NatEx UK Coach has launched a holiday package bolt-on to its established scheduled network.
The idea, branded Holidays by National Express, has been created in partnership with travel technology company Malvern Group, which is behind Laterooms.com and Super Break.
It is designed to leverage the increasing prominence of staycations. Malvern’s technology allows customers to package their coach travel with hotel accommodation and/or attraction tickets, and the concept has a best price guarantee.
Says NatEx UK Coach MD Chris Hardy: “We already transport over 20m people a year in the UK, so it made sense to offer a full package of options to complete their journey. Malvern Group provided the best solution.
“Customers can buy ready-made packages, or they can build their own. It’s the same as can already be done with flights or trains, but never has it been done with coach. That makes it very cost-effective.”
Mr Hardy adds that Holidays by National Express will not compete with the traditional coach tour market. “People already use our coaches to reach their holiday destination. This is a way of offering a whole package.”
The new concept also aims to utilise spare capacity in the coach network. Although around 45% of passenger journeys on National Express coaches involve an airport, Mr Hardy says that there are no plans to extend the holiday package offering to include foreign destinations.
There is no impact on the duties of NatEx’s coach operator contractors.