Does anyone have any clients in Mexico at the moment? If not, do you have any clients about to go? Are they worried about the outbreak of swine flu? We are interested to hear what's happening.
What's your take on the swine flu situation after the weekend?
Has it all been a bit over-hyped? What are your customers saying? Are they just staying away from Mexico, or are they worried about travelling in general?
Without a doubt. I've spoken to several people who have returned from Mexico where it was business as ususual. I'm afraid it's another case of the press creating mass hysteria - handy distraction for the government though! We've all forgotten about sleaze and expenses.
Or at least we had forgotten about expenses until Gordon Brown paying his brother £6,000 for cleaning came out!
Being a journalist I feel honour bound to defend the press on this one. There has been a lot of coverage and rightly so I believe. This is something that people want to read about and travel agents surely need to know as much as possible about it in order to best advise their customers who will naturally be worried.
But the weather is perhaps a bigger threat to the industry than swine flu this summer according to On Holiday Group boss - http://tinyurl.com/p936g5
Any thoughts anyone?
Hi Rupert and welcome to the hub. I agree that journalists' responsibilities are to provide agents with accurate information that will help with customer questions.
As for the weather, good to see Steve's predictions but making predictions about the British weather? Does he know more than the rest of us? I know the Met office has predicted a hot one - be interesting to see if the promise of a hot summer really does affect customer buying decisions.
We shall see . . .
I think Steve and the rest of the travel industry have to take their lead from the Met Office for weather predictions, which believes, as you say Martin, that Britain can expect a hot one this summer.
But whether or not the summer turns out to be hot is not necessarily the point. Speaking to The Times recently public weather service manager at the Met Office Pat Boyle said even vague weather predictions have an impact on retail markets. The same piece said supermarkets like Tesco will alter their stock purchasing based on weather predictions - surely travel is the retail market most impacted by weather.
As carrentals.co.uk reported today, domestic operators are doing brilliantly and therefore one must assume that outbound operators are losing some of their customers. Cottages4u, for example, said it's bookings soared this weekend and it puts it down to the Met office prediction.
So even the suggestion of a hot summer, it could be argued, will and already is, altering consumer behaviour and will therefore affect the conversations front line agents are having with their customers.
I quite agree with your analysis. Be good to hear what agents have to say and what they are seeing in shops.
I think the warm weather will only have a limited impact on holiday bookings. Just because it's good weather doesn't mean people don't want to get out of the UK, travel and see new places.
Seems to me people might book domestic breaks as little extras but still take their main holiday abroad. I will anyway!
I also agree...After all buiness class flights are still on going into this country from mexico city...If it was that bad as the WHO has made it out to be (WHY)(Sorry to say also the Media) have they only stop tour flights....The amarican sare still flying to mexico via Stanford airport in orlando....And ware do Our pasenger enbark to go to Disney land....Do they not mix with fellow amaricans travling back from cancun...it was first reproted the the WHO by the Mexican goverment way back in April..And the MEDIA makeing a meal out of ONCE again have gone way over the top once again and CREATING MASS HYSTERIA again just to make a quick buck...And if they say diferent i have only saw one very small snipet about the swine fever in the last five days on the main news...Has it died a death all of a sudden as other new news is worth more money to line there pockets...
i agree seaangler! it was all over the news and now it is really quiet because they are now too busy doing stories about MPs expenses- don't know how much damage it has done to everyones bookings though.
WHO has just reported around 35,000 confirmed cases in 76 countries with around 170 deaths. Whew spreads too fast.