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Home Vacation McGill’s enters holiday market with Loch Lomond Travel launch

McGill’s enters holiday market with Loch Lomond Travel launch

by Staff

McGill’s Group has expanded into the coach holiday market by launching Loch Lomond Travel.

The new subsidiary, which will be headed up by former Tartan Travel Managing Director Chris Bond, is awaiting imminent delivery of 25 new touring coaches.

Mr Bond will work alongside McGill’s Group Chief Executive Officer Ralph Roberts to develop the business, which is already listing several tours for booking on its website and will launch its 2024 brochure at the end of February.

The move furthers recent expansion from the group, which is owned by Scottish brothers Sandy and James Easdale. The McGill’s Buses arm has been joined by Xplore Dundee, which was purchased from National Express in 2020, and First Scotland East, which was bought in 2022.

McGill’s handles scheduled coach operations via its partnership with FlixBus, while its Bright Bus Tours has recently expanded in the Scottish capital to comprise a service to Edinburgh Airport.

Pick-up locations in Scotland will include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, while Carlisle is the only one in England.

Tours currently being offered include the North Coast 500, Lewis and Harris, In Search of the Northern Lights and The Greatest Railway Journey in the World on the Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig. However, the business intends to expand throughout the UK.

In addition to the 25 new vehicles, the operation will have access to the 100-plus coaches of McGill’s other subsidiaries.

Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s Group, says: “There is undoubtedly a demand for high-quality, great value coach holidays and we are delighted to be launching Loch Lomond Travel to cater for that.

“McGill’s Group is ideally placed to venture into this market, with its extensive knowledge in coach operations, a quality fleet already in place, plus the backing of Sandy and James Easdale who can see the potential that exists to build a trusted brand.

“We’ve built a great and experienced team under Chris, all of whom know what holidaymakers are looking for in a UK break. The pandemic was a tough period for coach holiday operators but that has created an opportunity that we are sure Loch Lomond Travel will fill.”

Mr Bond, who prior to his role at Tartan Travel had been General Manager with Caledonian Travel and held senior positions at Barrhead Travel Group, says: “A lot of work has gone into launching Loch Lomond Travel, making sure we have the right partnerships with the very best hotels and destinations that people want to visit.

“Our inaugural 2024 brochure highlights the great places that we will serve but we are very clear that this is only the start. The business will have its roots in Scotland but we have ambitions to drive growth and eventually serve the whole of the UK.

“We will also be working with agents in the coming months to increase the reach of the business as we grow and ensure our holidays are available to the widest number of people possible.

“The backing of McGill’s Group, Sandy, James and Ralph has been fantastic so far, and we can’t wait for the arrival of 25 new luxury coaches to add to the extensive coach fleet we already have access to.

“It is an exciting time to be entering this market and we have an emphasis on serving holidaymakers of all ages which we expect to be of real appeal for those planning a getaway in the months and years to come.”

 

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