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22nd June 1926, Page 25
22nd June 1926
Page 25
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A Brief Account of the Activities of a Blackpool Company who Run a Wide Series of Tours.

TN the organization and conducting lot extended tours, Messrs. William Marshall anti Son, of Blackpool, are specialists. They have in commission n fleet of five coaches, comprising three Maudslays, a Lancia and a Reo. For the coming season two of the older-type Mandslays will he replaced by two of the latest models, each with a low load-line body and of the enclosed type to seat 22 passengers. These coaches will have a central gangway with rows of seats for two persons on each side. Illacknool is one of those motor-coaching centres in which the industry has roost extensive ramifications, and it is stated that the fleet operating from the town comprises over 200 machines, the being owned by about 60 different concerns. Consequently, competitive conditions are extremely keen, not only in respect of the day tours, but also the long-distance trips.

Although little business is done in Blaekpool at Easter, and rather more at Whitsuntide, the Tradesmen's Holiday in May provides the first real opportunity for owners to exploit their resources. • During this week the whole town is en holiday, anticipatory to the rush masiths of June, July and August, when Blackpool is besieged by holiday-makers from all parts of the country. Catering for the travel needs (■f the local business people during the Tradesmen's Holiday involves not only the arrangement of a comprehensive • selection of day trips, but also of tours of a duration extending up to fourteen clays.

Iiian interview with a repreSentative of T1& Commercial Motor, one of the members of the firm of Messrs. Wm. Marshall and Son stated that during Tradesmen's Holiday, and indeed at other times, quite a big proportion of the passengers on the extended tours own their own motorcars. They booked for these trips partly because of the nleasant amenities, the fact that they had no worry, about the hotels, meals, etc., and, what was more, they were as cheap, if not cheaper, than if they made the journey independently by their own cars. On one tour last year we were told that eight out of the .20 passengers had their own private car's.

Although some coach owners concentrate on running extended tours during the spring and the autumn, occupying themselves in the intervening period by skimming the cream of the singleseat day-bookings trade at the height of the holiday season, Messrs. Marshall run this class of tours the season through, and as often as bookings demand.

Their modus operandi is to secure, first of all, the nucleus of a party, perhaps about half a dozen persons who express the wish for, say, a seven-day trip to the South Coast. Their next step is to resort to methods of publicity, such as by Press advertising, in an endeavour to build up a booking list to warrant the employment of a large coach. Should their expectations not be realized, the journey is made by _a vehicle appropriate to the size of the party. The organization of extended tours involves much preliminary work, for, due to the fact that at certain times of the year some hotels have very little to offer in the way of accommodation, inquiries have' to be made and accommodation booked well, in advance. Some towns—Shrewsbury. is mentioned as one—have very limited hotel accommodation at the height of the season. Shrewsbury, for example, being a famous old-world town, tourists naturally like to make a break there, with a view to seeing its sights. In their ' arrangements Messrs. Marshall pay particular attention to the type of hotel selected and always select addresses approved by the A.A. and R.A.C.

This brings us to another pointi.e., the remarkable dtscrepancy in hotel charges in one town as compared with those in another town. One resort was . mentioned where the charge is 21s. in the season for dinner, bed and breakfast per passenger, whereas at another

resort the charge is only 13s. The difference in the cost is not accounted for by any marked difference in the service. " On the other hand," pointed out Mr. Marshall, "it has been our , experience that some of the hotels which charge the lower prices are quite as e•ood as those which are distinguished by their expensive exclusiveness.

"Another remarkable thing," be said, "is that it very often happens that all the hotels in a town are good and attain to a high standard of comfort, or all fire indifferent. I surmise that the explanation of this is to be found in the fact that Competition amongst the hotel proprietors has resulted in the hest possible service being provided, or, in the other case, due to the absence of competition, there is no incentive to attain the higher standards achieved in other places."

When drawing up their itineraries for extended tours, Messrs. Marshall always have in mind an alternative route and destination for the day's journey, so that, in the event of accommodation not being obtainable at one hotel, there is every likelihood of it being availalge at another place within easy reach. The final arrangements are of course, made before the party leaves Blackpool. Seven days before leaving Blackpool accommodation is reserved for passengers at hotels, and on the day before the commencement of the tour the names of the passengers are forwarded.

Importance is attached to the staffing arrangements of coaches on long-distance tours, for, not only must the man in charge drive the vehicle, supervise generally, act as M.0 for the party, but also be the means of communication between the party and the hotel proprietors and, in addition, command the respect of both.

For this season Messrs. Marshall and

Son are arranging the following coach tours :—(1) Two-day tour in the Lake District, passing eight lakes, fare £2 2s.; (2) two-day tour to the Peak district, fare £2 2s.; (3) four-day tour to North Wales, making Bettws-y-coed the centre, fare £5 5s.; (4) five-day tour to the Wye Valley and Wales, fare £6 10s.; (5) seven-day tour to Scotland and the English Lakes, fare £9 9s.; (6) nine-day' tour to Scotland and the English Lakes, fare £12 12s.; (7) twelve-day tour to Scotland and the English Lakes, fare £16 16s.; (8) ten-day tour to North and South Devonshire, Cornwall and Land's End, fare £12 12s.; (9) twelve-day tour to Devonshire and London, fare L16 16s.;

(10) twelve-day tour to Devonshire, Cornwall, Land's End, South Coast and the Wye Valley, fare £16 16s.; (11) eight-day tour to Wye Valley and London, fare £9 9s.; (12) eight-day tour to Bournemouth and London, fare £10; (13) six-day tour to London, fare 10s. In each case first-class hotels are used and the charges include late dinner, bed and breakfast.


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