Next year’s peaks market will see operators resort to competing on price, Gold Medal sales and marketing director Ruth Connor has predicted.
She said as the economy continues to weaken operators will have to respond with competitive pricing and offers.
However, the situation could be a gift for travel agents who should be able to present customers with a range of offers while consumers will still want to take a holiday, although they may cut back their spends.
Connor said: “It’ll be all about price. It is all about consumer confidence and they’re probably more sensitive than they ever have been before.
“This year capacity cuts have allowed us to hold our nerve although nobody could have predicted what happened in the last two to three months.
“It’ll be a case of watching and being very quick to react. We’ve also got to be very tactical and fluid over summer and be prepared to change as we need to.
“It’ll be great for a retailer, I think they’ll be more opportunities and offers out there than ever in the peaks trading.”
However, Connor added many of the sales made in the first quarter will be for the current winter season as consumers continue to react cautiously to the economy.
She said: “We are selling well, we’re selling in a very small window and we’re still selling strongly. There’s a lot of short termism in terms of what people are prepared to commit to.”