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Helping businesses to stand out in the group travel market

Tourism and hospitality businesses have been taking advantage of specialist training to help them to succeed in the group travel market.

This month, Visit County Durham delivered an interactive group travel course, providing businesses with top tips and inspiration on how to stand out in this highly competitive market.  Durham is a popular destination for group travel, with a great selection of group-friendly attractions and accommodation, along with a dramatic coastline, historic city and stunning countryside.

Group travel makes a valuable contribution to Durham’s visitor economy and, as the county’s destination management organisation, Visit County Durham is keen to grow this further and ensure businesses have the skills and knowledge they need to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. The group travel training session took place at Hallgarth Hotel in the south of the county and was attended by representatives from some of Durham’s leading visitor attractions.

Susie Brindley, from Willow Business Support, led the course, which covered key topics including:

  1. Top tips on the needs and expectations of the group travel market.

  2. Best practice case studies.

  3. Ideas on how to maximise opportunities for increased bookings and repeat visits.

  4. The importance of word-of-mouth recommendations and favourable reviews.

  5. Understanding the importance of first and lasting impressions.

  6. Communication skills.

  7. Effective ways to deal with difficult situations.

Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “Durham has so much to offer this important market, but we face a lot of competition from other destinations. By offering this training, we aim to help Durham businesses stand out from the crowd and provide an excellent experience. This, in turn, will further strengthen the county’s reputation as a great group travel destination.

“The session was hugely successful, with businesses also taking the opportunity to learn from each other and their own examples of best practice.”

Visit County Durham works with tourism businesses across the county to develop Durham’s group travel offer through the Discover Durham partnership. For group friendly attractions and accommodation, as well as latest itineraries, tour guide information and offers, visit

Anyone interested in attending a future group travel training course or who would like to find out more about other Visit County Durham training and networking opportunities should contact


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