Travel and tourism agents are extremely concerned by the impact on their operations resulting from newly introduced free school transport system.
Several key coach operators have advised tourism agents that their coaches are no longer available before 9:00am and between 1:45pm and 4:00pm on school days, causing havoc on full day and afternoon excursion programmes.
This restriction is gravely impacting tourism agents’ ability to meet their contractual obligations to operate excursions and airport transfers efficiently. It is also compounding the already existing widespread abuse and malpractice by some coach operators who double book their vehicles during charters.
FATTA is therefore calling on the authorities to act swiftly to facilitate and incentivise the importation and operation of additional coaches from other EU states on a seasonal / temporary basis to meet the surge in demand.
This will ensure that the considerable investment and effort made by the MTA and the industry stakeholders to attract low and shoulder season group tourism and especially cruise liner calls is not undermined by this shortage.