Southern Wales take a bow!
Tourism businesses from all over South Wales came
together to provide a warm Welsh welcome for the cream of the UK's
travel trade despite the low temperatures.
Coach and tour operators and high quality group travel organisers
descended on the Best Western Heronston Hotel in Bridgend for a two
day showcase of group attractions 1-3 February.
Arranged by Southern Wales Tourism and coordinated by country-wide
tourism specialists from Hampshire Steve Reed Tourism Ltd, the
event set out to create new and high quality group bookings for
businesses across the region.
A Welcome to South Wales dinner took place at the Heronston
complete with a delicious themed menu including Welsh lamb and
Welsh Cakes! Caricaturist 'Picasso Griffiths' entertained the VIP
guests with quick-fire drawings of the delegates as a memento of
their visit. And background music of a Welsh harpist set the
A full day of fact-finding visits to attractions was followed by
an intensive 'Meet the Buyer' Workshop in the Great Hall of
The group of tour buyers were taken on a whistle-stop
familiarisation visit to numerous group-friendly sites around South
Wales, all from their handy Bridgend base. These included Caerleon
Roman Town near Newport; Caldicot Castle; the Shire Hall in
Monmouth; the Guardian mining disaster Monument at Six Bells and
the Welsh Whisky Distillery in Penderyn. The day included a scenic
trip through the Wye Valley past such popular group sites as
Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Racecourse.
And a showround at Ty Newydd Country Hotel preceded a memorable
night of entertainment and dinner at the historic Llancaiach Fawr
Manor in Nelson.
Exhibitors at the 'Meet the Buyer' Workshop at Caerphilly Castle
read like a who's who of Welsh tourism with numerous destinations,
attractions, hotels and venues represented there, all keen to meet
and do business face to face with the many buyers. They included
Visit Wales, the Royal Mint, McArthur Glen Designer Outlet and Cadw
- Heritage Wales.
First Great Western Rail sponsored a return rail trip from London
Paddington to Cardiff for a number of top tour buyers including
MIKI Travel and Angela Shanley Associates. Mainline Coaches from
Porth provided the coach transport for the event. Blue Badge Guide
Steve Griffin looked after the tour group during their
familiarisation visits around South Wales.
Vicky Jones is the Project Officer for Southern Wales
'We are very happy indeed with the high quality of the
event and the superb welcome given to our special guests by our
tourism partners. South Wales looked at its best despite the cold
weather and we are confident that many of the tourism businesses
involved will receive valuable long term bookings as a result of
the initiative, says Vicky.
The event really helped put Southern Wales firmly onto the tourism
map thinks Steve Reed of Steve Reed Tourism Ltd:
'Most of the many buyers attending the event had never been to
South wales before or not for many a year - so the initiative was
an opportunity to really showcase some of the wonderful and very
diverse offerings the region has, explains Steve.
'The ease of access with top class infrastructure; excellent and
interesting high quality attractions; stunning scenery; amazing
customer care and a genuine warmth from everyone we met helped to
make for a memorable event.'
Image: In the Heronston Hotel before 'Welcome to South
Wales Dinner' from left to right Steve Reed, Vicky Jones and Huw
Davies of Southern Wales Tourism, Judith Reed of Steve Reed Tourism
and Paul Gallagher of the Heronston Hotel.
For further information contact:
Vicky Jones  815335
Steve Reed  560 288