Excursions exhibitors tap into travel trends

Destinations and suppliers exhibiting at Excursions 2019 (January 29) are offering tours with ‘brag-ability’, say the show organisers.

The annual group travel event takes place at Alexandra Palace in London, and next year’s show is evolving to cater for the latest market trends, according to Fran Downton, senior marketing manager at organiser Tourism South East.

“While visitors are still interested in the classic sights and attractions, there is also an increasing demand in the group travel market for experiential trips to deliver more innovative ideas and a more memorable experience,” she said.

“Operators are looking for a package with ‘brag-ability’, which creates a more saleable product.”

She added: “There is also an increasing trend towards multi-generational travel…beyond the traditional tourism sights.

“History and heritage are now more popular if coupled with culinary experiences – and nature activities can be soft adventures rather than solely garden or walking-based.”

She said the show’s location-based layout enables exhibitors to work together to build group itineraries that cater for these trends and encourage more travellers.

Downton also highlighted how the group travel sector is expanding, with groups of more than 35 increasing in number by 4% since 2016.

Exhibitors at Excursions can expose their brand to group travel organisers who represent more than 750,000 group travellers, she added.

On average, exhibitors received eight bookings directly from Excursions last year, and the show’s LiveBuzz app enables exhibitors to track relationships, from initial meeting to follow-up.

Downton said Excursions is largest single gathering of UK GTOs under one roof and 48% of visitors will not visit any other exhibition.