Travel Industry Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Travel agents and industry professionals surveyed
in a recent Amadeus

snap poll were almost equally divided when it came to
answering the question: should tour operators delay the launch of their
2004 brochures if people are not even booking 2003 holidays?

Only a slight majority of respondents were against delaying the launch of
2004 brochures with 56 percent arguing the public are still keen to plan
their holidays in advance.  On the flip side, a more cautious 44 percent
of respondents claimed that given the current climate, it would be more
prudent for operators to postpone future brochures and instead look to
fill the holidays that are currently up for sale.

Of the agents who participated in the poll, several respondents claimed
that they are already seeing substantial demand for 2004 holidays -
suggesting that the public perceive that conditions should improve by next
year and are already looking ahead.  Despite the current climate, the
majority of Agents still appear to be optimistic that the current market
situation could change quickly, meaning that if Operators don`t move ahead
with launching 2004 brochures Agents will be left with less to sell and
Operators will then be struggling to get brochures out in time to meet

Reflecting on the poll results Rob Golledge, Senior Marketing Communications Executive at Amadeus UK commented, “It is always
interesting to discover the diverse views of members of the UK travel
industry. Of course, there is no definitive right or wrong answer to this
question. It all seems to hinge on balancing the effect any delay that
issuing brochures would have on consumer confidence.


“It is impossible to second-guess the public, but it is hoped that
postponed bookings will result in a post-war surge as travellers scramble
to find last minute holidays. But even this optimistic scenario has implications for long-term sales. Regardless of current bookings, some
respondents felt that the appearance of 2004 brochures would prove a tonic
to stimulate sales and add a positive message about getting back to
normality despite the conflict in Iraq.”

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