Get into gear for the 2011 RDA-Workshop

Get into gear for the 2011 RDA-Workshop Get into gear for the 2011 RDA-Workshop
Patrick Patridge explains the enduring appeal of the leading international coach and groups exhibition.

Making new business contacts is one of the primary reasons given for visiting the RDA-Workshop - the leading international trade-only exhibition for the coach and group tourism sectors. This year’s exhibition, from 26-28 July 2011 in Cologne, is where the international group tourism industry gets together for three days of business and networking. The RDA-Workshop, with its diverse range of offerings is the optimal platform to help you find the right co-operation partners, to meet colleagues, to exchange experiences, to identify new trends and developments and to generate business.

The RDA-Workshop’s range and potential for innovative international coach holiday travel is probably greater than ever before. There is nowhere else where UK coach tourism companies, tourism regions and coach holiday suppliers can meet so many potential coach tourism buyers and suppliers under one roof (more than 55,000 sq m). Exhibitors range from international package tour wholesalers, coach holiday companies, accommodation providers, sea carriers, theme parks, tourism marketing organisations, visitor attractions, gastronomy providers and coach manufacturers to individual and family-run hotels.

“The RDA-Workshop offers a huge range of business contacts for UK partners,” says Karin  Kohls, managing director, RDA-Workshop. “Cooperative ventures may be entered into and solidified, bookings made, trends accessed and innovations adopted. The RDA-Workshop is an absolute must for all companies interested in increasing and expanding their coach and group holidays business.”

A special theme ‘Events for Coach and Group Tourism’ has been adopted for the 2011 show. Innovative new offers and concepts specifically-tailored to the demand for events in the international coach and group tourism sectors will be featured by many of the 1,300 exhibitors. An increasing number of operators are positioning themselves with offers that appeal to broader target-groups – from guests seeking simple relaxation and sightseeing to guests who are attracted by regional and international event highlights, including cultural and  sporting options.

The RDA Workshop 2011 Visitors Portal will go online from 1 June 2011 enabling visitors to plan their attendance in advance of the show. The site enables visitors to register free-of-charge, print out visitor badges, explore exhibitor profiles, browse offers, make appointments and print hall plans and customised meeting schedules. An International Fair Pack is also available upon request.

2010 illustrated the continued stability of German holiday demand. There were 69.5 million holiday trips (5+ days) recorded for the first time, and around 86 million short holiday trips of 2 to 4 days. Altogether, German holiday tourism currently encompasses 156 million holiday and short holiday trips – including 25.6 million holidays using air transport (FUR Travel Analysis 2011).

In terms of coach travel, in addition to the 5.6 million Germans who used coaches as their primary mode of holiday transport for holidays of five and more days’ duration in 2010, a further 19.4 million Germans (who had used other means of transport to reach their holiday destinations) also used coaches for transfers, excursions and round-trips in their destinations. Among these were many air users, 1.4 million of whom were fly-coach holidaymakers who enjoyed coach round-trips of several days’ duration. This means around 7 million coach holidaymakers, just over 10 per cent of the total German holiday market. Coach tourism in Germany generates annual turnover in the region of €10.5 billion.  

The high value of holidays in Germans’ consumer priorities is evident in their unbroken desire and willingness to travel. Travel industry experts speak of 5 million potential new coach holiday customers and a market share of 12-13 per cent in the decade to come. Growth is expected in river cruises, study- and all-inclusive tours, city, culture, seniors and events. This should be of great interest to UK coach holiday operators, tourism regions and service suppliers, since over 70 per cent of German coach holidaymakers travel abroad to destinations primarily within Europe, Great Britain being quite popular.

Demand for coach holidays to Great Britain increased over the past year and recorded interest is strong for the Diamond Jubilee Year in particular. Enquiries and bookings are displaying a trend to allow guests more time for themselves and for optional day trips; a move away from tight and stressful travel programmes in favour of relaxation with strong demand for culture, history, gardens, scenery, special events and active walking and cycling programmes.

The RDA – International Coach Tourism Federation – based in Cologne, Germany, is Europe’s largest umbrella organisation for the coach tourism industry. It currently boasts a membership of 3,000 companies from 40 countries and provides a forum for business to business networking, market research, legal and fiscal advisory services, further training and political lobbying at both national and European Union levels.

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