SPAA president calls on industry to rise to challenge of recession

Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association president Jimmy Martin has called on travel agents to rise to the challenges of the current economic climate.

In a speech to the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association annual dinner, held in the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow, Martin said the failure of holiday companies including the XL Leisure Group had put a “black cloud over the travel business”.

He admitted that the coming year would be challenging but that the industry would rise to the challenge.

He said the travel industry had managed to weather events such as the miners’ strike and the Gulf war. However, he admitted that recovery from the current recession would take longer.

He urged agents to get the message out to consumers that they really need a holiday to get away from the current doom and gloom.

The SPAA will continue to fight for the rights of agents, he told the attendees. This includes fighting for financial protection that offers “complete comprehensive coverage” as well as a third runway at Heathrow.

However, he said while the SPAA recognises that suppliers need to sell through all channels, selling at below cost prices is “unacceptable”.

Cut price volumes are “trashing the market big time”, he added.

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