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35th Day of Coach Tourism in Bremen / Bremerhaven

Willkommen in Bremen - Bremerhaven © Dr. Patrick Patridge 2017

Joël Fauquette, Sales Director Eurotunnel, Dr. Patrick Patridge and Stephen Smith, Operations Director CPT UK and Chairman, EACT – European Alliance for Coach Tourism © Dr. Patrick Patridge 2017

The 35th Day of Coach Tourism start-of-the-year RDA kick-off conference took place on Monday, 9th January 2017 in the wonderful GOP Varieté-Theater Bremen with an impressive B2B networking get-together on the evening of Sunday, 8th January 2017 in the stimulating Bremer Überseestadt which included a welcome reception in the Steigenberger Hotel Bremen attended by 140 colleagues, a short but enjoyable walking tour which took in the Schuppen Eins – Centre for Automobile Culture and Mobility and a delicious meal in the stylish and friendly PORT im Speicher XI harbour restaurant.

This year’s conference theme was “Upheaval in the coach tourism market – Challenges & Opportunities” and the speaker line-up was as follows:

Peter Siemering, Managing Director BTZ Bremen – Bremerhaven Tourist Office and Vice-President of the DTV German Tourism Association officially welcomed some 260 participants to Bremen and Bremerhaven – sister cities that offer coach and group travel operators and their guests attractive programmes, price-competitive hotels and memorable visitor attractions.

RDA Vice-President Heinrich Marti opened the conference outlining how the RDA offers apt advice, targeted solutions and effective B2B platforms for its members in times of crisis, uncertainty and transformation. Newsworthy, in particular, was the re-naming of the RDA-Workshop to RDA Group Travel Expo in order to properly reflect the scale and significance of the Friedrichshafen and Cologne exhibitions for the international coach and group tourism sectors.

Dieter Gauf, CEO RDA reflected upon the manifold political, terror, marketing, competitive and fiscal challenges presented by developments in 2016, setting the stage for the following expert statements.

DRV German Travel Association President Norbert Fiebig spoke about the effects of terrorism and changed political, legal and fiscal conditions on the tourism sector as a whole and about DRV lobbying on behalf of our industry in Brussels and in Berlin.

Fabian Stenger, Managing Director, Flixbus Dach GmbH portrayed how Flixbus grew from a start-up with a staff of three four years ago in Munich to European inter-city coach transport market leader with 1,000 employees and offices in Munich, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Zagreb and Copenhagen. He also explained their recent move into the coach rentals business.

Klaus Eikmeier, Chairperson Reisenetz e.V. German Confederation for Youth Travel illustrated how schools, universities, clubs and special interest group travel organisers react to changing competition and framework conditions, illustrating in great detail what factors are influential in their organisational and decision-making processes.

Prof. Dr. Harald Bartl, popular, controversial and humorous Day of Coach Tourism contributor, explored and illustrated the legal implications, consequences and costs of the new EU Package Travel Directive. Prof. Bartl plans to hold a series of one-day seminars in 2017 so that tour operators and their staff will be properly informed and equipped to deal with 20 significant situations when the directive comes into operation in 2018. Prof. Bartl has estimated the cost of implementing the new directive at EURO 30,000 per company for small- and medium-sized tour operator companies.

RDA Vice-President Benedikt Esser reflected about the challenges and opportunities for family-run coach tourism operations, working in tandem and under the umbrella of the RDA International Coach Tourism Federation. He outlined in particular the costs and dangers connected with a proposed “German Holiday Tax” on hotel accommodation. He also presented – the RDA’s new coach rentals platform for group travel organisers and operators. The RDA Terms & Conditions for Coach Rentals have also been updated accordingly and are available to RDA members from RDA Head Office in Cologne.

Johannes Hübner, Manager RDA RBI Crisis Management, moderated a brief but concluding podium discussion.

Some iPhone snapshot photo impressions © Dr. Patrick Patridge 2017:

The 35th Day of Coach Tourism was conceived and organised by RDA CEO Dieter Gauf, with the operative support of his wife Beate and son Wolfgang in close co-operation with and co-ordination with event hosts, Peter Krüger and his superb BTZ Bremen - Bremerhaven Tourism team.

SAVE THE DATE: The 36th Day of Coach Tourism will take place on Monday 8th January 2018 in Saarbrücken, the state capital of the Saarland, with informal B2B networking and get-together on the evening of Sunday, 7th January 2018.

Information about Bremen and Bremerhaven: and
YouTube Video Impressions:
Twitter Hashtag: #Tagderbustouristik


Annette Heinemann
Phone: +49 2244 90 33 33
Facsimile: +49 2244 87 74 22