Abta chairman Noel Josephides identified “reasons to be cheerful” as he addressed his first Travel Convention since his election at the end of June.
Josephides referred to the summer protests in Turkey and said: “We cannot take the continuing health of any destination for granted. What happens in the world impacts on our industry immediately.”
But he added: “There are reasons to be cheerful looking forward to 2014. It’s clear just how robust our industry has become.”
Josephides confirmed Travel Weekly’s report last week that Abta members had posted record revenue: “The collective turnover of our members, at £31.5 billion a year, is at its highest ever.”
He said: “We should pat ourselves on the back. We saw the best early season for years after a very promising start to the New Year, before the [summer] heatwave impacted on late sales.
“The resurgence of the package holiday continues, with Abta reporting 46% of consumers who took an overseas holiday in the past 12 months booked a package.”
Josephides added: “In May, VisitEngland launched a domestic tourism campaign, this time with the trade, which appears to have paid off. I hope the government is now coming to understand that domestic and outbound tourism do not have to work against one another.”
“And we’ve seen the introduction of Flight-Plus and Atol certificates without impacting our businesses.”
He sought to reassure anyone concerned by discussion of further Atol reform and moves to revise the Package Travel Directive, insisting: “Nothing will change before 2017 and Abta is working hard to ensure any changes are as palatable as possible. I urge you not to worry.”
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