E. Telegraph: Travel firms face Millennium holidays slumpgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
ISSUE 1569 Saturday 11 September 1999
Travel firms face Millennium holidays slump By Matt Born TRAVEL operators' hopes of cashing in on the Millennium celebrations suffered a severe setback yesterday as Thomson, the country's biggest holiday company, revealed that sales of New Year breaks were far below expectations.
The announcement has confirmed industry fears that attempts by firms to cash in on the Millennium by adding a hefty premium has backfired, with many people choosing to stay at home instead. Thomson is to offer discounts of up to #200 per person on holidays to short-haul destinations over the Millennium in an effort to boost sales.
A spokesman said that prior to the price cut, it had charged an average of #650 for a two-week New Year holiday, compared with #450 in an ordinary year. The Association of British Travel Agents said that most leading travel operators were privately reporting similarly disappointing sales of Millennium breaks.
Sean Tipton, of ABTA, said: "It is not that it has been a bad year per se but hopes that the Millennium would bring bumper bookings appear to have been misjudged." He said that sales to short-haul destinations were well below expectations although demand for long-haul and upmarket holidays remained buoyant.
Mr Tipton denied that travel operators had been trying to cash in, saying the blame lay with hoteliers who were charging more for bed and board because many were paying staff bonuses to work over the New Year.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), September 11, 1999