More than 11 million travellers by Belgian coach in 2016-2017
According to data from the buses and coaches Belgian Federation (FBAA), the coach travel sector is growing with a tourism trip market share of 7,2% in 2017. Stays of more than three nights and grouped tours represent the major part of the activity. With a high passenger rate, it’s one of the safest ways to travel while being the lowest CO2 emitting.
“Between April 2016 and March 2017, we counted 1.250.000 coach trips departing from Belgium, which amounts to a 6,8% market share compared to all other means of tourism transport,” declares Kim Taylor, spokesperson for the buses and coaches Belgian Federation (FBAA), “It increased in 2017 with 1.390.000 trips or 7,2% market share”.
More than three nights stay
Coaches are mainly chosen by those who travel for long stays of more than three nights (720.000 trips) while it is not the first choice of transport for those opting for a city trip of one to three nights long (530.000 trips).
“The counting method has changed in 2016. We only count people under 75, which under-represents the seniors that are an important target. Actual figures might be higher”, adds Mr Taylor.
In terms of demographics, 55-year-olds and more choose the coach for grouped tours while teenagers use it mainly for international city trips. In average, one out of four passengers is part of a group.
“For the 2016-2017 season, coaches have transported more than 11 million passengers in countries such as France, Germany or Spain”, continues the spokesperson.
Cheapest, safest and most environmentally friendly
“According to data from the study bureau ICB, on long distance travels, the coach is the least polluting mean of transport, even less than the train. With a high passenger rate (66% to 80%), the CO2 emission per passenger is the lowest of all transport”, explains Kim Taylor.
But that isn’t the only advantage. Data shows that coaches are one of the safest ways to travel. In 2015, the IBSR (now VIAS) counted only one death from a coach road accident.
“The price depends with the distance, the time, the size of the coach and the required amenities. In general, the price per passenger is lower than expected”, continues the spokesperson, “plus coaches are comfortable for everyone, even those with mobility disabilities.”