Statistics and research provided by VisitEngland – through its Great Britain Tourism Survey – and from the Confederation of Passenger Transport, highlight the strength of the coach tourism market and why travelling by coach is also more environmentally friendly, safer and more comfortable than other forms of transport.
- In 2012 almost 2.4 million overnight trips were taken by domestic residents as part of an organised coach tour in Great Britain, accounting for 8.6 million overnight stays, contributing £617 million to the domestic tourism economy. When overnight trips using regular coach and bus services are included, this figure rises to £1.4 billion
- The increasing popularity of day trips in Great Britain saw a further 18 million day trips taken in 2012 as part of an organised coach tour, with spending of £766 million. A further 136 million day trips were taken using a regular bus or coach service for transport, generating another £4bn in spending
- The average spend by domestic coach passengers on overnight trips in 2012 was £72 a day, compared to average daily expenditure of £62 across all overnight trips. These findings contradict the commonly held notion that coach visitors are of lower economic value to destinations
- More than five million people take day trips to visitor attractions on an organised coach tour each year with a further 6.7 million taking a regular bus or coach to get to their destination
- London’s theatres have enjoyed a boom in the last decade and in no small way thanks to the number of people going by coach, who account for 15% of the 14 million plus theatre seats sold annually (Society of London Theatres)
These figures underline the strength and value of coach tourism but other statistics help reinforce the benefits of coach travel:
Environmentally friendly: Coaches are the most fuel-efficient form of transport; they are six times less polluting than an aircraft, four times cleaner than a car and twice as clean as a train. In London, coach operators must comply with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) covering the Greater London boundary, meaning they are one of the cleanest modes of transport for the capital.
Less congestion: Coaches take up less road and car parking space. A coach carrying 50 passengers is the equivalent to more than 20 cars on the road. They help traffic flow and cause fewer hold-ups.
Safety: Coaches are seven times safer than travelling by car.
Comfort: Today leading operators are investing in state-of-the-art, air-conditioned coaches costing between £250,000 – £400,000. Many have the latest internet access, refreshment facilities, video systems and club class seating with extra legroom. The driver benefits from traction control, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. The stars of Premiership football, international rugby teams, Olympic athletes, pop stars and celebrities travel by coach because they demand not just luxury and comfort, but privacy, security and space.
Coach tours are all inclusive: Travel, hotel on a half board basis and tickets for visitor attractions are usually included in the price, making them cheaper than most other holidays.
Personal service: Most operators offer a door-to-door service – usually via a local taxi or minibus to a nearby waiting coach. The coach driver is like a personal chauffeur. There’s no need to worry about map reading, getting lost or losing tickets or luggage.
Source: An article, from Coach Tourism Council Handbook 2015.
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