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ESL Empowers Herefordshire Group Travel Destinations

Herefordshire’s position as a destination for Groups remains a priority for Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire (ESL), who recently ran a highly successful Masterclass in how to attract group organisers and operators, at one of the county’s most classic locations.

Accommodation providers, Attractions and Activities from across the region were welcomed to long established visitor destination Brobury House, Gardens and Walled Café, near Bredwardine. This beautiful terraced riverside garden is open all year round with seasonal features constantly changing. The award-winning grounds were showcasing their vibrant autumnal colours and made an inspiring backdrop with views from the Garden Room location, where the Masterclass was held.

Something for Everyone

Open to both ESL Members and Non-Members, the session, designed to give knowledge on how to reach and attract group travel organisers and operators, was led by specialist Mark Hooper from Shropshire based company WhileWeVisit.

Demographically, both in what we offer and the visitor population, Herefordshire and Shropshire are very alike” observed ESL’s MD and Founder Heidi Chamberlain-Jones. “So it made sense to engage Mark with his understanding of the regions to apply his knowledge to Herefordshire’s destinations and cover any challenges”.

With different businesses looking for different types of groups, and needing an understanding of where to find them and how to promote to them, there was plenty of opportunity for individual Q&As at every juncture.

Accessibility & Inclusivity

Adding further invaluable information on the importance and value of being accessible for those with physical, mental and sensory challenges was Accessible Herefordshire. With a talk delivered by co-founder Angela Martin, this CIC offers consultancy in assisting businesses to be more accessible and including business audits.

The fun bit

Of course, days such as this present excellent networking opportunities and the room was buzzing with conversation at every break. “Introducing businesses to each other is a key element of any of our forums and training sessions” enthused MD Heidi. “Quite often they end up working together, sharing ideas and are certainly more mutually supportive once they have met”.

Lunch was an excellent showcase of what to expect from the Café. Head Chef Eddie Cleal refuelled the delegates with a delicious flavour-packed autumnal salad and finger desserts, accommodating many common food allergies and intolerances seamlessly.

The day was rounded off mid-afternoon with a tour of the Gardens by owner Pru Cartright along with a light history of the evolution of her botanical labour of love.

Attendees went away with a Group Travel reference pack bulging with invaluable information to help them deliver their outreach campaigns.

Of course ESL has its own tools and resources for businesses and consumers to use including a raft of free downloadable themed Group Travel locations and maps.

ESL will be attending industry shows in 2024 and if your business is interested in being part of those stands please contact Amanda on