Hotels should offer more long-term discounts to stimulate the forward bookings market, Bales Worldwide managing director Mandy Nickerson has said.
The recession has turned travel into a lates market, she said. "Hotels are only doing short-term offers, not long-term. If hotels would give us some strong offers, it would help us get the forward-booking market back."
Speaking at a Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry Group event, Nickerson said customers are shopping around far more than before, typically going to seven places for a quote rather than three.
"I believe we are going into unchartered waters. Customers are being cautious but there will be the 'sod it' factor. I would question whether people will downgrade their holiday - if they are used to a certain standard of living at home, they won't want something inferior on holiday."
It is more important than ever to work with trusted business partners, she added. "The honeymoon is over - you need to work out which business partners will support you."
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