The Coach Tourism Association (CTA) has backed the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) in its new call for Government help and stressed the need for coach holidays to be reclassified into the Leisure sector in order to open access to greater support.
The CPT has called on tourism minister Nigel Huddleston to support the industry this winter. It is estimated that coach tourism contributes £14bn to the economy from 23 million tourists. Without specific support, it is feared that 27,000 jobs and four out of ten operators are at risk.
CTA chair, John Wales said: “The CPT is absolutely right highlighting the risks that are now facing coach operators, and the CTA supports its call on the Government for support.
“Crucial to this is the position of the holiday companies who, for some unexplained reason are not classed as part of the leisure sector. I fail to understand how businesses taking coach loads of holidaymakers to hotels and attractions all-round the country and providing the bulk of those 23 million coach visits, are not ‘in the leisure sector’.”
In order to help operators get through this winter, CPT is calling for:
- Extensions to finance holidays by 12 months to ensure that no coaches are repossessed during the winter.
- The coach travel sector to be treated as part of the leisure sector and able to access any support available to leisure businesses.
- A moratorium on the loss of family homes as a result of the failure of coach businesses.
John Wales added: “CTA Coach Tour Companies operate tours year round to all regions throughout the UK delivering groups of people to many destinations, attractions and hotels that rely on their group business, especially in off peak periods.
“It is vital for the UK tourism mix, especially in the regions, that this sector is given special attention so this vital contribution to Britain’s tourism industry continues.”