties from the south of england to the Scottish highlands over the past 18 months. The UK's largest independently-owned hotel group is marking its 25th anniversary year. The Macdonald aviemore Resort saw more than £5 million being invested in its four hotels and new aviemore activity Centre. elsewhere, Macdonald Cardrona hotel Golf & Spa in the Scottish Borders completed a £200,000 refurbishment while Macdonald houstoun house unveiled its newly refurbished bedrooms within the 16th Century tower section of the hotel. macdonald-hotels.co.uk Cottages & Castles sees staycation surge Stand B27 holIDaY homes specialist Cottages & Castles has seen a "notable surge in staycations" and increased numbers of short breaks in recent years. Sue Bourne, manager of Cottages & Castles, said: "The company has continued to grow year-on-year with repeat clients, higher quality properties and a notable surge in 'staycations' over the last few years. "we have noticed a definite trend towards short breaks. holidaymakers are booking more than one holiday a year with us and often at the last minute." Short break online bookings for the past year increased by 65% while last-minute bookings are up by 90%. She added: "It is already well known what a fantastic holiday destination Scotland is, but Cottages & Castles offers accommodation that makes a trip unforgettable." The firm can offer venues to host corporate trips, mixed groups and families, and features about 650 properties. Cottages & Castles has added Bona lighthouse, at the north end of loch Ness to its canal-side portfolio. The listed building is one of only two inland lighthouses in Scotland and its interior has been recently renovated. cottages-and-castles.co.uk Claypotts Cottage in Perthshire is one of the holiday lets available through Cottages & Castles. grouse season demonstrated why Scotland holds such a renowned field sports reputation. "The season was hailed as the best in a generation with sporting estates in Inverness, aberdeen, and right down to lammermuirs in the South recording much better-than-average brace numbers and excellent grouse levels right through to the end of the season in December." CKD Galbraith's Sporting lets can offer clients anything from a fully catered grand lodge with driven grouse shooting to a day trip with salmon fishing. sportinglets.co.uk Church body promotes pilgrim project Stand K28 The Scotland's Churches Trust was created from the former Churches to Visit in Scotland and the Scottish Churches architectural heritage Trust. It provides grants to repair and restore Scotland's churches and has launched Scotland's Pilgrim Journeys – a network of journeys following in the footsteps of Scotland's saints. In historical times, pilgrims' journeys were demanding and sometimes arduous, so wayside shrines and inns flourished. scotlandspilgrimjourneys.com scotlandschurchestrust.org.uk and Spinnaker Tower. In 2014 it had more than 200,000 visitors, most from outside the UK. The development will see the reinstatement of original doorways on the Royal Mile to create a prominent presence on the famous street. New visual effects and interactive features are also planned in the attraction, which is a warren of underground streets and spaces. realmarykingsclose.com Safari so good for red deer centre a New red deer park, offered by highland Safaris in aberfeldy, Perthshire, has proved popular with guests since its opening. Scotland's newest wildlife attraction enables visitors to discover more about red deer, with an interactive experience led by a kilted safari ranger, before going outdoors to hand-feed the herd. Visitors can also meet ossian the barn owl and walk along the Discovery Trail. alison Moore, general manager of lochs and Glens holidays, said: "our guests are loving the new red deer centre at highland Safaris. we are delighted to have it on our itinerary." The 'Christmas experience', including a festive red deer centre, a theme of red deer vs reindeer and a light-filled Discovery Trail, was also a hit with groups and individuals. Visits to the red deer centre can be combined with land Rover safaris, panning for gold and gems, and mountain biking. highlandsafaris.net

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