South East News

Steady growth at Excursions 2017

The 41st Excursions™ 2017, which took place at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, 28th January, continued to show steady growth attracting some 1,150 visitors.

Remarkably around 48% attended the one-day group travel show for the first time, keen to discover what exhibitors had to offer and clearly demonstrating that there is still a huge need for conducting business face-to-face, even in a digital age. Visitors were also given a preview of the revitalized new branding for Excursions™ 2018, to be held at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, 27th January.

Nicholson’s pop-up pub proved to be a great draw for visitors, eager to sample a selection of their beers, while the tickets for the free wine tasting by Denbies were quickly taken up. The presentation by Alexandra Palace on their future plans and tours of the venue also attracted considerable interest.

Delighted with Excursions™ ongoing success, organiser Anna Wilson-Barnes, Travel Trade Marketing Manager at Tourism South East said; "There was a great buzz about this year’s show with packed aisles, new contacts being made and business conducted at a high level. We were also very pleased to see so many new and younger visitors, changing some of the long held preconceptions about group travel being just for an older market. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2018."

Tourism South East Chief Executive Nigel Smith added, “We have consistently sustained visitor numbers over the years. We have achieved this by combining database marketing and traditional advertising with free coach transfers, as well as arranging fam trips and bringing in VIP coaches. All added value ways of getting trade visitors to attend. For the first time this year, AGTO also held their AGM at Excursions.”

Exhibiting at the show from Destination Basingstoke, Felicity Edwards confirmed she “Met lots of new people with a genuine interest” in their project, while Ben Walker from the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, who was sharing the Shropshire Star Attractions stand said; “Excursions surpassed my expectations. A great opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the world of group travel - all in one place. Quality leads and excellent results. We look forward to exhibiting again next year.” Helen Buckham from The Crown Estate added; “It was one of the best (Excursions) I had been to for a couple of years, lovely and busy and we had some great feedback”.

The show is organised by Tourism South East in partnership with London & Partners and Group Leisure magazine. For more information, visit, follow Excursions™ on Twitter @Excursionsshow for news and updates or visit the show’s Facebook page at ‘Excursions: Group Travel Trade Exhibition’.