States hope to profit from trade show

States hope to profit from trade show

THE six new England states are expecting to see more product diversity in UK tour operators' programmes next year following the region's Annual Summit trade show and workshop in New Hampshire last month.

For the first time this year, the show featured pre-scheduled appointment sessions, allowing suppliers to do direct business with buyers. Next year's event will be in either Maine or Vermont.

Tourism organisations representing Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont were out in force.

Jackie Ennis, managing director of the Discover New England marketing consortium which set up the event, said: "It was a great opportunity to build solid working relationships. It gave UK operators the chance to find out more about the New England product and enabled suppliers who can't attend Pow Wow to learn about operators' needs."

She added: "The event was also effective in drawing in smaller operators of country inns and bed-and-breakfast properties to see how they could fit into the market. These are expected to play a key part in broadening the product."

Ennis said several new itinerary modules had emerged, including an eight-night Lobsters and Lighthouses tour of coastal Maine with stays in four inns. Prices are yet to be confirmed.

Osprey Holidays has already broadened its range of foliage tours this year with three packages based on three nights in Boston combined with two-night/three-day coach tours.

They are Niagara and the Berkshires, taking in Lennox, Stockbridge, Niagara Falls and Williamstown; Mountain Foliage Getaway, focusing on New Hampshire and Vermont; and Coastal New England, featuring Rhode Island, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Prices range from £859 for October departures, including flights and Boston stays.

United Vacations product and marketing manager Zia Bapuji said the operator planned to increase New England product for 2000 with a greater range of character inns. This follows the start of London-Boston daily service by parent company United Airlines this year.

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