A week that could see the highest-ever July temperatures in the UK is the last thing the industry wants as the school holidays start.

With so much capacity left to sell, travel agents were hoping for a strong lates market, albeit at slimmer margins than desired.

Thomas Cook’s new campaign to spur those yet to book into action might well inspire some. It might also serve to reassure those consumers who have seen the company hit the headlines in recent weeks, as they will see it as a sign of renewed confidence that a financial lifeline has been found.

In fact, a friend’s daughter is currently on a Thomas Cook holiday in Zante this week. She had previously asked me if I thought it was ‘safe’ for her to travel with Cook, given what she’d read. But she messaged last night, having seen its adverts on TV, to say: “I see Thomas Cook are ok again. Phew!”

Marketing can be extremely powerful. It’s often the first thing to be cut when times are hard. But it’s the key thing to maintain to ensure you get your share of whatever business is out there, as one Essex agency found this week.

Trying to win a £500 marketing budget from Jet2holidays, Waltham Abbey Travel staff stripped off to grab attention. Not only did they secure the funds, they also raised the profile of the agency…and are the talk of the town.

Whether it be a multimillion-pound campaign or a cheeky stunt, standing out from the crowd is undoubtedly key to winning favour and market share.

Comment from Travel Weekly, July 25 edition

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