National Express plans to enter UK leisure market

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National Express has announced the creation of a new business focusing on the UK holiday and leisure travel market. The operator is set to bring together a number of existing businesses and brands, including Fareham-based Lucketts and Woods Coaches of Leicester, under the single banner of ‘National Express Leisure’ from this August.

National Express said that new division will aim to become the ‘number one place to go for holidays and leisure travel by coach’ with a range of ready-made or build-your-own packages.

The new National Express Leisure division will consolidate the skills and experience of different teams from across the business with operations in both Fareham and Birmingham. As part of the plan, new roles are being recruited for in marketing, sales; and product development, management and distribution. Investment is also being committed to public-facing marketing and digital capabilities.

Tom Stables, CEO of National Express (UK and Germany), said: “We already have significant experience in offering travel in the UK, whether it’s a build your own package with Holidays by National Express, a coach holiday or day trip
“There is a lot more opportunity in this market which we believe we can best tap into by building on our work with existing partners as one business being managed by a single expert team.”

John Boughton, Commercial Director at National Express added: “This is a very exciting move at a time when more people than ever are looking to take a break in the UK. National Express Leisure will offer the best in convenience and choice along with the great value and high standards of customer service and safety we’re already well known for.”

CBW asked National Express if the current fleet names and liveries would be replaced. A National Express spokesperson said: “The local fleet brands will continue to operate as part of National Express Transport Solutions (NETS). As part of the National Express Group, NETS will remain a primary source of vehicles for National Express Leisure holiday offerings. There are no immediate plans to rebrand vehicles with National Express Leisure livery.”

Coaches will be provided by fellow National Express Group subsidiary National Express Transport Solutions. National Express