Coach tourism offers boost to economy

Coach tourism is worth £2.35 billion to Britain’s economy and could be worth even more with investment in better facilities by local authorities, according to research today.

A report  by the Confederation of Passenger Transport called on councils to embrace the coach tourism industry in their local development plans.

To fully garner the benefits the coach delivers, towns, cities, resorts and attractions can help encourage coach visitors through:

• Convenient drop off points - this has proved particularly effective at Rockingham Castle in the East Midlands where coach visits have increased by 15 per cent in the past five years;

• Secure parking - Rochester in the South East has increased the number of coaches visiting the area by 400 per cent since the mid 1990s;

• Passenger and coach driver facilities at coach park - from 2005 to 2009, coach visits to Harewood House in Yorkshire increased by 49 per cent thanks to an improvement in facilities;

• Clear signage for coach drivers and passengers - Stratford-Upon-Avon and Lichfield, both in the West Midlands, were awarded confederation Coach Friendly Awards for developing better facilities and placing the coach and its customers as a priority;

• Destination information ahead of visits -  Bath distributes information about the area to coach drivers in advance of their visit;

• Allowing coaches to use bus lanes - London’s Theatreland permits the use of bus lanes by coaches which reduces congestion around the capital.

Britain’s Coaches: Delivering Prosperity to You can be read here.

huw.morris@haymarket.com

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