Watford Showcase Sees Operators ‘On the Town’


Coach-Stop in Hertfordshire - Group Offerings.


Groups travel organisers and tour operators had a memorable time this week at one of the south of England’s undiscovered gems for coaches and groups. In fact, they were ‘On the Town’!   


The Watford Group Experience was a special event packed full of fun, fascinating discoveries and a whole host of attractions lining up to welcome groups of visitors.     


Showcasing a variety of group-friendly sites, restaurants, and top-class shopping, the one-day fact-finding mission helped the tour planners schedule in Watford as a perfect coach-stop.


The attendees were representative of the UK touring industry and included for example Quest Travel from the West Midlands; National Rail from the NorthEast of England; Hanson Travel from Yorkshire and Holiday Club Staycation from London.


Organised by Visit Watford and Watford BID, the Showcase was arranged in conjunction with UK travel trade specialists Steve Reed Tourism Ltd of Hampshire. The event was to be an opportunity for Watford tourism and hospitality businesses to encourage new generations of coach parties – and their spending power – to Watford.     


The group met at the centrally located Cotes Brassiere restaurant for a special introductory session and then a guided tour of the vibrant town centre. This included a delicious lunch in the Opuz group-friendly restaurant; an exploration of the Atria Shopping Centre and, as a finale, a hugely enjoyable performance of the 1949 movie classic ‘On the Town’ along with afternoon tea in the beautiful Palace Theatre.


The delegates also meet hoteliers, attractions and other tourism businesses during a ‘meet the tourism industry’ session in the Watford Jurys Hotel. Some of the tour planners stayed at Jurys during the showcase event.  


The attendees were able to see that Watford offers everything for tour planners looking for an easy and accessible touring base. The range and variety of shops – many of them independent – coupled to the great selection of suitable places to have refreshments, lunch or dinner in the town makes for a high quality group visit. The delegates could also see that Watford has a variety of centrally located hotels that are suitable for coaches and groups – a useful consideration for groups touring the wider area.  

Maria Manion is the CEO of Watford BID Ltd:

‘I would like to thank all of our tourism partners and businesses for their support in putting together the Coach Operators Day. The feedback we are receiving is extremely positive, and everyone, without exception was impressed with Watford and its group offer – with some saying how surprised they were about how much the town had improved,’ says Maria.


‘They loved the feel of the town, commenting on how clean and attractive it was, they were also impressed with the access, and being pedestrianised. The bonus being they travelled into the town with ease.


‘Some of the tour planners commented on the quality of the food – best ever on a FAM trip! The film and afternoon tea were a huge success, with some already considering this as an option for tours. We may have set the standard for FAM trips in the future!’

 Any tour planners wishing to find out more about Watford and its suitability for groups and coach-stops should contact:

 Maria Manion

Chief Executive

Watford BID Ltd

 Suite 5, Kings Court, 153 High Street, Watford WD17 2ER

Tel: 01923 919981






Please attached pictures:

·         Some of the group in the floral town centre

·         The group in the Atria Shopping Centre

·         Delegates meet tourism businesses at the workshop