Some agents argue the dynamic packaging boom is having a negative impact on seat-only prices.
Peter Goord Travel proprietor Anthony Goord claimed operators were already putting up their seat-only prices in areas where they control most of the flights to popular destinations, such as Bristol, giving dynamic packaging less price advantage over traditional packages.
The agency’s Plymouth location is one of the main reasons why the business has failed to increase the share of dynamic packaging sales to more than 10%, he said.
While accommodation-only prices remain competitive throughout the season, with Spain and Egypt particularly good value, the southwest is vulnerable to operators’ pricing tactics as they control the majority of popular flights from the region’s key airport in Bristol, he said.
Goord said operators were now starting to price seat-only sales so high that the price of a dynamic package becomes similar to that of a traditional package, making many customers opt for the latter, he said.
He said the situation had been worsened this summer by poor initial sales which led to a flurry of early discounting, adding: “Dynamic packaging hasn’t worked as well as I would have expected.
“The tour operators panicked and dropped prices earlier than expected, making their packages cheaper than what we could offer.
“Dynamic packaging works better in the early-bookings market when you can take advantage of low-cost flight prices.”
Meanwhile, Britaly Travel partner Daniele Broccoli fears the fact that the dynamic packaging market is so price-driven will soon affect hotels, which are being forced to cut costs wherever possible in order to attract customers.
He said: “If you squeeze the hotels so much, service and staff will suffer.”
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