National Express is to bring its Touromo brand to an end after announcing that it will exit the day trip and holiday market from October.
Touromo was launched in January to grow National Express’s presence in those areas. Seven brands under the National Express Transport Solutions portfolio, as well as Bennetts Coaches of Gloucester, were slated to operate Touromo work, with the business saying that it anticipated building “a national presence” in that sector.
It also expected to engage further partner operators to work with it on coach holiday delivery and quickly launched a Platinum Collection of departures.
However, less than six month after Touromo’s debut, it is now the case that “a restructuring and refocusing” of National Express will see the group “no longer offer holidays or day trips under any of our brands.” Other activities in the National Express Transport Solutions portfolio will continue as normal.
Touromo will honour bookings to the end of September, but those from October onwards are cancelled. Remaining departures are being offered with a 15% discount.
In January, National Express said that it planned to become “a major player” in the coach tourism sector. At the same time, Touromo Managing Director Jon Boughton, who retained his positions as Commercial Director of National Express Ltd and MD of National Express Ireland, noted that there was “strong demand” for day trips and holidays.
The Touromo programme was described as offering “high-quality short breaks and special interest day trips.” Significant investment in marketing, vehicles and driver uniforms was made ahead of the launch. Despite that, it is understood that only two Mercedes-Benz Tourismos received Touromo livery, both operating as part of the Lucketts Travel fleet.
What the noted restructuring and refocusing by National Express referred to is not yet known. But on p41 of National Express Group’s annual report for year ending 31 December 2022, UK and Germany CEO Tom Stables noted that National Express Transport Solutions and the group’s scheduled coach business had been merged to leave them “better placed to optimise scarce capacity in order to maximise customer demand.”