Last Tuesday, our UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from 4th July, the self-distancing figure shrinks from 6 feet to 3 feet which will enable hotels, pubs, restaurants, and many attractions to reopen. This is the biggest leap to near normality since the lockdown started on 23rd March.
Responding to this encouraging news, I’ve focused on the month of June and have chosen four annual events which you can use as the foundation for a 2021 customised UK tour for 2-3 clients, or even a small group of 10-12.
The first one features the Dickens Festival in the cathedral of Rochester with the second centred on the Jane Austen Regency Week in the Hampshire villages of Chawton and Alton, where she spent much of her life. June is also a good month for an On-Location Doc Martin/Poldark tour to Devon and Cornwall. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t know if you saw the Development Counsellors International report issued in late March, about what travel advisors need from destinations during COVID-19, but my eye was caught by the fact that while you were dealing with cancellations and reassuring clients about future bookings, 38 percent reported using this time to engage in professional education.
If that includes you, take a look at my April and May articles. You’ll discover that I’m providing you with information on internationally renowned ANNUAL events and festivals that can provide the cornerstone for a UK tour Read the rest of this entry »
This week, I am highlighting 4 world-leading events that take place ANNUALLY in May. They include the Chelsea Flower Show as you’ve never seen it before, the opportunity to virtually attend the Hay Literary Festival, a close encounter with the Badminton Horse Trials, and a look at the renowned Bath Festival.
I’ve added a day in the life of treasure-filled Waddesdon Manor, a closer look at the internationally renowned Leonardslee Gardens and, to further lift your spirits Read the rest of this entry »
As you can’t make it to the UK at the moment, let your imagination (and technology) transport you across the pond to learn more about some of the travel experiences you could offer clients in May of next year. Especially for those who have been to the UK on several occasions in the past. Some of them may only want to go to London but, if they’re actively involved in the cultural scene at home, they might like to be offered other options which can be tailored to meet their specific interests and time frame. Read the rest of this entry »
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of the annual Royal Horticultural Society’s spring and early summer flower shows, the one they stage at Hampton Court Palace has now been scheduled to take place between 10th-15th September. It replaces the RHS Wisley Flower Show. Offer it to garden-loving clients who have missed the Chelsea Flower Show, and let’s add two more floral spectaculars that are taking place at the same time at fairy-tale Leeds Castle and magnificent Salisbury Cathedral.
Then, brighten your day and fire your imagination with some sensational colour-filled videos of English gardens AS THEY LOOK NOW and will be again in April 2021.
Regular readers will be familiar with my four-word mantra of “TRAVEL LESS, SEE MORE.” This week, I’m taking you north of Hadrian’s Wall as I sow some seeds that could become the basis for a customised tour for 2-4 or 10-12 clients in the spring/summer of next year. Read on, become inspired, dream a little and then let’s exchange some emails about a plan for 2021.
Last Friday, I spotted a recent Development Counsellors International survey on what travel advisors need during the COVI-19 crisis. The fifth of their key findings confirmed that 38 percent of those surveyed are using their time to engage in professional education. For those of you with the UK on your radar, check out the videos, expand your UK product knowledge, be inspired, reflect on what you see and start planning for the future.
Read on, enjoy these eye and ear-catching snapshots and stay well as we all work our way through this crisis. Read the rest of this entry »
This week, I’m sharpening the focus on some irresistible travel experiences in the north of England which are made all the more accessible because of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flights to Manchester. With airside to curbside in around 30 minutes, let me whet your appetite with an amazing Liverpool and London Beatles tour (also available in a modified format as a Liverpool shore excursion) and the idea of creating imaginative three county combinations like England, Wales and Scotland, or England, Wales and Ireland – which is what the Manchester gateway can deliver for you. Nearly all of these suggestions are for August and September 2020. Read the rest of this entry »
For you and many of your clients, the names in my top story read like a list of old friends. You, and they, will have studied them at school, college and university and then watched them as they appear on Masterpiece. With all the groundwork done, you will find that they need little persuasion when it comes to discovering the sources of literary inspiration and making visits to On Location sites of their favourites. To heighten the interest, we need to blend in privately owned castles, stately home and gardens, a pub lunch here and an afternoon tea there, and choral evensong in one of our magnificent cathedrals.
The UK has the product experiences. The target audience is ON YOUR DOORSTEP. The missing link? YOU, the travel agent with the skills to make it happen as you convert popular fiction into profitable reality.
This week’s short stories focus on several bright ideas for September 2020, and I’ve kicked off with a very tasty offering for the York Food and Drink Festival. Just under 2-hours north of London and easily accessible with Virgin Atlantic direct flights into the northern gateway of Manchester, it includes a class at the Cookery School at the 5-star Grand Hotel. Beer, tea, and wine-themed tours come next – followed by an absolutely fabulous garden tour to the Wisley Flower Show, the flagship home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Plus, for this year only folks, the floral extravaganzas at fairy tale Leeds Castle and in majestic Salisbury Cathedral. For fans of murder mystery novels, I’ve closed with a heads up for the International Agatha Christie Festival on England’s Riviera.
As 2020 is the ‘Year of The Bookworm’, with 17 conversation-starting itineraries on my website, here’s a list of potential sources where your literary contacts may already be customers. Chapters of the American Library Association looking for literary/on location fundraisers; general and specialist bookstores and antiquarian book dealers; teachers and lecturers in English literature at schools, colleges, universities and continuing education colleges; Murder Mystery Book clubs/stores; Reading Circles; Fans of Masterpiece Theatre; North American Dickens Festivals looking for a UK Dickens Festival tour in the spring. These ideas are available for couples, 4 friends travelling together, families and small groups. Read the rest of this entry »
I often find that many travel planners like the sound of the words ‘The Cotswolds’, though many are unaware that the region covers an area of England with Shakespeare’s England (aka. Stratford upon Avon to the north), the Roman and Georgian city of Bath to the south and the university city of Oxford as the front door when travelling from London. By English standards, this is a large area of almost 800 square miles and filled with quintessentially English villages of honey-coloured stone, lively market towns and some of the country’s greatest palaces, castles, country houses, gardens, traditional country pubs and charming tea rooms. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy New Year!
If 2, 4 or 6 of your clients are planning to visit the UK this year, let’s talk about an itinerary that can be customised to meet their interests, time frame and budget. Being the home to some of the world’s finest Flower Shows, these internationally renowned horticultural extravaganzas make a very good focal point for tours that also include visits to stately homes, cathedrals, literary and on-location venues, ancient pubs for lunch and interesting places for English Afternoon Tea. This collection offers some imaginative starting points for a profitable conversation.
Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, a travel advisor asked me to put together a Grandparents and Grandchildren’s tour, which didn’t spend the entire vacation in London. My response seems to have hit the nail firmly on the head as I brought together Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Roald Dahl’s BFG, a dash of Paddington Bear in London and an evening performance of Mathilda. The dates they chose were early July, which meant I could also include a visit to the fantastic new Alice in Wonderland Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum. If you have clients who’d like something similar, send me an email.
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas.
Welcome to another inspired collection of short UK programmes which will help you to increase your profits from cruises sailing in, and out, of Southampton.
My top stories focus on well-known names like Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Inspector Morse; and I have highlighted a couple of Crime Writer Festivals which could be of interest. Elsewhere, there are reminders of the interest that can be generated when you offer clients tours that include names like Downton Abbey, Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter, Stonehenge and King Arthur, the Cotswolds and the Royal Horticultural Society flagship garden at Wisley.
With interest in UK customised pre and post cruise extensions on the rise, this week’s collection of 2-3 nighters for Southampton arrivals and departures will certainly catch the eye – especially with those who want a closer look at the living history and traditions of their old friend Britain.
I’m a great fan of matching UK tours to niche markets ON YOUR DOORSTEP and if you know any flower arrangers, my final story will really grab their attention for a unique tour next September.
We have a saying here in England, “You wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once” – and so it is with UK Tea Room Tours. I’ve been banging on about them for a very long time and this week, 6 small group requests have come in one after another! Give my top story careful thought and then let’s start an email conversation.
Elsewhere, I’m commending a visit to the World of Wedgwood, a lovely hotel just north of London, some new Beatles shore excursions in Liverpool and some terrific flower shows and flower festivals.
Previously, I’ve introduced you to eight great Flower Shows staged between April and September by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). This week, I’m showcasing the four – soon to be five – RHS gardens around the country, which have to be included in itineraries for the most experienced horticulturists and those like myself who just love to be surrounded by the beauty of some of the best gardens in England.
Offering a year-round calendar of Rose Festivals, Sculpture Trails, craft showcases imaginatively themed private tours and festive ‘Glow’ illuminations, RHS gardens are inspirational at any time of year with something different to see and experience whenever you visit.
From RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey (their historic home) to the quintessentially English country garden that is RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, and from RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, Yorkshire to the wide-open spaces of RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, each has its own distinctive personality; but all of them bring delight and inspiration in equal measure.
With the Wave Season just around the corner and a steady increase in the number of travel advisors requesting customised pre and post cruse extensions, this week I’m introducing 9 imaginatively themed 2-3-night ideas that will start conversations with clients planning cruises starting or finishing in Southampton, Dover, Tilbury or Harwich. With a little help from me, they will strengthen your relationship with each of them and generate some very valuable extra commission. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re seriously into gardening, the odds are that you might visited the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, but what you may not know is that between April and September, they organise 7 more wonder-filled gardening events in the UK. Four of them take place in April and May with four more spread across June, July and September. Five of them are in the London area with another on the edge of the Cotswolds and another in Cardiff. The Chatsworth and Tatton Park events are both in the northwest of England and, while it’s very easy to include them in a circular tour that starts and finishes in London, you can do your customers a big favour by booking them onto one of the growing number of non-stop flights Read the rest of this entry »
On Location tours, Viking Festivals, Wallabies in one of England’s finest woodland gardens, and an audio tour of a fine collection keyboard instruments. Welcome to the world I live in and the experiences I include in customised itineraries for couples, families and groups cruising or flying in and out of the UK. Read on and discover more about the bubble, fizz and pleasant surprises I can add to your tours.