Travel could face ‘serious failures’ in new year

The collapse of Travelscope and MAXjet over the Christmas period has evoked mixed forecasts for 2008.

White Hart Associates partner Chris Photi warned fuel prices and foreign exchange rates could create a tougher trading environment over the next three months. “We could see some serious failures to start the year,” he said.

He added: “The bout of ATOL Protection Contribution renewals will also be a problem at the end of March.”

The Co-operative Travel head of retail Trevor Davis said publicity about Travelscope had helped. “Any operator failure is bad news but the fact the managing director went on TV and said consumers would get their money back helped get the message out that if you book with an ABTA-bonded operator your money is safe.”

Travelscope was also a member of the Association of Cruise Experts. ACE business development director Andy Harmer said: “We are sure this is not the start of a downturn in the cruise sector.”

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