Travel firms launch 1995 price cuts

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The Independent Online
TRAVEL companies fired their first shots in the battle for the 1995 summer holiday market yesterday, writes Russell Hotten.

Although shares in Airtours and Owners Abroad came under pressure, few in the holiday industry expect a price war.

'Last year was bad for Owners because of poorly priced holidays, but we expect the firms to get their prices right for next year,' a leisure analyst said.

Travel agents are expected to sell 9 million overseas holidays this summer, 13 per cent up on last year.

Airtours said bookings this year were 42 per cent ahead of last, helped by the acquisition of the Aspro travel business. It said it had cut pounds 10m from the cost of family holidays.

Thomson yesterday launched a family brochure offering tens of thousands of children-go-free holidays. It aims to lure early bookers with the promise of 600,000 bargain breaks.

Lunn Poly and AT Mays countered with discounts off next summer's brochure prices. Lunn Poly raised a previously announced 11 per cent cut to 12 per cent off all overseas summer 1995 holidays; Going Places last night responded with cuts of up to 13 per cent. Thomas Cook announced discounts of 11 per cent across the board.