Voel Coaches is working with ITV Studios to provide transport for the 20th series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! The show is being filmed less that five miles away from the operator’s Dyserth premises at Gwyrch Castle in Abergele. The contract represents what Voel hopes is the beginning of a recovery period at the end of a “challenging” 2020.

Various coaches and minicoaches are employed on the work. Voel is also providing staff for other vehicles that have been hired by ITV Studios.

The contract will continue until 18 December to allow for de-rigging after production has finished. To resource it, Voel has recruited 10 additional drivers to supplement its existing complement of 30. The operator hopes to retain some of them after the I’m a Celebrity work concludes thanks to what is looking like a strong day trip and tour programme for 2021.

‘Bookings for 2021 tours and day trips have started well’

Excursion and Marketing Manager Chris Gentile says that forward bookings for both are shaping up well. A new brochure for 2021 should arrive with customers before Christmas. Voel hopes that such timing will give more clients the opportunity over the festive period to make plans for next year.

“Bookings for tours in 2021 are already popular and day trips are at a similar level. We have found that many of our customers have missed travelling. Additionally, news of a possible vaccine has brought more interest. If the vaccine does what is claimed, we are hopeful that trend will continue.”

The operator has also secured a contract with an events company. That will see it become the firm’s official travel provider for concerts staged by several household names. “Things are still hard in the coach industry, but we are hopeful that finally we can see some light at the end of the tunnel,” adds Mr Gentile.

Voel celebrated 70 years in the sector in 2019.