In a bid to support the country’s coach tourism industry, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has launched a new Backing Britain’s Coaches campaign.
The Confederation believes that the industry can play a crucial role in the UK economy’s recovery, while easing congestion in tourism hotspots ahead of what it anticipates will be a busy season for domestic holidays.
According to CPT, three million coach visits contributed £14 billion to the UK tourism sector in 2019, but stated that many operators face significant post-Covid challenges if they are to deliver a similar contribution in 2021.
Its campaign calls for a £150 million grant-based scheme to support English and Welsh operators in building back their services, complementing schemes already designed to assist the sector in Scotland and Northern Ireland; government-backed campaigns to promote coach travel; and for the Chancellor to extend repayment terms for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans.
CPT chief executive, Graham Vidler, said, “The coach industry has suffered as much as any other during the pandemic and has inexplicably been treated differently to other areas of the leisure and hospitality industry. Today’s strategy sets out the road to recovery.
“We need to see coaches treated in line with other leisure and hospitality businesses and this must include a grant scheme to help operators get holidays up and running, generating income for local economies across the UK. Without this, many operators will find it unviable to open their doors, meaning attractions and places across the country will see less footfall, placing jobs and businesses at risk.”