With economic data showing that the British economy is faring better than many experts predicted from Brexit uncertainty, the exchange rate has gone from $1.47 on 23rd June to $1.31 today; setting up a perfect scenario for a short fuse UK trip. That said, the news gets even better for enterprising travel agents because everything I’ve listed here will take place all over again in 2017, which gives you a full year to convert at least one of these events into an even more valuable piece of new business. Quilts and Malts
This combination could appeal to couples where wives might enjoy 3 full days with quilters from all over the world at the Scottish Quilting Championships while their husbands head off to Dufftown for the Speyside Whisky Festival which takes place almost simultaneously in the Malt Whisky capital of Scotland.
Oysters and Chocolate
Using the Galway Oyster Festival as bait, how about an Ireland Gourmet Tour that will tickle the taste buds as it brings together some of the best Irish locations for food lovers? Talking of foodie ideas, don’t miss the The Chocolate Show in London.
RHS Garden Festivals
If your garden-loving clients missed this year’s Chelsea or Hampton Court Flower Shows, offer them a trip to the RHS Wisley Flower Show with visits to privately owned properties still looking gorgeous in early September. Alternatively, in October steer them towards the RHS London Shades of Autumn show and a special tour of the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew.
Jane Austen and Agatha Christie
If hours of watching Masterpiece Theatre productions of Jane Austen or Agatha Christie are on your client’s hit list and they’re in England in September, suggest that they head for the great heritage city of Bath for the Regency Costumed Parade during the Jane Austen Festival. Did you know you can hire period costumes and take part? Fans of the Queen of Crime Writers need to go a little further into England’s West Country to the English Riviera, aka Torquay, where they’ll be celebrating 100 years of Agatha Christie and the creation of Hercule Poirot.
Antique Fairs and London Markets
Antiques aficionados will thank you for steering them towards the Cotswolds where they’ll discover a plethora of antique shops. With those in Stow on the Wold, Tetbury, and Broadway topping the list, you should time their visit to coincide with the end of October Cotswolds Antiques and Decorative Arts Show, a must for clients who are collectors, home furnishers, and interior designers. Others will go for the 1700 indoor and outdoor stalls at the International Antiques and Collectors Fair at Ardingly and the London markets at Bermondsey, Portobello, Spitalfields, and Petticoat Lane. Add the exotic Royal Pavilion, a visit to a privately owned castle and the extraordinary Dennis Severs House and you’re onto a winner.
Paull Tickner, creator of Special Interest Britain, is an expert in developing customized niche travel programs for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Check out his website at www.customgb.co.uk and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org