‘A momentous day’ for operators as coach holidays return
Monday 17th May saw the largest relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions across England. As hospitality reopened its doors for indoor dining and international travel was permitted once again, domestic holidays were also able to restart, with coach companies taking passengers on short breaks for the first time in months.
First departure of the year for National Holidays
Labour’s Shadow Minister for Tourism and Heritage Alex Sobel joined Andy Freeth, National Holidays‘ Chief Executive, to welcome the National Holidays first group of tourists back to Scarborough on 17th May.
Guests were welcomed to Scarborough, one of Britain’s “most iconic and loved” seaside resorts, on their five-day National Holidays short break, which includes visits to Goathland, Whitby, Beverley market and York.
“Group coach tours are an important part of the UK’s tourism industry which plays a huge role in driving revenue into local economies and boosting employment.” Alex Sobel
After increased demand for domestic breaks this year, National Holidays are planning to add more tours to ensure holidaymakers can get away this summer.
Edwards Coaches: 17th May holiday restart ‘a momentous day’
Edwards Coach Holidays restarted their holiday programme on the 17th May 2021 after 8 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company had over 300 of their coaches parked in the depot over the 8 months and have reported a loss of holiday revenue amounting to approximately £12 million.
Edwards has reported a boom in coach UK and European holiday sales with many customers booking multiple trips throughout 2021. Their newly introduced safety procedure, “It’s good to be back”, ensures their holiday programme runs compliant with the very latest guidelines and Covid 19 restrictions, to give you the confidence to travel safely once again.
“The 17th May is going to be a momentous day with the restart of our holiday programme and many locally employed staff returning to work to do what they do best! ” Jason Edwards, Edwards Coaches Managing Director.
Edwards Holidays are on sale for 2021 and 2022, visit the website for more details. With the high demand, it’s advised that customers book early to avoid disappointment.
Bakers Dolphin resume trips with two short breaks
Somerset-based firm Bakers Dolphin resumed their trips on Monday 17th May as well, with the first two coaches setting off on their holidays.
The first of the five-day holidays included taking 26 passengers to St Mawes in Cornwall, and 24 passengers travelling to the Lake District.
The company is running 17 trips by the end of the month, with many more to come in the summer, but due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions, they are not able to fill every seat on their coaches yet.
Sales and marketing director Amanda Harrington said it’s been a challenging time for everyone, but the company is still taking sensible precautions and following all proper health and safety procedures:
“We are delighted to be able to do what we’ve been doing for well over a century, and that’s helping people to have make some memories and have happy holidays.”
Windermere Lake Cruises welcomes its first coach party in five months
As lockdown restrictions relax across the country Windermere Lake Cruises has welcomed its first coach party in five months. The first coach to arrive in Bowness was operated by Roy McCarthy Coaches. Max McCarthy, the company Director, says:
“It’s wonderful after all these months to finally be able to bring passengers back to this lovely part of the country and to see them enjoying themselves in the Lake District once again. It’s a really special day.”
Windermere Lake Cruises is working closely with coach and tour operators, group travel organisers and travel trade professionals to ensure you are safe in the knowledge that the attraction is open for business, with all safety measures in place. The company continues to work in close collaboration with several local businesses including its sister attraction, the Lakeland Motor Museum. The ‘Transport Trio’ package includes entry to the museum, a cruise on Windermere lake and a journey on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.
“By working with other award-winning family attractions dotted around the lake, we can make sure a visit to The Lake District, Cumbria in 2021, will be a memorable one for everyone.” Jennifer Cormack, Windermere Lake Cruises’ Sales & Marketing Director.
Leger increases their UK programme with 20 new coach tours
Leger Holidays has increased its UK holiday range for 2021 and beyond, with an additional 20 tours. The 20 new tours include destinations such as Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Wales, Scotland, Yorkshire, the Cotswolds and the Lake District.
“Leger Holidays is well known for its European escorted coach holidays and previously included maybe just a dozen UK tours in their collection – The number has been significantly increased with the addition of 20 new UK tours.
“This isn’t just in reaction to 2021 being the year of the staycation, the holidays are also featured in Leger’s 2022 and 2023 collections.” Ashley Dellow, Leger Shearings Group’s head of retail sales.
Departures start from June 2021 and run through to November for the 33 available tours, with four-day breaks starting at £269 per person. You can find the full range of Leger’s UK tours here.
Coach tourism in 2021: What does the industry think?
Last month routeone spoke to six members of the Coach Tourism Association (CTA), to hear their opinions on the industry and what’s in store for the remainder of 2021.
There is no clarity on when restriction-free continental departures may return, but the boom in the domestic market gives much-needed hope to the industry. Many operators are predicting the domestic holiday season will extend later than normal with the hope that restrictions ease further in the later months, especially in Scotland which normally sees incoming visitors from elsewhere in the UK.
You can view the full roundtable conversation with routeone here.