Opinion: Credit crunch will weed out sub-par travel companies

There’s a word to describe someone who can never see the good in anything – a begrudger.

Seek first the company of the mad, sad and bad, but at all costs avoid our industry begrudgers – they can’t see the good that will come out of the current financial mess. And before you consign me to the asylum, please read on.

The upside of an economic downturn is that soundly based, well managed, efficient, customer-focused companies emerge on the other side even stronger, while those founded on dubious business models that rejoice in treating their customers with thinly veiled contempt become cannon-fodder for the growing armies of liquidators and administrators.

If we look beyond the rhetoric of some of our industry ‘spokespersons’ – who are often paid vast sums of money to preside over losing even vaster sums of money – we find a thriving band of travel companies, keeping their heads down and getting on with what they do well.

And what is that?

Quite simply, they provide top quality service.

They employ well trained, well presented staff who are happy and like to make their customers happy.

They make eye contact with customers. They smile. They provide assistance to the elderly, the infirm, the mothers with children – all without gouging them for a few extra quid every time they blink.

Not for these companies the rude, arrogant indifference that personifies much of what is now laughingly called a ‘service’ industry.

And, guess what, they are doing very nicely thank you, as they reap the benefits of repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations.

In this economic crunch, the British public are rapidly rediscovering their mettle and demanding service in return for their hard-earned money. Let’s rejoice in that fact, because that’s why you came into this industry in the first place, wasn’t it?

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