Despite the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the challenges of 2021, CPT CEO Graham Vidler reveals there’s lots to look forward to this year
Although 2021 was another challenging year for our industry with operators still feeling the effects of the pandemic, in 2022 we have a lot to look forward to.
It’s not clear yet what a ‘new normal’ will look like, and our upcoming work focuses on supporting our members as they navigate this period of uncertainty while also tackling current issues head on, from recruiting and retaining talent to growing domestic tourism.
This week we saw the launch of a hugely exciting project – the coach industry’s first ever national TV marketing campaign. The campaign, called Get Back on Board, has been funded by individuals and organisations working in the industry, including contributions from coach operators (both Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) members and non-members), CPT, CoachMarque, tourist attractions and destination management organisations, with an advertising agency contracted to coordinate the campaign.
I know that the coach industry in particular has been hit hard by the pandemic and I have seen how hard operators have worked to adapt to such changing conditions.
It is vitally important that we make the message loud and clear: Travelling by coach is a great experience that opens up travel opportunities to people across the UK and we want more people to get on board.
More people travelling by coach rather than by car not only supports the leisure and tourism industry, local economies and local jobs, it also decreases carbon emissions: Just a 15% increase in coach passenger journeys per year could save over a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
We need to see more journeys made by coach if we are to reach decarbonisation targets set by governments. Decarbonisation is a large focus of CPT’s work for 2022 and we will be working to make sure governments are aware of the role coach will play in the journey to net zero, while also learning more about the barriers operators face to decarbonise their fleets.
Get Back on Board is an excellent example of what we can achieve when the industry works together and is the kind of collaborative working you will see a lot more of going forwards.
At the UK Bus and Coach Conference later this month, we will be hearing from industry experts on how we can tackle current issues head on and facilitate discussions with delegates around these topics, which includes growing domestic tourism and changing travel behaviours.
Work on continuing to attract new talent to the industry also forms a crucial part of our agenda to help the industry grow its workforce, and I look forward to updating you all on our work around this, which includes a recruitment campaign in the near future.
When we stand together, we can achieve great things. There is still the opportunity to get involved with the Get Back on Board campaign, and I encourage anyone who wants to find out more to contact CPT’s Coaching Manager Phil Smith at email@example.com