Comment: The family market is key to positive momentum

The trade is finding ways to stimulate a key segment and secure late bookings, says Travel Weekly’s Lucy Huxley

Advantage chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said told delegates at the consortium’s conference she had a “high degree of optimism” for the future, and that was certainly the vibe I got as I followed the event online.

The sense of optimism was echoed by chief commercial officer Kelly Cookes, who reported positive late sales for the May half-term as well as strong bookings for the summer peak (page 10). And it was also in evidence from guest speakers who talked about a bright future for agents who move with the times and seize opportunities.

Despite the upbeat tone in Mexico, the one fly in the ointment for the trade this year has been the hesitancy of the value family market to really spring into life, and that remains a worry for some.

But as we also report in this week’s family holidays-themed edition, sponsored by Atlantis, the Palm, agents continue to think on their feet and come up with innovative ways to stimulate the sector and drive late bookings.

As I write this column, I am preparing to head to this year’s Clia Conference, and the desire to attract more families will be another common theme there. Over the past 20 years, cruise lines have made great strides in creating product which appeals way beyond the sector’s traditional demographic, but there remains a sense of potential waiting to be truly unleashed.

As always, you can follow all the conference discussions on this and other crucial subjects on and in next week’s edition.

MoreAgents ‘can prove worth’ in finding family deals

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