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Is it what you make it?

By The Whisperer

With many years in the coach and bus industry, The Whisperer keeps his ear to the ground for all the latest tit-bits and gossip. Tell him what’s going on in your part of the world: e-mail him via

The coach and bus industry is in a state of flux, creating uncertainty, which is not good for any business. Regular readers will be aware of the reasons – everything from the threat of terrorism, to Brexit, austerity cuts and changing shopping habits.

But this industry has always adapted to change and always will. The question is, do you lead from the front or wait at the back?

One thing is clear, if you want to test the temperature of an industry, visit its trade show. Last year’s Coach & Bus UK dispelled all doubts that there is genuine business confidence and that passengers are genuinely shaping the direction of travel – from interiors to information and payment methods.

This weeks’ British Tourism & Travel Show at the NEC, Birmingham, is no different in being a vibrant and exciting place for those involved in group tourism.

There’s much that our small islands have to offer the tourist, and there are hotels and destinations that positively encourage and genuinely welcome groups.

Yes, the days of long-haul coach tours to Europe are much diminished compared with 40 years ago – when it was still new and exciting to many – but the bespoke advantage that groups can enjoy in the British Isles remains undiminished.

Indeed, many of the experiences that groups can enjoy are unique, and not available to the solo traveller. It is clear that the savvy operator, with a sharp eye on current trends and a close ear to what their customers really think and want, can continue to thrive.