Staycations and Tour Operators

By | Category: Travel news

Both TUI (the parent company of Thomson, First Choice and Crystal) and Thomas Cook announced results this week. Each seems to have been hit by people booking later and by people holidaying at home. Eurodisney also announced that they had been helped by more French people visiting their resort outside Paris so it seems as though the staycation, whether you are in France or the UK, is having an impact on tourism and travel. And now we have David Cameron making a speech on tourism and urging us to holiday at home (More on this over the weekend, when I have properly read it. I can’t remember a Prime Minister making a speech on tourism before.)
The good news for us is that there are lots of last minute offers at prices that are lower than might be expected. Both TUI and Thomas Cook will want to dispose of as many holidays so if you can leave at the drop of a hat there could be some good bargains around.
Snap them up while you can because it probably means that both companies will consider cutting the number of summer holidays that they will make available next year in order to try and boost prices. If we are booking later and more of us are preferring to stay at home, will this also apply to the winter holiday market? Skiers had wonderful weather in Scotland last winter but that hasn’t happened for years. Can it be a good year for a second year running? For winter sunshine, you’d be hard pressed to find much at all in the UK or Ireland so it’s probable that there won’t be that many bargains over winter.
The collapse of Sun4U yesterday and that of Goldtrail a few weeks ago is also a clue to the fact that we are either holidaying at home or booking at the last minute. It is quite unusual for holiday companies to go bust at this time of the year as they should be flush with cash from their customers. After the summer period is when some collapse because they must survive on the takings from this summer until the deposits start coming in for the next season. Each collapse takes more holidays out of the overall market meaning there will be fewer for next season unless one company expands.
So the advice is probably, book and go as soon as possible after booking to get the best deals. And use an ATOL bonded agent or pay by credit card to give you some protection.

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