Coach Buddy - are you onboard?

01/07/2017

An innovative website for the coach tourism industry has been launched over the summer. Coach Buddy (www.coachbuddy.org.uk) details over 2,000 coach-friendly attractions in the UK and more than 600 town and city entries which include coach parking details. There are also details of coach-friendly hotels and comfort breaks. London has it’s own section with top attractions listed along with coach parking details in the City and theatre listings.

Coach Buddy co-founder and managing director of Cheeky Monkey Media Ltd, Tony Henthorn, told SRT: “We’re delighted that almost 5,000 coach drivers, operators, tour planners and group travel organisers have already signed up to Coach Buddy in the first couple of months. My co-partner, Mark Oakden, founder of Pocket Places in Norfolk and I have been delighted with the feedback so far and are confident of hitting our target of 10,000 subscribers by the end of the year."

Coach Buddy is being developed and updated on a phased basis; coach driver jobs and tour guide platforms will be added later in the year. Currently, users can search for attractions by location, and phase two of development will also see a find by attraction ‘category’ added into the search criteria.

There will also be around 40 area audio commentary files available - which drivers and tour guides will be able to use through their own audio devices - check out Cambridge in the Midlands Destination platform as an example. There is a separate section for drivers where they can find details of attractions offering ‘driver benefits’ to visiting coaches and rules and regulations for driving in Europe along with traffic updates and a news feed provided by Travel GBi.

"Coach Buddy is not an app, but a web-based platform,” Tony explains, “and that is because we are constantly adding new details and updating and amending information when subscribers feed back to us. We also use detailed Google Analytics on the site to enable us to track visitor information - which in turn we can feed back to participating attractions, destinations and hotels.”

Basic listings on Coach Buddy are all free of charge, with attractions, destinations and hotels having the option of additional features to attract even more traffic by choosing to have a ‘premium listing’.

“By the end of the year, we believe Coach Buddy will be an essential tool for groups and individuals in planning UK day trips and longer tours. We are currently integrating information from the various platforms to enable users to effectively plan ‘where to go, what to see, where to stay’ and where to eat - all in one place, along the latest in GPS technology to enable them to include routes and timings in their itineraries," explains Tony, “and before anyone asks - yes, we are looking to include Ireland in later releases!"

If you would like more details about Coach Buddy, Tony would be delighted to hear from you, simply drop him a line at: Tony.Henthorn@CoachBuddy.org.uk


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