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Sunday,  July 14, 2024 4:24 AM 

An invitation to England's doorstep

An invitation to England's doorstep

On what was perhaps an appropriately cloudy day, travel trade professionals joined VisitBritain, VisitWales and VisitEngland for a traditional English luncheon on Mar. 31 in light of the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2015, being hosted this year by the UK.

“The main purpose of today is to highlight the Rugby World Cup,” Mark Anthony McCulloch, PR and travel trade manager, North America, VisitEngland, told, “but it’s a thank you as well, to the Canadian travel trade, for all their support in helping to spread England’s message about all we have to offer.”

The tournament, which is taking place from Sept. 18 to Oct. 31, is spread throughout the four corners of the country, with 13 stadium venues having been confirmed in both England and Wales.

Over an English tea that included bubble and squeak, beef wellington and, of course, sticky toffee pudding, the assembled learned about Britain’s plans for hosting the famous Rugby tournament, and what that might mean for tourism between Canada and the UK.

Fern Horine, deputy consular general, British Consulate, was also present at the event, and took a moment to elaborate on the benefits of worldwide sports events for the travel industry.

“Sport is an incredibly powerful sales tool,” she told the agents and tour operators in attendance. “It has the ability to attract millions of international visitors… Through the sheer scale of venues, training camps, and the destinations of the games themselves, it is a real gift to the travel industry, as it spreads the opportunity for tourism far and wide.”

The timing of the Rugby World Cup 2015 is ideal for England, as the country will be celebrating a number of significant anniversaries throughout the next few years.

McCulloch showcased several notable events, including the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death, 150 years since the publication of Alice in Wonderland, and the 400th anniversary of  Shakespeare’s death, to name a few. The country will be celebrating these occasions with numerous exhibitions, tours and attractions. 

For more information, visit

Some of England's notable upcoming attractions include:


800th anniversary of Magna Carta exhibition, British Library - Mar. 13 – Sept. 1 To mark the 800th anniversary Magna Carta, the British Library is holding a once-in-a lifetime exhibition that will be at the heart of a wider Magna Carta programme at the Library with a series of public events. As part of the exhibition, two of the most fundamentally important documents in American history, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, are to go on display in the UK for the first time.

150 years since the publication of Alice in Wonderland, Oxford - NovLewis Carroll’s enchanting tale is celebrating 150 years since its publication this year. The Story Museum in Oxford will hold Alice Day on July 4, which will include a Mad Hatter’s tea party, exhibitions, storytelling, promenade theatre and Alice-themed walks and talks. In addition, Alice’s Shop Oxford runs Alice in Wonderland-themed tours year-round, taking in many places of significance to Alice and Lewis Carroll in Oxford and showcasing the many ways in which Oxford influenced and inspired Carroll's writings.


100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birthBorn on Sept. 13, 1916, Roald Dahl captured the imagination of children around the world with his tales including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits and The BFG. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is situated in the Buckinghamshire village where Roald Dahl lived and wrote for 36

400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, WarwickshireWilliam Shakespeare - arguably England’s most renowned playwright – will be commemorated in his home county in 2016, to mark 400 years since his death. His family home in Stratford upon Avon, New Place, will be transformed and reimagined for a 21st century audience, telling the missing story of Shakespeare’s mature years as a successful writer and citizen of his hometown. It will open in April 2016.

Photo: Fern Horine, deputy consul general, British Consulate; Dan Prior, sales manager, Ontario & Atlantic Canada; Lynda Falcone, travel trade manager - Canada; Jacqui Budd, director, industry relations at Merit Travel Group; Samantha Cowan, outbound sales & online marketing, Connection Tours; Mark Anthony McCulloch, PR and travel trade manager, North America, VisitEngland.