An attraction in Oxford has ‘re-written the coach travel book’ in what will be seen as a new chapter for groups coming into this famous city.

The Bodleian Libraries, working in conjunction with travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd from Hampshire, this week showcased its tours for groups. The famous attraction has developed group tours and is working with other like-minded businesses around Oxford to attract new and additional groups.

The Bodleian offers a rich and fascinating history to its guests. Attractions there include the Divinity School; Convocation House; Chancellor’s Court; Duke Humfrey’s Library; Radcliffe Camera; the Weston Library [complete with café, shop and exhibitions] and the atmospheric and historic quadrangles that so attract visitors to this ancient site in the heart of Oxford.

The Bodleian Libraries put together a programme of FAM visits for coach and tour operators – and GTOS – from around the country this Monday 12th November. Around 45 tour planners attended the event which also included tours of the Sheldonian Theatre; the Museum of the History of Science; Oxford castle and Prison and an exciting City Sightseeing tour of Oxford and its attractions.

Some of the group were hosted by the Hawkwell House Hotel [part of the Compass Hospitality group of hotels] in nearby Iffley Village. The group enjoyed a welcome reception, show’rounds and dinner. Those organisations hosted included Great Days Travel of Altringham; Wisteria Tours of Shrewsbury; All in One Tours of London; Norman Allen Group Travel of Hereford and Exmoor Extroverts of Somerset.

The tour operators also called into one of the UK’s most iconic attractions for a visit – Blenheim Palace, in the Cotswold village of Woodstock very near to Oxford itself.

25 Day delegates joined the 20 overnight stayers at the Bodleian in the famous Old School Quad – the start point for a great day of fact-finding. Day delegates included Janet Spooner of Traveltreats; Margaret Nichols of Wye Forest U3A and Martyn Eddington of ‘Hour from London’ travel – all GTOS.

Alice Ogilvie is the Head of Venue Services for the Bodleian Libraries:
‘We were so glad to welcome so many group decision makers to the Bodleian Libraries – a real chance for them to sample how good our tours are,’ says Alice.

‘The Libraries are amongst the oldest and most fascinating in the entire world – did you know that we have a copy of every single book published in the UK! But we know that the only way to develop long term group tours for Oxford and for businesses like the Bodleian is to proactively go for the new and repeat customers – and that’s what this initiative was all about.

And the operators were keen to see group accommodation in Oxford. Amy Derrick is the Regional Sales Manager for Compass Hospitality:
‘The Hawkwell House Hotel is one of our ever growing portfolio of excellent hotels around the UK and it really showed how good it can be in hosting group travellers during this showcase, explains Amy.

‘Many of the attendees commented on the good service, tasty food, easy access and facilities in the hotel for groups. And it is ideal for Oxford visiting groups.

Tour planners wishing to enquire about the Bodleian tours or to book group visits should contact: Tours Coordinator:
Email: Tours@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
Tel: 01865 287400