OPERATORS and agents have been urged to hold their
nerve as fears rise that prolonged political uncertainty could lead to “slow
strangulation” of the trade.
PricewaterhouseCoopers UK travel practice leader
Malcolm Preston has told the industry to learn the lessons of the 1991 Gulf War
as consumers act in an “uncannily” similar way.
In a report, The Lessons of the Gulf War for the
Leisure Travel Sector: Is History Repeating Itself?, Preston has advised
operators to cut capacity in a “controlled manner”, retain flexibility by using
their own aircraft not third-party carriers, and avoid wholesale discounting.
“Cash flow is already being impacted by the loss of
deposits from the fall in bookings and the last thing the majors need is a
discounting battle that slashes margins all round,” he said.