May 05 2021
Endaf Jones, Director of Jones Login, writes for CPT about the crucial role of coach tourism in Wales, and what he’d like to see from the next Welsh Government.
With Wales on track to ease lockdown restrictions I’m really looking forward to helping people get out and travelling again, catching up with family and friends they might not have seen for many months, and helping them create happy memories. There’s certainly the appetite for travel, and I’m glad to hear operators talking about the calls they’re getting from people wanting to book trips. At Jones Login we have a diverse customer base, including families going on short breaks and middle-aged people travelling for day trips, but most of our customers are elderly and going on door-to-door holidays. For many of them coaches are an affordable, accessible travel option and without coaches there is a real risk they would end up isolated.
Coach tourism is a crucial part of the Welsh economy and since heavy industry has gone many areas such as Pembrokeshire depend on tourism. We have lots of beautiful places to visit in Wales and millions of visits are made each year to attractions and places across the country. However these visits go beyond showing people the sights and scenery, visitors also support local jobs and help young people continue living in their rural communities.
The next Welsh Parliament has an opportunity to recognise the value of coach travel to Wales’ economy and environment. I’d like to see Welsh Government recognise the importance of our industry and support us with positive messaging regarding the safety and environmental credentials of coach travel. Going even further, a national advertising campaign on behalf of the industry or a subsidy to coach operators to make their own local advertising campaigns to promote and kickstart coach tourism would give us an even bigger boost. We need to continue raising the profile of the industry, so more people know the value of coach travel on a local and national scale.
The past 12 months has made me look at the business and the ways things are done. I’ve realised the importance of a good work-life balance, and I believe we have a lot to be positive about going forwards. With the Welsh Government backing our industry, we can work to tackling longer term challenges facing the nation, from reducing social isolation to the green recovery on top of doing what we do best – making sure people have safe, enjoyable journeys.