OPERATORS have rushed to put summer 2004 programmes on
sale following Airtours’ early launch.
Thomas Cook brought forward two of its 2004 brochure
launches, while Thomson put short-haul 2004 product on sales systems to ensure
“proper choice” in the market.
The move has enraged agents, who had urged vertically
integrated operators to delay launches to concentrate on 2003 sales and
stressed the difficulty of selling four seasons at once.
Traditionally, operators launch first editions after
Airtours went ahead with its Summer Sun 2004 brochure on
Thursday, a fortnight earlier than last year, insisting there was “a market out
MyTravel head of channel management Steve Barrass
claimed: “Travel agents are used to selling more than one season at a time.”