There remains a huge appetite for coach travel despite a belief it has fallen out of favour with some agents, a Globus study has found.
Research, described as independent by the operator, discovered 1.6 million Australians – branded “true tourers” – who were already sold on the product and likely to take a coach tour within the next three years.
A further two million “potentials” were also identified who could be persuaded to book a coach holiday.
Globus marketing manager Christian Schweitzer, speaking to Travel Today at the launch of its 2013 European program, heralded the results as proof that there remained an untapped market for the product.
“The true tourers, those already sold on touring, are a massive market and a huge opportunity for us as a supplier and for travel agents,” he said. “But the most interesting segment is the two million potentials, the fence sitters, who see the benefits of both cruising and coach touring.”
Combined there was a market of 3.6 million Australians who can be targeted, he said.
Schweitzer said the results emerged from focus group and online research with just under 1000 people aged between 40 and 75.
The challenge now lay in marketing the product, he said, which will be achieved through a combination of consumer and trade marketing and agent training.
Globus reported a strong start to its 2013 sales, with bookings up 169%, helped by “an aggressive pre-release strategy”.
Schweitzer said the operator was targeting double digit European growth in 2013. Overall growth in 2012 was in the high single digits, largely driven by US sales.
New to the program is wifi on 75% on tours which Schweitzer claimed would be a “massive winner”.