Forum to discuss EU coach group tourism

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The eighth European Bus and Coach Forum, organised by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), in co-operation with the International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO), the European Tour Operators’ Association (ETOA) and the Belgian Federation of Bus and Coach operators (FBAA) takes place this year on October 17 within the framework of the largest dedicated global coach and bus trade show, Busworld Kortrijk.

Organised into two panels, the forum debate will focus on the senior and off-season market potential and opportunities, as well as on practical challenges and the means to bringing more customers on board coaches.

Some 250 representatives of the tourism and travel industry, MEPs, national competent authorities, European Commission officials, bus and coach manufacturers, researchers, and specialised journalists from all over the world are expected to join the debate.

Yves Mannaerts, President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council and FBAA Director, said: “Seniors and off-season tourism are crucial market segments, fully acknowledged by the European bus and coach tourism sector. We are already providing inclusive mobility services to these customers, but more must be done to realise our full potential.”

“The efforts of the European Parliament and Commission to further enhance senior citizens’ possibilities to travel in Europe off-season are of course welcome. Yet, it is imperative the specific requirements of the bus and coach sector at European, national and local levels, as laid out by the Smart Move High Level Group, are taken into account to ensure enhanced senior citizens travel contributes to the joint objective of doubling the use of buses and coaches by 2025.”

On this occasion, winners of the Bus and Coach Smart Awards will be announced at the opening ceremony of Busworld Kortrijk. This year’s awards have attracted entries from 13 different countries on three continents.