Parrys continues to invest despite challenging year for coach tourism
Parrys International owner Dave Parry says that coach tourism businesses are facing increasing challenges in the light of ongoing security concerns and competition from cruise operators.
“The fear of terrorism in France, terrorists arrested in Brussels and problems in The Jungle at Calais are just some of the reasons people decided not to venture abroad on coach holidays this year,” says Parry.
In addition, he says that many clients were worried about visiting central London which lead to lower numbers attending West End shows.
“Add to this the massive capacity of cruise ships based in Southampton, and the low fare airlines offering easy to arrange holidays to places such as Spain and the Canaries, and it soon became clear attracting customers was going to be very difficult,” he adds.
“On the bright side traditional summer seaside destinations were very popular but the quality and high prices in the UK do not compare with the great value, service, accommodation and better weather in continental Europe.”
Brexit also posed another setback as the value of the pound plummeted, according to Parry.
“European countries continue to demand extortionate charges for coaches and with extra driving regulations, more drivers have been needed to give extra days off.
“This has increased costs and cut profit margins. With European hotels and vehicles costing much more prices are set to increase next year.”
Parry concludes: “The days of cheap coach excursions and tours have come to an end”.
Despite the challenges, the company continues to invest in top-of-the-range vehicles and reports further orders for new Van Hools at a cost of more than £500,000 each, the most exclusive and advanced tour coaches in the United Kingdom, according to Parry.