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What does the future hold for a local tour business?

What does the future hold for a local tour business?

Keith Caygill, Director of Best of Britain Day Trips

That is the question we have been asking ourselves since entering lockdown after our Day Trip to the Yorkshire Dales from York on the 18th March! We were extremely busy for the first couple of months of lockdown (only processing cancellations and refunds though!) but we are now able to look forwards. Group travel has been hit particularly hard by the current crisis as we are all unable to spend time with strangers especially within the close confines of shared vehicles.

For the last six years, our primary business has been “public” day trips around Yorkshire from York for up to 16 passengers, supplemented by a few Private Tours from York, Harrogate and Leeds, using the same 16-seat Minicoaches. Our customer split has been around 50/50 (International/Domestic) and the overwhelming majority have been overnight visitors to those three locations, with very few locals. We, therefore, clearly needed to have a rethink!

Keen as they are to get out into the countryside and explore Yorkshire after lockdown, we think people are likely to have an initial resistance to joining “Public” tours, so we have decided to change our main focus to “Private” tours. We have also introduced private tours for smaller groups of up to 4 and up to 8 passengers, which makes them much safer for both our driver/guides and passengers, in terms of potential virus transmission, and makes them more affordable for local families. We have also made all the options available to book online on our website.

It currently looks like some accommodation and attractions in Yorkshire will be opening up in July, but we have decided to let things settle down a bit and aim to start our new private tours from the 1st August, with appropriate additional coronavirus precautions in place including the bonus of all passengers having window seats.

It looks like the new normal for our business may consist of fewer hotel pickups for tours of visitors and more days out for residents wanting to celebrate special occasions, learn more about the county they live in or just relax and take in the scenery while someone else takes care of the navigating and the driving.

So, that is our plan to start rebuilding our business and returning to having #morefuninyorkshire!   



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