After a port tour, representatives of the four major ground tour operators operating in southern England were whisked away to Abbotsbury for a tour of the gardens and lunch.
They then returned to Portland for a speed dating event held at the Sailing Academy where they were able to meet with representatives from Lulworth, Forde Abbey, Weymouth Golf Club, Monkey World, the Tank Museum, the National Trust, Portland Castle, Langhams Wine Estate, Bennetts Water Gardens and Swanage and Swanage Railway in ten minute business sessions.
A dinner in Weymouth hosted by Portland Port followed before a visit to the local attractions of Sculpture by the Lakes and Minterne House the following morning. The event culminated with a lunch at the Summer Lodge Hotel in Evershot.
Ian McQuade the port’s business development manager commented, ‘I was amazed to discover that Portland Port appears to be one of the first UK port to host such an event. We recognise the crucial role that the ground tour operators play in promoting excursions to cruise lines so it seemed only logical to organise and host such an event. ‘
With transport provided by Bluebird Coaches and the support of the Weymouth BID and Weymouth and Portland Chambers of Commerce the event was very much driven by and for local business.