Southport rolls out red carpet for group travel organisers

The resort of Southport in Merseyside has already generated new bookings thanks to hosting a group travel fam trip in late September.

Tour operators and group travel organisers joined the three-day showcase event arranged by Visit Southport and travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism.

Steve Christian, destination development manager for Southport, said: “We were very glad that the tour buyers enjoyed their stay in Southport – and that bookings are already coming in as a result of the visit.”

Based at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, the group of tour buyers also visited other Southport hotels including the Best Western Royal Clifton and the Prince of Wales hotels. Lancashire coach and tour company Brethertons Goldline Coaches provided the transport for the showcase.

Companies attending the showcase included Great Days Travel from Altringham; Kee Travel from North Yorkshire; Elgar Coaches from Worcestershire; and Voels Coaches Ltd from Rhyl in north Wales.

Attractions visited included The Atkinson art gallery and museum; Southport pier; the British Lawnmower Museum; and Crosby Beach, where tourists can see Anthony Gormley’s art works Another Place.

The trip also included the National Trust Formby Reserve, famous for its red squirrels, and the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust’s Martin Mere Reserve.

Shopping was on the itinerary, with trips to Courtyard at Tarleton in Tarleton Village and JAK Hanson Retail Outlet in Wrightington.

Christian added: “Groups are very important to the tourism economy here in Southport and we are always glad to be able to show off what we have – whether it be our superb annual events such as the Food and Drink Festival, Southport Flower Show, the Southport Air Show or the British Musical Fireworks Championships – or perhaps it could be our characterful Lord Street, the seaside fun of the pier and maybe the many super attractions we also have around the resort.”