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Travel recruiters downplay job loss predictions

Travel recruitment companies claim the market is still strong despite figures that claim 15,000 jobs will be lost in the industry over the next 12 months.


Industry analyst Plimsoll Publishing has released a new report claiming as many as 6,945 travel agents and 8,389 jobs in the tour operator sector could be axed as the economic climate continues to worsen.


Senior analyst David Pattison said the job losses in the travel agency sector will come as companies seek to bring costs into line with sales. He claimed three quarters of the 1,000 companies analysed will need to make staffing cuts.


Pattison said: “While job losses are undoubtedly bad news for any company, such decisive action may be called for to guarantee the ultimate survival of the business.”


C&M Recruitment marketing manager Sarah Clayton-Turner said: “While there has been a slight downturn in business travel, the leisure sector remains strong and we still have a good volume of vacancies coming through.


“We would be naive to think we won’t see a possible downturn in travel recruitment but, going by current trends, travel recruitment is still buoyant.”


AA Appointments managing director John Tolmie said: “The beginning of the year was very strong. The last couple of months has seen a slowdown but that’s expected in the summer months.”


Thomas Cook, one of the industry’s largest employers, recently announced the closure of its Accrington call centre with all 248 staff being offered alternative positions within the group.


A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said: “Our cost base is in constant review and we run a very tight ship in terms of management costs. We have always been very successful at redeploying our staff.”


Andy Cooper, director-general of the Federation of Tour Operators said: “Companies have only recently been through thorough cost-cutting measures and they will look at ways of making savings , but mass redundancies are not necessarily the answer.”

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