We take a look through the Travel Weekly archives in our 50th year to find out what was making the headlines 10, 25 and 45 years ago…
• Thomas Cook boss Manny Fontenla-Novoa predicted 15 companies could fail in the first three months of the year, while Tui Travel’s Dermot Blastland warned of de-packaging and up to 100,000 customers being stranded overseas due to unbonded failures.
• Discussions about an increase in Atol contributions – from £1 to as much as £5 – led some industry leaders to warn of dire consequences in a tough trading environment.
• Abta and other industry leaders urged the government to approve a third runway at Heathrow, while the association also predicted most consumers would maintain or increase their holiday budgets despite economic uncertainty.
• The bed bank sector was feeling positive after Cook’s acquisition of Med Hotels from lastminute.com was tipped to improve margins across the board.
• In the Destinations section, lesser-known African destinations including Rwanda, Madagascar and Namibia were in focus as operators expanded their programmes.
• Airtours was expected to offer charter flights to Australia after applying for permission to fly to Sydney and Queensland.
• Fifteen years before making the Travel Weekly cover as Tui Travel chief, Dermot Blastland was the lead story after being sent by Owners Abroad to spearhead the operator’s second attempt to establish itself in Canada.
• Bridge Travel Service became the first UK operator to launch a dedicated Disney brochure, Sabre acknowledged the importance of the leisure market with plans to launch a product for agents and Eurotunnel vowed not to discount any of its debut fares during 1994, even if ferry companies entered a price war.
• The Brochure Review pages profiled launches from companies including Norwegian Coastal Voyages, President Holidays and Getaway, while the multiples reined in their standard 11% discounts amid fears the most popular resorts would be sold out by Easter.
• Just two weeks after being promoted to the new post of deputy chairman for tour operator Global, Sidney Perez made a surprise switch to long-time rival Horizon Holidays under chairman Vladimir Raitz.
• The top two operators – Thomson Travel and Clarksons – came out strongly in favour of European ABCharters, while Blue Sky Holidays promised 10,000 holidays under £50 in a period of ‘doom and gloom’.
• British Airways introduced its Holiday Deposit Guarantee allowing clients to cancel up until receipt of a final invoice, but Norway-specialist Visnor was forced out of business by a 60% year-on-year fall in bookings.
• P&O researched passenger reaction to open-class cruising after switching Canberra and Oriana from a first and tourist-class set-up, while elsewhere at sea Southern Ferries said bookings had been so heavy for its new Southampton-San Sebastian service that a second computer had been bought for £7,000 to issue tickets.
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