AAT Kings regional bowls bus tour


New South Wales based operator AAT Kings takes customised Scania bowls bus out on the road

AAT Kings regional bowls bus tour
AAT Kings Managing Director Anthony Hayes

What game can a 95-year-old woman enjoy as much a child? And what would be the easiest way to make sure everybody can have a go?

The answers are simple: bowls and a bus.

A Scania-Higer A30 was specially fitted out for a mobile bowls tour undertaken by operator AAT Kings.

About 25 people turned out to celebrate the final leg of the mobile regional bowls bus tour at Seaforth Bowling Club, New South Wales, this month.

AAT Kings specialises in coach tours across Australia and New Zealand, and has a staff of about 400 and a fleet size of about 80 vehicles.

Managing Director Anthony Hayes says the mobile bowls coach was a fun way to appeal to people of all ages.

"The starting point was we wanted to say thank you to all the country towns and regional Australia," he says. "More than half of our business comes from country towns."

The operator works closely with travel agents helloworld who helped organised the trip with accommodation and by inviting existing customers along to visit the bus.

One of the biggest events on the tour was the launch in Cairns, Queensland.

AAT Kings has recently become a shareholder in Down Under Tours, Cairns, to add to their extensive service area and made the announcement in Cairns.

"The missing piece of the puzzle [for us] was that Northern Queensland market," he says.

Hayes says the interest in the bus has been phenomenal with at least 20 television stations turning out to capture the story, as well as radio and newspapers.

"It’s just been extraordinary," he says.

The coach was on the road for about seven weeks visiting a variety of regional centre, and driven by Paul Patman.

Patman was meant to drive only the first half of the tour but was enjoying himself so much he asked to stay on.

He enjoyed the experience and received a lot of great feedback from those who tried their hand at the game – from children through to a 95-year-old woman.

The coach was lent to the company by Scania and will be on display at the 2014 Australasia Bus & Coach Conference & Expo on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

The coach has capacity for 57 seats and is designed to be used as a school bus.

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