Published Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Coventry is leading the way in welcoming tourism back to the city following a familiarisation trip with key industry representatives.
Visit Coventry and Harry Shaw Group Travel worked in partnership to familiarise group travel organisers with the city, so that it could be presented as a potential travel destination for large group trips during Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.
An action-packed itinerary began with group travel organisers welcomed to the historic Coombe Abbey Hotel where they would be staying, before heading on to a dinner hosted by the new Telegraph Hotel restaurant, Forme & Chase.
The group visited The Charterhouse, a 14th-century former Carthusian monastery that’s due to open to the public at the end of the year after a major renovation.
Guests were also treated to an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Coventry’s hidden gem, St Mary’s Guildhall, which was built in 1342. Located in the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter, the magnificent medieval interiors and fine artworks offer a window into Coventry’s glorious past.
Delegates were given a full briefing by Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, who outlined the developments the city has undergone in the past year and the investment it has attracted.
He said: “It was a pleasure to welcome representatives from the group travel industry back to Coventry, and a great opportunity for us to showcase our fantastic city.
“There’s never been a better time to visit the city with all of the brilliant things we’ve got going on and the way the city centre is shaping up. We’ve combined the best of the old and the new, and we’re making the most of our hidden gems and heritage assets.
“The next 12 months is set to be really full on and I hope that lots of people will want to come and see what we already know – and that’s that we are a great city ready with something for every interest or taste. It was great to be able to give the large group travel organisers a sneak peek so that they can begin planning their next itineraries and help others to enjoy the city.”
Guests enjoyed a cultural dive into Coventry’s history, including a tour of the city’s famous Cathedral, lunch at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, and a walking tour through Coventry streets through to the Coventry Transport Museum. Before departing, the guests had the opportunity to explore The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, wrapping up a busy trip to some of the city’s visitor highlights.
Ian Pearson, of Harry Shaw Group Travel, said ‘Being a Coventry-based tour operator for more than 50 years, and the only one to have its head office in the city, it is our honour to work in close partnership with Visit Coventry to showcase our city to group travel organisers, especially at such an important time, with Coventry’s prestigious honour of being voted the UK City of Culture 2021.