We take a look through the Travel Weekly archives in our 50th year to find out what was making the making the headlines 10, 25 and 45 years ago…
• Travel Weekly columnist Maureen Hill fronted a new pressure group, Maureen’s Fight Against Fraud, backed by industry anti-fraud group Profit, to urge the government to do more to fight agency fraud after a case at her Dorset agency Travel Angels.
• Speaking at a Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry Group, TTA Worldchoice managing director Simon Hargreaves said agents had an “irrational fear of the internet”, heightened by the recession.
• But the recession was not all bad news, according to a People1st study of the labour market. While travel agents were in decline, the number of people seeking jobs had increased by more than 50% in the past year and there was a renewed focus on training and higher rates of staff retention. New editor Karen Dempsey, in her first column for Travel Weekly, said this showed there was a sunny side to the current economic gloom.
• Meanwhile, former Cadogan Holidays managing director Tom Allen said the effects of the recession would last 10 years and the Thomas Cook Group placed 77 Dublin-based staff in shops and at brands Direct Holidays, Sunworld and Panorama under consultation over possible redundancies.
• Thomas Cook launched a three‑month trial of its ‘revolutionary’ information and booking system – a mobile travel kiosk – at its Marble Arch branch. Customers could connect to a sales consultant via a video telephone link by inserting a credit card.
• Air Miles planned to roll out its loyalty programme across Safeway supermarkets following its buyout by British Airways.
• In his ‘View from the North’, columnist Andrew Dickson said his shop had reaped the rewards of a last-minute decision to open on bank holiday Monday.
• Panorama managing director Justin Fleming opted to remain as chairman of Abta’s Tour Operators’ Council for at least another year, while Lunn Poly predicted the cruise market would be worth more than the winter package holiday market by 2000.
• The idea of British Airways taking a stake in Thomas Cook was again being mooted in Whitehall circles. Talks had been going on for some time about ways of co-operating on tour operating.
• On the opinion page, readers were urged to buy Tourism: Blessing or Blight?, a 40p book predicting the future of travel in 2000. The book warned agents were vulnerable and suggested Tesco, Woolworths and Marks & Spencer could all be selling inclusive tours by the end of the decade.
• Meanwhile, Cosmos lost its long battle to run a series of low-cost coach tours, while Thomson chief Gordon Brunton warned the industry faced a tough time ahead. Thomson reported total bookings for winter 1972-73 and summer 1973 up by 50% to 800,000 but a fall in profits from £1.2 million to £553,000 on turnover of £56.7 million.
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