Comment: Is red tape strangling travel's bright sparks?

Comment: Is red tape strangling travel's bright sparks?

Hats off to Qwerty Travel owner Matt Somers. He has been so frustrated by the quality and attitude of people applying to join his business that he has decided to put his money where his mouth is.

Convinced that there must be untapped talent out there, he is offering cash and advice in his quest to recruit or support an energetic entrepreneur to help him double the size of his growing online travel agency.

And he’s not the only one. has launched a similar search for the next bright young thing. Eat your heart out, Lord Sugar!

But as Matt said to me: “I’m sure there were more youngsters around 10 years ago who had the drive and ambition, but I’m having no luck finding them these days.”

Do they really not exist any more, or is this merely a sign of the times, as White Hart Associates partner Chris Photi believes?

Writing in Travel Weekly this week, he suggests bright young sparks, who should be the lifeblood of the travel industry, are put off by excessive regulation.

Burdensome rules are proving a massive barrier to entry for the fresh-thinking risk-takers the sector arguably needs and was once full of.

We must fashion an industry that keeps out the undesirables but encourages and nurtures the innovators of tomorrow.

With the government currently poring over the trade’s views on the future of consumer protection, it’s vital we don’t miss this opportunity to get the balance right.


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