2018 Show Review

An excellent landing for our supersonic event!

A record number of GTOs came along to the South West Group Travel Show (SWGTS) on Saturday 3rd February at Aerospace Bristol, and our year of events, shows and other activities was off to a flying start!

Taking place beneath the wings of the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last of the Concorde passenger planes to be built and the last to fly, this was certainly a most unusual location for the SWGTS. As well as spending time talking to our exhibitors representing all aspects of the group travel trade in the South West and further afield, the more than 300 GTOs who came along could go on-board Concorde as part of discovering the full history of this iconic plane. In addition, visitors could tour the museum where the story of Bristol’s role in aviation from early pioneers through two World Wars to the present day unfolds. For more information, see the panel on the right.

Show organiser, GTO’s Partnership and Product Director, Sarah Jeffery, said ‘Aerospace Bristol was a fantastic venue and I’d like to thank all the “crew” at Filton for their help in organising the show and making both visitors and exhibitors feel so welcome. GTOs were able to explore the museum at their leisure, and also spend time with many exhibitors getting ideas for future visits. In addition, I am grateful to Visit Bristol for supporting the show and for organising a familiarisation visit taking in many of the city’s attractions. Thank you also to coaching partners Daish’s Holidays, Excelsior Coaches and Bakers Dolphin who helped GTOs travel to the show for free.’

Francesca Bizon, Marketing Officer for Aerospace Bristol added, ‘As a brand new destination for group visits of all kinds, Aerospace Bristol was delighted to host the SWGTS under the wings of our star attraction – the last Concorde ever to fly. It was fantastic to meet fellow exhibitors and enthusiastic GTOs, and we look forward to welcoming many of them again soon as they take their group on a flight through aerospace history.’ To find out more about the museum please visit aerospacebristol.org.

Feedback about the show

‘Well done on a well organised event in a fabulous venue. Yes fingers crossed we will get some business, but the quality of the leads was brilliant.’

June Hutchings – Visit Exeter

‘Good show, it’s always interesting to find out what’s happening.’

Keith Nickless, South Gloucestershire Mining Group

‘Brilliant to find out developments at attractions such as at SS Great Britain and Seaton Tramway.’

Alan Jackson – CSRF Weston-super-Mare

Lots to explore in museum’s tribute to Bristol’s tech heritage

The Concorde Gallery is only part of the impressive new Aerospace Bristol Museum.

Just across the apron lie the Aerospace Galleries in an even larger hangar – itself dating back to the First World War – containing a wonderful collection of planes, missiles, helicopters and even trams and other road transport exhibits all representing parts of the history of invention and manufacturing in Bristol – and in particular at the Filton Airfield Site.

It all started with Sir George White whose aviation company, the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, was one of the first UK companies to move into aircraft manufacture as military aviation began during World War One.

The exhibition includes charming cameo displays about the early days of aircraft design and production including a characterisation of the first employees being introduced to their novel role in an aeroplane factory.

As well as some remarkable early military bi-planes the museum includes famous passenger aircraft like the Britannia and the huge Bristol type 173 twin rotor helicopter originally designed for intercity services. There are current plans to put a restored 1950s Bristol Freighter, just brought back from New Zealand, on show.

More modern exhibits include weapons systems and a cut away fuselage from an Airbus, recognising the later history of the FIlton site following the establishment of British Aerospace.

There’s plenty of engaging exhibition material, which tells the story of not just the products made, but the social history that is associated with the growth of the aviation sector.

Peter Stonham, Editorial Director.

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