• Tourism industry

Travel Weekly, 2 January 2019: More than 5m holidays expected to be booked in January
As many as 5.2 million people are expected to book holidays this month – but the majority fail to consider financial protection, new research by Atol found. This Saturday (January 5) – dubbed ‘Sunshine Saturday’ – will kick start a month of peak holiday booking. The price of the getaway is still the number one factor when booking holidays, with 35% admitting they are looking to grab a bargain by booking their next holiday early. Link


Travel Weekly, 28 December 2018: ABTA encourages early bookings
Price, extra choice and having more time to look forward to your holiday are among the “driving factors” encouraging travellers to book early, Abta says. The Travel Association commissioned YouGov to produce a study which found that 41% of people said the reason to book early was because they feel they bag a better deal. Results also suggested that 28% of people believe they get more choice by booking early, and that one in four people book early so they have more time to look forward to their holiday and daydream about new places to discover, the weather, local food and drink and time to relax. Link

Travel Mole, 31 December 2018: French company buys majority stake in Gatwick Airport  
A French company is to buy a 50.01% stake in Gatwick Airport for £2.9 billion. French operator Vinci Airports is part of infrastructure group Vinci, which took Airports Worldwide earlier this year, including Belfast International and stakes in 12 US airports. The other 49.99% stake in Gatwick will be managed by current owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). The deal is set to complete in the first half of 2019 and will make Gatwick the largest airport in Vinci’s network. Link


Travel Mole, 27 December 2018: Travel businesses urged to do more to build trust over data  
Travel companies are being urged to do more to prove they can be trusted with people’s data if they want to build confidence among customers. The call comes from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)’s travel group after research revealed most consumers still don’t think businesses treat their data in an honest and transparent way, despite the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May. Link


Travel Weekly, 4 January 2019: Operators slash package prices by up to a third during peaks   
Summer 2019 holiday package prices in the turn of year peaks have been slashed by more than a third in a bid to attract early bookings, it is claimed. Rates are down by as much as 36% for a week in the Portuguese Algarve to encourage people who tend to book last minute to grab a bargain now. Many prices across key destinations in the Mediterranean are also lower than those on offer this time last year, including: Zante, down 31%; Costa Brava, down 28%; Costa del Sol, down 17%; Majorca, down 13%; Costa Dorada, down 9% and Crete and Corfu, down 7%. Link


  • Brexit

Travel Weekly, 4 January 2019: Brexit uncertainty likely to remain until March 29th    
January may not bring clarity senior figures warn. The industry cannot expect certainty around Brexit but should be prepared for bumps in the road and ready for all eventualities. Link


  • Airlines

Buying Business Travel, 3 January 2019: Ryanair granted UK certificate   
The Civil Aviation Authority has issued Ryanair with a UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC), giving it the right to operate a UK airline. The Irish carrier applied for the AOC in December 2017, saying it would allow the company to continue operating flights from the UK after Brexit. CEO Michael O’Leary has long spoken out against Brexit, once threatening to ground Ryanair flights after the UK left the EU to persuade British voters to ‘rethink’ their decision. Link


Travel Weekly, 24 December 2018: BA deploys virtual reality to tempt passengers to upgrade    
British Airways is trialling virtual reality technology at Heathrow Terminal 5 check-in desks to encourage passengers to upgrade to long-haul business class. Travellers are being given a 360° tour of the airline’s Club World cabin so they can choose to upgrade their seat. The virtual reality headsets are being supplied by tech start-up Skylights, which is part of BA parent company International Airline Group’s Hangar 51 start-up accelerator scheme. Link


Travel Mole, 2 January 2019: Finnair to add extra flights from Heathrow     
Finnair will add an extra daily flight to its London Heathrow to Helsinki service for the summer. Starting on March 31, the additional flights will boost capacity by more than 20% a day. In addition, Finnair will further increase its capacity on the London route by replacing its single aisle A320 flights with a wide-bodied Airbus A330, offering more seats and greater comfort. Link


  • Travellers and travel agents

Travel Weekly, 31 December 2018: Tui defends online discounts after criticism in Channel 4 documentary      
Tui says a Channel 4 television documentary criticising its online discounts is “not representative” of its pricing. Supershoppers, which screened the Sales Special episode on December 28 and was repeated on December 31, analysed what it called ‘mysterious’ Tui discount offers. Presenters Anna Richardson and Sabrina Grant looked at ten discounts and found that in seven cases the prices were more than in the original printed brochure. Link


TTG, 31 December 2018: Air passenger satisfaction drops again as north-south divide revealed       
The authority’s latest UK Aviation Consumer Survey, its sixth over the past two years, found consumer satisfaction has fallen from 83% to 82% since April, and is down from 90% since 2016. Moreover, the latest survey found a growing divide in attitudes between those living in the north of England and Northern Ireland and those in London, the south east and West Midlands. Link


  • Competitors

Travel Weekly, 3 January 2019: Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey back on holidaymakers’ radar for summer 2019       
Countries in North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean previously suffering from terrorist attacks are firmly back on the radar for summer 2019 holidays. Analysis of search data by price comparison site TravelSupermarket reveals a resurgence of interest in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. Link


Travel Weekly, 3 January 2019: Cyprus appoints first minister for tourism        
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation has been abolished, and replaced by the country’s first dedicated ministry of tourism. Tourism was previously part of a wider ministerial portfolio that also covered energy, commerce and industry. Savvas Perdios has been appointed as deputy minister for tourism, with his title reflecting constitutional constraints on the permitted number of ministries in Cyprus, said a report by Bloomberg. Link


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