Coach travel could be a viable alternative to flying for many Continental Europeans.

Hans-Peter Christoph, managing director of German coach tour operator Avanti Bus Travels, suggested more holidays could be made by bus than most tour operators and travellers realise. The savings on emissions could be enormous, he said.

Christoph compared the emissions produced by trips from Avanti’s base in Freiburg in southern Germany. A two-week holiday to Andalusia, Spain, travelling to Malaga by coach and including excursions, produced nine times less carbon dioxide per passenger than flying.

A five-day trip by coach to Rome produced 10% of the CO2 emitted by flying.

Christoph argued coach and ferry trips were suitable for two or three-week trips to Turkey or Morocco from Germany – although this would be more difficult from the UK.

Avanti will run a 70-day tour to Beijing via Athens in July following the former Silk Road across Asia.

The trip will include three-day stopovers in cities along the way, including Istanbul, Isfahan and Samarkand. It will produce the same CO2 per passenger as a one-way flight from Basel, Switzerland to Lisbon, Portugal said Christoph.

Avanti buses seat up to 25 people and include a kitchen, toilet and video facilities.