This time last year, the Berlin terror attack cast a shadow over the festive period. Fortunately, no such incident has yet occurred this time round, but 2017 has not been without tragedy – from the Manchester Arena bombing to the van attack in Barcelona where tourists were the target.
Early in the year, the inquests into 30 Tui customers shot dead on a beach in Sousse in 2015 shone a spotlight on the industry’s role in advising and protecting customers while on holiday, prompting new policies to be implemented by the UK’s leading operators.
We have had to say goodbye to some much-loved brands in 2017. The collapse of Monarch was described as a “tragedy” and a “disaster”, but it also raised serious concerns – yet to be allayed – about the Atol scheme.
We also said a final goodbye to the Thomson name as the UK’s biggest holiday firm rebranded to Tui.
Major legislative changes due in 2018 have kept the industry busy, grappling with the challenges that will come with the ban on card fees in January and GDPR in May.
This year has also been a year of positives, with the launch of the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers set up in response to a growing appetite for this market. All the indications are that this will continue well into 2018.
Travel Weekly also set up its Fight Fake Claims campaign. Complementing Abta’s own initiative, this saw the number of sickness claims fall, and the government has vowed to clamp down on rogue claims management firms.
So, as we get ready for Christmas and the New Year, I wish all our readers a restful festive period before the busy January peaks kickstart a hopefully prosperous 2018.
Comment from Travel Weekly 21 December
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