Travel industry prepares for tough January trading

Sales during January are likely to be slow in what could be one of the toughest peak sales periods for the trade for years.

Global Travel Group chief executive Andrew Botterill predicted January and February would be “very tough” and said sales of holidays would be closely linked to the jobs market.

He said: “The biggest factor for UK travel next year will be the employment market if people lose their jobs they are not going to go on holiday. If people remain in work they will travel but they will be more cost conscious.

“Everyone is planning for a softer January.”

TTA Group managing director Simon Hargreaves said the industry had been “surprisingly resilient” to the economic downturn to date.

He said: “January and February are make or break months in one sense. The longhaul market and durations are suffering the amount of money coming in is lower. But nothing is saying to me it’s going to be a nightmare in January and February.”

Olympic Holidays commercial director Photis Lambrianides said: “If your overall sales are flat compared to last year then that [will be] a good thing.”

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