PASSENGER TRAVEL NEWS.
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The Latest Doings and Developments in the Bus and Coach World.
I S DISCUSSING recently the pros pects of the .motor coach season with the general manager of an enterprising provincial company, who shall, in deference to his inherent distaste for publicity, be nameless, the writer was astounded by the intimate acquaintance with history which he displayed, and by the manner in which he had applied that 'knowledge to the organization of his business.
ii was a somewhat unusual experience, in the middle of a conversation dealing with facts, figures and the hard technicalities of business, to b-e treated, when the subject of the choice of routes cropped up, to a dissertation on the his tory of certain show places. At the same time, it suggested the question which forms the heeding of these notes, because it showed how valuable a possession of specific historical information may be to those responsible for the organization of motor coach services.
After all, the motor coach proprietor has largely to perform functions which formerly were fulfilled only by the touring agencies. He has to sell road travel to certain places, and his knowledge of his wares is incomplete, and his ability to market them impaired, if he has not himself accurate knowledge of the attractions which they have to offer.
Historical interest plays no small part in enhancing the attractiveness of road travel in this country. We are, fortunately, rich in the possession of countless places of historical renown. It comprises an essential part of motor coach propaganda to exploit these historical associations to the utmost„ It is useless to expect that prospective coach passengers shall be in possession of, or buy, the guide-books dealing with all the places to which coach trips are run. Such books are, in any case, usually only to be purchased en the spot. after the fare has been booked. The historical attraction should be used beforehand to attractthe fare.
The tendency is, in advertising coach trips, to use that hackneyed phrase, " of greet historical interest." Every coach passenger is by no means certain to be an historian, anda great number may well ask, " What historical interest "
Here the necessity for accurate information comes in. But, apart from the policy of including in advertisement announcements specific historical information which will supply the answer to such aquestion, it may be possible to make still further. and greater, use of facts which guide and history books reveal. For instance, the gentleman referred to in the opening paragraph of this article, by virtue of his historical knowledge, has been able to discover certain historical relationships between his own town and some of the places tp which his coach trips are run. The stimulating effect of such association on the travelling propensities of his fellow townsmen is likely to be extraordinary. After all, it is only a matter of intelligently studying one's market and of endeavouring to supply its every requirement. Historical information, especially if it be interesting, as it nearly always is, forms certainly one of the requirements of the coacbetravelling public on pleasure bent. Should not motor coach proprietors, therefore, study history"