The travel industry is one of the fastest growing service sectors in the world, becoming more accessible and affordable with each passing tourist season. With the right training and know-how, today’s tourism industry professionals can open their clients up to an entire world of destination possibilities.
France is currently the single most popular tourism site worldwide. And a new law is making its beautiful countryside even more accessible to visitors. It may come as a surprise, but for France’s tourism industry, buses are the way of the future.
If you are planning to enroll in travel and tourism courses, or you’ve recently started your program, read on to learn how new bus routes are making France even more appealing to its tourists.
New Travel and Tourism Law Boosts French Bus Service
This summer the French government passed the “Macron Law,” “modernizing France’s economy” and making the country “more business-friendly.” The law’s main focus is to promote France’s coach bus industry as a leader on the commercial travel market, with new routes that stretch into rural regions that were previously difficult for tourists to access.
Before now, tourists had to switch trains in Paris or other large cities if they wanted any chance of seeing France’s smaller towns. With the new direct bus routes, travellers can ride between Lyon, Marseille, Paris, and Bordeaux without transfers, and for the cheap one-way price of about $10 Canadian.
Since the routes have opened, hundreds of travellers have taken advantage of buses to explore beyond France’s big cities. Its government predicts the service will encourage a further 600,000 international tourists to use coach transportation services in the year to come.
French Buses May Overtake Trains in Online Booking
Those who choose to become travel agents recognize the importance of technology’s role in today’s tourism world. For example, students at the Canadian Tourism College learn about modern fare and ticket pricing through hands-on training for “SABRE;” an industry-standard reservation technology.
For those visiting France, booking a bus ticket is now just a click away. Tourists can book direct from the French Eurolines company or through the price-comparison site GoEuro. For example, a search for “Paris to Lyon” on GoEuro delivers several options, including a flight on Air France for $162, as well as two different bus options with €6 price tags. GoEuro trip-planning data collected since the launch of the new routes predicts that about five million people booking online will choose buses over trains in 2016.
The Coach Bus Role in Global Travel and Tourism
Every good travel consultant knows that part of Europe’s appeal is its small size—many countries are close together, so clients can often see several in one short visit. France’s proximity to its neighbouring countries means its new routes will have repercussions across Europe.
New bus companies are already opening up in Germany and Spain to connect with the French bus chains at their borders. Travel industry professionals say tourists don’t seem to mind that buses are much slower than planes—coach buses are cropping up as one of European tourism’s best options.
The French government might have found its own bus route inspiration from across the channel. Great Britain introduced the low-cost Megabus coach brand in 2006, offering fares as low as £1.50 to take tourists between popular destinations like London and Manchester. Today, Megabus is an international success, expanding to offer amenities like comfy reclining chairs and free WiFi. Many of its most popular routes carry travellers across borders, like the London to Paris trip costing as little as $60 Canadian.
With coach bus routes branching out on the global map, tourism professionals can give clients even greater access to rural, authentic cultural experiences—the kinds of experiences that make careers in tourism so worthwhile.