Jonathan Welch paid a visit to Leons Holidays during its March holiday show to see how the business is recovering from the pandemic
It is hard to believe that it is two years ago this month that the country started to realise what lay ahead as the coronavirus pandemic took over the news. At the time, no one realised what that might mean, but as the virus started to tighten its grip operators started to feel the pain. The Honk for Hope protests drew attention to the industry’s plight,and pleas were made for support to help it through. But realistically what coach operators needed was for travellers and holidaymakers to start coming back. Whilst we might still be a long way from the previous ‘normal’ the signs for this summer are encouraging with coach tour operators reporting a surge in bookings as people look to travel again.
Many operators rely on online sales and social media, which are becoming an undeniably important way of communicating with customers, but there is still value in the traditional approach of physical brochures and speaking to clients in person too. On Sunday 6 March, Staffordshire-based coach operator Leons held an open day at its premises in Stafford, to give existing and new customers a chance to meet its team as well as some of its industry partners.
On arriving at the firm’s modern base, a number of the fleet were lined up in the yard, but more noticeable was the number of parked cars, being directed as they arrived by marshals stationed at the gate to greet visitors. The large parking area also serves holidaymakers, many of whom choose to join the coach from Leons’ depot, where anyone who has booked a holiday can park for free whilst they are away – making for a quick and easy departure process. A small waiting area is also available.
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