Top earning consumers continue to book high value holidays with companies prepared to “go the extra mile” for them, according to a travel accountancy firm.
They are looking for more than just a package holiday and are often “financially sophisticated,” booking with niche providers they feel understand them well. This type of holiday cannot normally be replicated in a mass-market operation.
The trend has emerged after Elman Wall Travel Accountants, which audits almost 100 travel companies with a cumulative turnover of more than £1 billion, canvassed a “wide variety” of specialists following their 2010 results.
The company said it received “convincing feedback” that, for many, the travel market is showing very healthy signs.
Managing director Jonathan Wall said he was hearing positive news about a healthy 2011 and beyond.
“It is clear from media comment that much of the mass-market, high-volume, low-margin travel industry has had better times, but they do not represent the entire industry,” he said.
“Many of our clients enjoy good margins, make decent profits and are in niche sectors. They are experts at what they do, add value to a traveller’s experience – and, crucially, price is not a key factor in the booking process.
“Those companies which are enjoying strong, if not record, years are somewhat bemused at hearing how tough the market is, seemingly, for the entire travel industry.
He added: “Yes, the economy is still shaky, consumer confidence is low and there is nervousness about interest rates rising, but that doesn’t mean that quality travel businesses cannot and are not making healthy profits.”
There was “lots of evidence” of well-run businesses doing well.
“Those who are moaning the loudest are bigger concerns, needing to find tens of thousands of additional bookings, but many niche specialists need only find another few hundred more bookings to add significantly to their bottom line,” said Wall.
“Clearly, not everyone is in this position, but let’s recognise that there are many success stories out there at the moment and not simply talk the whole industry down.”
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