When COVID-19 restrictions were brought into effect in March planned holidays and tours were off the table for Australians.
Flights were grounded and international travel was a no go, so too were coach tours throughout Australia.
Owner of Newmans Coaches, Ray Newman, said he feels the coach tour industry has been left behind.
"Everyone was talking about flights and international travel being banned, but the coach industry hasn't been mentioned as much," he told the Argus.
Ray and his wife Noelene started their coach tour business in 2007 and operated out of Macksville and Nambucca Heads before relocating to Kempsey around 10 years ago.
Their fleet of two coaches service Kempsey and surrounding areas and each year Noelene and Ray fill their coaches with locals for tours to destinations all over Australia including Cairns, the South Coast, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.
This year, however, they haven't been able to conduct any tours.
"We usually have time off over Christmas and start our tours at the beginning of the year, but this year we missed out. We were days off starting our first tour in March when restrictions were introduced," Ray said.
"We did have a few big tours planned for the past few months, but they all had to be cancelled.
"We had four tours fully booked and paid for, but we were able to get everyone refunds when the tours were cancelled."
Ray and Noelene also don't qualify for the small business COVID-19 support grant as they don't employ any staff.
"We have been given the short end of it," Ray said.
"This hasn't just impacted our business, but the entire coach tour industry. But finally, with people coming together and writing to politicians, we're starting to get recognised."
Ray and Noelene had started planning for a tour to the Yarra Valley in September, but have had to reconsider travelling to Victoria.
"Because of the situation in Victoria at the moment, we're now looking to change the September tour to somewhere in NSW," Ray said.
"We have been given the go ahead to start touring again and we're able to have up to 50 people on a coach, providing everyone adheres to social distancing at destinations."
Ray said coach tours take time and planning to organise, but plans are in the works to start up tours again.
"We are getting more information on how to start up again and get things moving. We're just trying to get the word out there that coach travel is safe and we haven't closed. We also have COVID-19 guidelines in place."
For more information or to inquire about a Newmans Coaches tour or charter, call Ray and Noelene on 6562 3483. Or you can stay up to date by visiting their website.