Horn Lake Charter Bus Company Back on Its Feet with New Facility after Two Year Lay Off due to COVID
By Mark Randall
August 14, 2022
P. Walker Travel and Tours Inc. was just hitting its stride in 2020. They had three busses plus a leased bus, moved to a new office off Goodman Road West, and were booked solid with charter bus tours.
Then COVID hit and the bottom fell out of the travel industry. States locked down and residents stayed home and put off taking trips. Travel booking and charters which are normally at their peak from March until August went from 200 a year down to zero as customers and clients cancelled their reservations.
Owner Dr. Progeorlan Walker was forced to idle his busses, lay off all of his employees, and take a job driving an 18 wheeler hauling loads just to take care of his family and pay the company’s bills.
According to the American Bus Association, the charter bus business was a $15.35 billion industry in 2018 that provided 88,830 jobs. Pre-COVID there were about 4,800 motor coach businesses in the U.S. - most of them family owned - and carried 600 million passengers a year. During the pandemic, 80 to 95 percent of all motor coach trips were cancelled or not booked because of COVID.
About half of the motor coach businesses went out business as a result of COVID with employment dropping to 20,816 in 2020.