Travel retailers appears to be divided over their predictions for trading in 2007, according to a survey by Barclaycard Business.

The Retail in Detail Survey of 1,000 retailers including travel firms, revealed 37% of travel retailers are optimistic business will improve in 2007 following a terrible 2006 when the football World Cup, UK heatwave and airport terror alerts all impacted on bookings.

Lower oil prices were cited as the main reason for the increased optimism.

However, 34% predicted the retail environment could get worse for the travel industry in the coming 12 months.

Barclaycard Business commercial director Bill Thomson said the finds were “encouraging” for the industry.

“While some travel retailers are unsure of the prospects for the retail economy in 2007 many made it clear that lower oil prices and interest rates are what’s needed to kick start Britain’s retail economy,” Thomson said.

Of the six sectors polled travel retailers are the third most optimistic behind only wholesale with 42% of people optimistic and retail, culture and sport with 38% optimistic.

Grocery and general trading recorded optimism levels at 35%, with electrical the least optimistic on 33%.