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How we're keeping up with the Joneses; RECORD-BREAKING SURNAME GATHERING IS DRIVING BUSINESS COACH FIRM'S WAY.

Byline: By DAVID JONES Business Correspondent

IT'S the Joneses of North Wales - rather than people of any other moniker - who are driving one piece of business Elfyn Thomas's way.

People with that surname are booking for a coach trip to the Jones, Jones, Jones show being organised by S4C at the Wales Millennium Centre in November.

It's meant to be the biggest get together of Joneses in the world, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest same surname gathering.

Caernarfon-based travel operator Seren Arian/Silver Star has already filled one coach of North Walian Joneses for the big event and another may be laid on.

It's just one example of how the fortunes of the coach firm, established in 1918, are entwined with Wales and the Welsh.

Seren Arian managing director Mr Thomas said the company will also be using new additions to its fleet to carry local people to the Jones event in Cardiff and on four-day trip packages to a Welsh festival in Disneyland Paris for St David's Day next year.

The company has invested half a million pounds to buy two German-built Setra coaches for its holiday programme to destinations in the UK and on the Continent.

Seren Arian employs 42 people full-time and carries more than 10,000 people on holidays in the UK, Europe and worldwide every year, as well as providing local bus and private hire services in North Wales.

A new computer system is being installed to enable the firm to taking bookings online and enable it to offer self drive holidays.

It is adding Bala, Dolgellau, Corwen and lLangollen to the mid Wales pickup points of Aberystwyth, Newtown, Machynlleth and Welshpool it recently introduced on selected tours.

david.r.jones@dailypost.co.uk

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Seren Arian's Elfyn Thomas with one of the new coaches going to the gathering of Joneses Picture: ROBERT PARRY JONES
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2006
Words:314
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