Winchester attractions make impact at show

Travel group organisers flocked to the Winchester stand at the major Excursions Group Travel Fair at Alexandra Palace, not only tempted by an array of attractions to visit in the city and countryside beyond, but also by the special opportunity to benefit from promotional discounts when booking direct with any of the partnership attractions.

The six key attractions are Winchester Cathedral, The Great Hall and Round Table, Marwell Zoological Park, Winchester City Mill, INTECH - the interactive science discovery centre - and the Royal Armouries Fort Nelson.

They have joined together to form a consortium with Winchester City Council's Tourism service to promote a variety of exciting itineraries for groups visiting the area, and are offering incentives varying from one free place on tours to free refreshments and meals for coach drivers and organisers.

The competition to win a great two-day familiarisation trip to Winchester also proved to be extremely popular with Excursions visitors. Highlights for the lucky winner include the opportunity to fire a big gun at Fort Nelson and to feed the giraffes at Marwell Zoological Park.

More importantly, Excursions also saw the launch of a new group travel desk to make group visits to Winchester even easier. The one-stop shop group travel advisor - within Winchester Tourism - can book guided tours, provide tailored itineraries, advise on group-friendly accommodation and eateries, organise familiarisation visits and supply bulk quantities of maps and guides.

Sean Mannie, Operating Officer at Royal Armouries Fort Nelson said: "The Royal Armouries is delighted with the positive response that Winchester Attractions received at Excursions 2005. Group organisers were extremely enthusiastic about the quality, range and variety of attractions that Winchester has to offer and we look forward to welcoming lots of new visitors as a result."

Winchester Tourism Marketing Officer Valerie Greenwood added: "Our day at Excursions proved to be a huge success and all our consortium members were pleased with how well the partnering of attractions had worked. Winchester is a popular destination for group visits and we are looking forward to welcoming back both those groups who have enjoyed previous visits and those who will be first-timers as a result of their visit to our stand.

"Clearly, the group travel market is an important one for Winchester and Excursions now looks set to be a regular date in the partnership's diaries."