Holidays `worth pounds 10bn by 2009'
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 27 January 1997
Thomson traditionally has about 30 per cent of the inclusive tour market, but has lost market share on advance bookings for the forthcoming summer season, which accounts for four-fifths of its business. Figures for sales since brochures were launched last summer suggest that Airtours, Britain's second-largest operator, is narrowing the gap on Thomson. Airtours, which launched its programme ahead of Thomson, has gained a couple of points to 19 per cent, while Thomson has slipped back to 29 per cent.
Overall, about 9 million people are expected to take a package holiday from Britain this summer - the same as last year. After a disastrous summer in 1995, in which the top 30 tour operators collectively lost pounds 10m, capacity has been reduced and prices increased.
Richard Bowden-Doyle, Thomson's deputy managing director, said last-minute "Square Deal" holidays had declined from 20 per cent to below 10 per cent of Thomson's business, and called for the industry to reduce such offers still further: "Square Deals have no place in the market place. They must be killed stone dead."
Spain remains the most popular destination for British package holidaymakers. The Dominican Republic has seen an increase in visitor numbers of 50 per cent over the past year, and has overtaken Florida as the leading long- haul destination among Thomson customers.
The company believes, however, that most travellers will remain conservative in their choice of destination. Predicting holidaymakers' habits in 2009, Mr Bowden-Doyle said: "Never mind all this nonsense about Vietnam and Lebanon - they'll all go to Spain."
Yet evidence from a travel fair in London at the weekend suggests that tourists' horizons are expanding. When the Independent Traveller's World exhibition closed last night, the organisers said visitor numbers had increased by a quarter on the same event last year to 15,000. Helen Caldwell, exhibition director, said: "Our experience shows people are desperate for information on places other than Spain."
- 1 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 'Killer robots' with AI must be banned, urge Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky and thousands of others in open letter
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Israel accused of killing 75 children during day of 'carnage' and war crimes in Gaza war
Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Labour leadership contest: I would never quit the party, says Liz Kendall
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250...
£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...
£12500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...