Rise in fuel prices drive people to coach trips says CTC vice chair
Jane Duffelen, vice-chairman of the Coach Tourism Council, and director of Shaws Coaches of Maxey, has responded to an AA survey revealing 40% of motorists are aiming to use less fuel this year.
“Drivers are clearly being forced into cutting their motoring by the high price of fuel and, for many, this will impose difficult constraints on their lives,” said an AA spokesman.
Duffelen explained her members have reported coach holidays are proving increasingly appealing for the younger “empty nester” market.
She said: “Although they have a car, they are choosing to leave it at home and relax on a coach break.
“I’m no different to anyone else; I drive a car and can appreciate how fuel and other costs including insurance have shot up in recent years. People are now thinking twice before hopping into the car, especially for holidays and short breaks.
“It’s partly about cost and partly about stress. To drive to Cornwall and back takes six or seven hours each way and will cost at least £120 in fuel alone. A five-day Cornish coach tour from this area will cost from about £360 per person, and that includes excursions, hotels and dinner each night.”
However, Duffelen says Shaws Coaches, based at Maxey near Peterborough, is seeing the effect is most noticeable in the day trip market.
She said: “On a day trip, of course, the proportion of the cost going on fuel for the car is much higher. Coaches consume the equivalent of 200 mpg per person and, equally importantly, leave everyone free to snooze or take in the views instead of one member of the family being hunched over the steering wheel, stressed out.”
There is also evidence that less people will be holidaying abroad this year, which again will benefit the coach tourism market. Advisory firm Zolfo Cooper, in its Leisure Wallet Report, found that about two-thirds of Britons say they will stay in the UK in 2012.