Robert Shaw, director of Coventry-based coach tour operator Harry Shaw (City Cruiser Holidays Ltd) has been appointed chair of the Coach Tourism Association (CTA). He succeeds John Wales who has stepped down after nearly three years in the post.
This is the first time the CTA has been led by a coach operator. Previous chairs have included Sean Taggart and Denise Bridges from tour wholesaler Albatross Travel.
Today, the CTA, which was established in 1989 as the Coach Tourism Council to bring the coach tourism industry together and to promote travel and tourism by coach, represents around 130 UK coach tour operators and coach tour wholesalers, and around 150 coach tourism suppliers.
Writing to members, Robert Shaw says: “As a coach tour operator, I understand only too well how difficult 2020 has been for our sector. It has been heart-breaking to have to cancel holiday programmes when we know how desperate our loyal customers are to travel. And the stop-start approach to the rules has been a great frustration for us all, especially given the incredible work our sector has put into ensuring that coach tours and excursions are Covid-Safe.
“But above all, the abiding memory of 2020 will be the friendship and camaraderie that our industry has provided. We all know that the coach sector is special and is like a ‘family’ to which we all belong and can turn to in times of need. And I feel the same about the industry’s associations which is why I have been such a passionate supporter of the CTA for so long and been delighted to have served on its board to play a part in helping it grow and prosper.”
Looking ahead to 2021, the CTA says it will be hosting a series of online sessions, including ones in partnership with national tourism bodies, and a range of training and inspirational topics to keep members informed, engaged and entertained.
The annual Coach Tourism Conference and Workshop, planned for February 2021, has been postponed to May.
For more information about the CTA, go to www.coachtourismassociation.co.uk