Tour operators and charter airlines are failing to take the lead in route development, delegates at the ITT Conference have been told.

Airport Strategy and Marketing Ltd managing director John Grant said that there has never been a more crucial time for tour operators to influence holiday destinations.

“I am convinced all of you can make a difference in the current market and make a difference in route development. There is a real opportunity for tour operators to take a role in this area,” he said.

He added that every airline is reducing costs, but the price of oil hitting $140 per barrel makes it like “moving the deckchairs on the Titanic.”