Coach companies in Germany lack drivers. Over the past few years, a great number of drivers retired and currently the German bus industry seeks nearly 10,000 drivers, according to the estimates of the International Coach Tourism Federation (RDA) based in Cologne.
The CEO of RDA, Dieter Gauf, sees the solution in the migrants coming to the country, since a number of them has a bus driver's license. "If the federal government is flexible, we could integrate them quickly into the professional life,” said Gauf.
According to RDA President, Richard Eberhardt, 4.3 million coach trips of German travelers were organized in the past year, which is a little less than in 2014. These tours included at least five days of traveling by coach.
The most popular domestic destination for German bus industry was Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bavaria, and Baden-Württemberg. Italy was on top of the foreign coach tours list followed by Austria and Poland.
The industry is increasingly benefiting from the fact that many tourists come from Japan or China by plane to Europe and then take tours by bus. In Germany alone, the number of foreign tourists last year increased by six percent to 35 million.
In general, the German bus industry is, however, optimistic. 83 percent of the 4,000 German coach companies, employing a total of 95,000 drivers, expect steady or even better revenues in the current year.