Noel Josephides' Regular Column

Noel Josephides' Regular Column

I would think the lack of demand for holidays for this peak season must compare with that of 1995.

The difference this year is that at Sunvil we were already pretty well sold before we went into the high season so there is not so much to discount.

But, there is certainly not the scramble, on the part of the public, to grab those last few packages.

The "we'll think about it" syndrome is still strong, even well into the school holidays.

There is much speculation about how high or low prices are at the moment. Through travel agents they seem to be quite high, although this year there has been no announcement by any of the market leaders that peak prices have been increased across the board under the fluid pricing scheme.

However, prices on Teletext are still very low and, in Sunvil's areas, it is still possible to buy and sell last-minute seats at below cost.

The industry will pay dearly this year for the very high level of airport taxes which will decimate profits. Just think what a different to profitability the abolition of the £10 and £20 Air Passenger Duty would make.

This will be the year of the "accommodation provider" in the Eastern Mediterranean and not the tour operator. There has been too much capacity on the market this season. Many of the beds are committed and tour operators have been forced to discount heavily.

So, money has been paid across and more people will travel whether total capacity has been filled or not. Additionally, the full rate has been paid for the accommodation whether or not the tour operator has received full rate from the client.

Even when the war in Kosovo was in full swing, no accommodation or seat prov-ider was willing to share the burden with the tour operator.

And what of the end of August to the end of October? Two week holidays at the end of August never sell very well and the rest is in the lap of the Gods. If what we read about the capacity still left unsold is true, then it looks as if the struggle to sell will continue.

It also shows that capacity is the key. No matter how many ways of marketing a product are developed, if there is too much of it then you are stuck with the increased overheads of selling and promoting it through more channels and yet it is still unsold in the end.

Hardly anything seems to be full any more because there is just too much out there and none of the newfangled direct marketing schemes ( like telesales and the Internet) can help.

Believe me, there is a lot of hype to make us all spend more on marketing through media like the Internet. Don't those who are criticising companies like Thomson and Airtours for not having all singing and dancing Internet sites understand that the Internet may not be what it is made out to be when it comes to selling packages?

I am not impressed by the Net when it comes to helping tour operators sell inclusive tours.

But, you know what it's like, no electrician will tell you another electrician's work is good. In the same way, one Internet tout is always ready to tell you that, if you had let him design your site instead of someone else, then the bookings would be flooding in.

I would think the lack of demand for holidays for this peak season must compare with that of 1995.

The difference this year is that at Sunvil we were already pretty well sold before we went into the high season so there is not so much to discount.

But, there is certainly not the scramble, on the part of the public, to grab those last few packages.

The "we'll think about it" syndrome is still strong, even well into the school holidays.

There is much speculation about how high or low prices are at the moment. Through travel agents they seem to be quite high, although this year there has been no announcement by any of the market leaders that peak prices have been increased across the board under the fluid pricing scheme.

However, prices on Teletext are still very low and, in Sunvil's areas, it is still possible to buy and sell last-minute seats at below cost.

The industry will pay dearly this year for the very high level of airport taxes which will decimate profits. Just think what a different to profitability the abolition of the £10 and £20 Air Passenger Duty would make.

This will be the year of the "accommodation provider" in the Eastern Mediterranean and not the tour operator. There has been too much capacity on the market this season. Many of the beds are committed and tour operators have been forced to discount heavily.

So, money has been paid across and more people will travel whether total capacity has been filled or not. Additionally, the full rate has been paid for the accommodation whether or not the tour operator has received full rate from the client.

Even when the war in Kosovo was in full swing, no accommodation or seat prov-ider was willing to share the burden with the tour operator.

And what of the end of August to the end of October? Two week holidays at the end of August never sell very well and the rest is in the lap of the Gods. If what we read about the capacity still left unsold is true, then it looks as if the struggle to sell will continue.

It also shows that capacity is the key. No matter how many ways of marketing a product are developed, if there is too much of it then you are stuck with the increased overheads of selling and promoting it through more channels and yet it is still unsold in the end.

Hardly anything seems to be full any more because there is just too much out there and none of the newfangled direct marketing schemes ( like telesales and the Internet) can help.

Believe me, there is a lot of hype to make us all spend more on marketing through media like the Internet. Don't those who are criticising companies like Thomson and Airtours for not having all singing and dancing Internet sites understand that the Internet may not be what it is made out to be when it comes to selling packages?

I am not impressed by the Net when it comes to helping tour operators sell inclusive tours.

But, you know what it's like, no electrician will tell you another electrician's work is good. In the same way, one Internet tout is always ready to tell you that, if you had let him design your site instead of someone else, then the bookings would be flooding in.

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