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The coach industry – as distinct from the bus sector that runs scheduled public transport journeys – primarily refers to long distance travel for leisure and tourism, as well as providing other services such as school transport.

It is difficult to define the contribution and employment of the coach industry from official statistics because of the way that industry statistics are categorised (the coach industry is captured within the broader “other land transport“).

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (trade body for the coach industry) states that prior to the pandemic there were around 3,000 coach operators in the UK, sustaining around 42,000 direct full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.

Like other tourism and transport industries, the coach industry has seen a loss of businesses during the pandemic due to travel restrictions and changes in customer behaviour. In May, Shearings, a coach tour operator, went into administration causing the potential loss of 2,500 jobs. The industry states that “more than 24,000 people employed in the industry could be out of a job by April 2021” and that “thousands of family businesses are at risk”

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