We take a look through the Travel Weekly archives in our 50th year to find out what was making the headlines 10, 25 and 45 years ago
• Operators such as Somak Holidays and Inghams pulled programmes as the recession continued to bite, while fears rose about a bookings backlash in the cruise sector as a result of a spate of negative publicity: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden; P&O Cruises’ Aurora broke down in Auckland (pictured) ; and a passenger was injured when MSC Fantasia’s gangway collapsed in Palma, Majorca.
• In her weekly column, Maureen Hill moaned about TripAdvisor costing her “time and money” as clients demanded different hotels based on the website’s reviews.
• Analyst Mintel warned the trade of a tough year ahead following the 2008 financial crash and an ‘Aldi effect’ as consumers looked for cheaper holidays, out-of-season breaks, camping and all-inclusive trips. The decline of the package holiday was also described as “much exaggerated” by the analyst’s latest survey, with revenue from packages reaching record levels in 2007.
• Travel Weekly’s front page this week carried stories about rumours Airtours was looking at acquiring Unijet and speculation that American Express was interested in buying Thomas Cook’s foreign exchange division.
• Airlines worldwide were reported to have lost millions following a wave of mortar attacks at Heathrow and bomb warnings at Gatwick. British Midland, which was forced to cancel nine flights from Heathrow, said the cost of insuring against terrorist attacks was too high.
• On the operators/agents page, it was reported that Aito (then the Association of Independent Tour Operators) was facing an unexpected £15,000 tax bill on the previous year’s income. Treasurer Stephen Rhodes said: “We are trying to find ways of getting around paying the tax, but it looks likely we will have to.” Meanwhile, members were asked to pay £50 each to cover the cost of reprinting the association’s directory that year as there were only 8,000 copies left.
• As predicted the previous week, former Global managing director Sydney Perez was announced MD of Halcyon Horizon, which had recently been renamed from Halcyon Holidays. John Blomfield, a director of Court Line and Court Leisure, was named chairman of Halcyon Horizon and all Court group’s tour operations, which included Clarksons and Owners’ Services Limited.
• A creditors’ meeting heard the old Horizon Holidays, now in voluntary liquidation and renamed HH Realisations, had a £3.3 million deficit. The meeting, presided over by founder Vladimir Raitz, heard the UK package holiday company’s carryings had been declining since its peak of 178,000 in 1970. The company published an ad in Travel News explaining it had no choice but to fold.
• The UK was criticised for snubbing trade fair ITB in Berlin by the president of the German Travel Agents’ Association, Hans Junges. The British Tourist Authority said the UK did want to increase traffic to the country, but had to allocate budgets where it achieved the biggest returns.
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