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TC agent reports: Demand won’t die, says top economist

Travel Weekly’s ten ‘agent reporters’ will be giving us their perspective on the Travel Convention 2010 throughout the event


Douglas McWilliams’ 30 minute presentation included the usual graphs that you’d expect in a talk by an economic forecaster.


But these were merely a backdrop to a very upbeat speech that captivated the audience with humorous banter whilst covering predictions on the economy, the government spending review, currencies and what it all means to us.


The founder and chief executive of CEBR warned how our approach in the UK will need to change if we are to compete with countries such as China where citizens are used to working longer hours for less pay and have an attitude of saving wherever and however possible. Basically they know how to budget.


He also discussed likely pay cuts and tax rises and predicted that a squeezed household income will mean depressed consumer spending up to 2015; however consumers will still spend, just smartly.


By this he means they will budget on medium term purchases, such as shopping, more carefully so they can keep a little aside for spending on ‘essential’ items like holidays.


McWilliams ended his talk on a positive note, forecasting that although there will be added pressure from rising taxes and commodities, spending in travel will be among the strongest in the economy.


And he concluded that “consumers will have spare cash, it’s just up to you what to make them spend it on”.



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