If there’s a sure-fire way to annoy customers, it’s having to tell them that their holiday is going to cost more than the price they’ve agreed – and already paid.

So I really feel for agents with clients booked to travel to Barbados, who are now having to warn them that they are going to face a hastily implemented check-out charge from their hotels that could amount to nearly £200 for a typical 12-night stay.

Good on Sandals for agreeing to absorb the tax, which comes into play from this Sunday and applies to existing as well as new bookings. But clearly not all hoteliers, operators and Caribbean specialist agents have the resources to do the same.

It’s obvious that the new government in Barbados has a huge job to do to make ends meet, and funds have to come from somewhere. But rushing through taxes that hit customers who have the choice to vote with their feet in the future could well end up not delivering the results it is hoping for.

Talking of results, it was interesting to see the trade reaction – or more to the point, the relative lack of one – to England’s positive start to the World Cup.

Not long ago, the combination of England progressing in a major competition and a country-wide heatwave would have had the outbound trade sweating on a potentially disastrous summer for sales.

It says a lot about the evolution of the industry and its customers that the sun is shining and the team are moving on without a flood of discount messages as a backdrop.

Comment from Travel Weekly, June 28 edition