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Are coach travels on the rise? 🚌

I have been looking into trends now that I am back and so many interesting trends going on. One of the things I saw are some numbers on coach travel (bus travel - not to confuse with coaching and travel which is another interesting theme... ).

Coach travel has historically been the most popular way of travelling around Iceland. Driving the ring road and experiencing the highlights of the country in an organised group and staying maybe 7-14 days. In the past years however, self-drive has grown enormously, as it has, I believe all over the world. As an example, in 2000 about 76% of people travelled with a coach either organised or on a regular route in Iceland and 25% in rental cars. In 2021 this number was about 29% travelling with coach and 66% self-drive (Ferðamálastofa).

It was therefore, very interesting to see this data from Amadeus Data Network that coach travel has been increasing in the UK, with a growth in international searches about 90% for summer 2022 – that is stated in this interesting article from City Nation Place on The rise of sustainable travel and the role of Destination Management Organizations (one of the themes I am most passionate about).

Self-drive in Iceland has caused a lot of challenges but also opportunities. The challenges including e.g. inexperienced drivers in different conditions, either due to e.g. weather or difficult and completely different road conditions from home country. Also, things many times unmentioned number of cars now imported to Iceland which is not necessarily very sustainable – especially while we have not managed to have more electric cars. The opportunities to be e.g. that travelers can travel further to all regions and explore more places all year.

For many reasons, I never thought coach travel could be on the rise – especially not after covid. But I wonder, are we maybe heading a bit back in time with looking more into coach travel with the aim of more sustainable and responsible travelling? One electric coach for maybe 10-20 cars on the road? Penny for your thoughts!

Published on LinkedIn, 8 February 2023

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