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Published May 10, 2023
Hundreds of cities across North America welcome visitors by the bus load daily, especially during the summer months. Destinations, attractions, accommodations, restaurants and retail centres use their OMCA mebership to invite tour operators to visit with their groups. Successfully marketing your destination to motor coach tours goes well beyond your sales and itineraries. Working to make your destination bus-friendly will go a long way to ensuring groups come to your destination – and stay a while.
Whether it is a day trip, an overnight trip, or a multi-day visit, every bus load of visitors comes with…a bus! A 56-passenger bus reaches around 40 feet in length and it can very difficult find the ideal space to offload and onboard passengers, in addition to parking the vehicle when not in use. Having a motor coach friendly destination will put your tour operators and motor coach drivers at ease on their next visit, and increase the odds of them adding repeat trips to their itineraries. Plus it reduces traffic congestion and idling, making group travel even more sustainable than it already is.
A great Ontario example of a motor coach friendly destination is the City of Kingston. Kingston recently hosted the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism conference with hundreds of attendees shuttling around the city. OMCA president could not help but notice the designated motor coach parking areas at popular tourist destinations. Pictured below are multiple bus parking spaces with welcoming flags and inviting benches for travellers to rest their feet before boarding their next bus. Kingston takes it a step further by providing easily accessible motor coach services on their website: https://www.visitkingston.ca/travel-trade/services/motorcoach-services/.
As the motor coach tourism industry recovers from a harrowing pandemic, it is increasingly important for tourism partners to work together to find solutions for our motor coach and tour operators and rebuild the trust of our amazing group travellers.
Does your destination have excellent examples of how you make your area attractive to motor coaches? Send us your details to firstname.lastname@example.org!