The Group Leisure & Travel Show has experienced another triumphant year at the NEC, with group travel organisers complimenting the range and scope of the event and exhibitors impressed by the quality of visitors to the show and the level of serious enquiries made throughout the day. 

Nicholas Owen

Nicholas Owen at the 2017 Group Leisure & Travel Show.

‘Successful’, ‘fantastic’, ‘fabulous’ and ‘a must for group organisers’: was just some of the positive feedback received from group travel organisers and coach operators.

The show got off to a busy start with throngs of visitors coming through the doors of Hall 18 to meet and network with over 200 exhibitors. The show was moved to a bigger hall this year to accommodate an increase in the number of exhibitors.

GTOs were able to meet and chat to exhibitors from destinations, accommodation providers, and tour operators, attractions, ticketing agencies, stately homes, cruise companies and shopping centres. Deals were done, dates were penned into diaries and GTOs walked away with inspiration for at least another year of group trips and holidays.

Feeback from visitors and exhibitors

William Read, organiser for the Midland Association of Protection Scientists, commented: “I find these shows very helpful for travel inspiration, as you get to meet so many new people. The first trip we ran this year was to Kidderminster Carpet Museum and that was booked through last year’s GLTS.”

Fellow GTO, Hazell Rolinson of Friends and Neighbours, explained that of the 20 trips she books for her group every year, most are booked through the Group Leisure & Travel Show. 

“I’m going to Waddesdon Manor in December, we’ve already been to Woburn Abbey and Bletchley Park this year, and we’re considering a break to Potter’s Resort in the future. This show is wonderful.”

Feedback from exhibitors has been equally as positive. 

Joanne Wood, operations manager at Simply Groups, said: “It’s been very busy with lots of leads, and we have collected so many contacts of people to work with. We’ve exhibited here for several years and we return because of each year’s success.” 

Big guests drew crowds to the Seminar Theatre

The Seminar Theatre was a big hit yet again as four celebrity speakers held their own sessions throughout the course of the day. Presentations were led by news broadcaster Nicholas Owen; senior travel editor of The Independent and TV pundit Simon Calder; BBC presenter and history expert Dan Cruickshank; and finally Chris Beardshaw, presenter of the BBC Series The Beech Garden.

Lindsay Linder, business development and marketing manager at Hunts Coaches, said: “I found the talk by Simon Calder very interesting and he’s one of the main reasons we came today; with the focus on the group travel market.”

Lady Tilly Greenhall, the section secretary for CWU Leicestershire, summed up by saying: “I came last year as well, I find it so good because there are so many places you’d never have thought about that just pop up - it’s really inspirational. Having won a television from InterChoice today has really made our day - and the bacon sarnies went down a treat too!”

The Group Leisure & Travel Show 2018 will take place on 11th October next year. 

For more information about the GLTS 2018 visit