The tourism industry of Monmouthshire and Newport in South Wales came together during October 2019 in one of the most beautiful parts of Great Britain.

The Georgian Shire Hall in Monmouth was the venue for a group travel day in the lower reaches of the beautiful Wye Valley with an emphasis on a unique and undeniably picturesque trail for visitors.

The day focused on the opportunities of the group visitor market for this part of Wales.

A new 'Observations on the River Wye' coach itinerary was launched at the event to celebrate the 250-year anniversary in 2020 of William Gilpin’s boat tour down the River Wye in 1770, an event that heralded the birth of British tourism.  

Gilpin was a pioneer of the ‘Picturesque’ and his ideas led to the concepts of landscape appreciation and conservation, culminating in the designation of protected landscapes such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), including The Wye Valley AONB which was designated in 1971.

External image of Tintern Abbey ruins.

Tintern Abbey

The group explored the changing coach and group travel scene in the UK as well as new and innovative ways to attract coach parties. Businesses included attractions such as Tredegar House, Caldicot Castle, White Castle Vineyard, Nant Y Bedd Gardens, and Abbey Mill in Tintern; and hotels such as the Holiday Inn, Newport.

The group received a presentation from Phil Coates (Professional Blue Badge Tourist Guide) on the new Wye Tour coach itinerary, and they met Hereford-based tour operator Liz Hill of the successful Rural Concierge business.

For more inspiration visiting this part of Wales, go to the Visit Monmouthshire website.


Published 11 November 2019


Group travel is an important market for the area and the new Wye Tour coach itinerary will help reinforce the appeal of our area to tour planners. Groups already love coming to this area and we now want visitors to experience exactly what William Gilpin wrote about all those years ago in the world’s first travel guide ‘Observations on the River Wye”.

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