Published on Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More failures to come, warn travel experts





Travel experts are predicting further travel company failures in light of the Goldtrail collapse.

Caroline Bremner, global travel and tourism manager for Euromonitor International, said: “The significance of Goldtrail's failure is not down to its size as its customers represent less than one per cent of UK outbound departures. Instead, its demise is a warning sign to other travel companies that the industry is not out of the woods yet.

"The company's failure comes at a time when [Euromonitor believes] the UK outbound volumes will decline further by 6% this year to reach 55 million and positive growth will not return until 2012.”

Nick Harris, head of Holiday and Travel Law at Simpson Millar LLP in Manchester, believes Goldtrail won’t be the only company to go under this year.

“Although a growing number of small holiday firms have gone belly up, the peak of the holiday season usually goes some way in postponing these failures,” he said.

“It is usually in the autumn when travel firms go bust. The timing of the Goldtrail failure is concerning but I doubt it will be the only travel business to face closure in 2010.”

He also believes the company’s demise heralds the end of the dynamic package.

“The collapse of holiday firm Goldtrail will almost certainly put a nail in the coffin of the ‘dynamic packaging’ concept,” he said.

“Dynamic packaging was created to feed the hunger for cheap, no frills travel. However, many customers are unaware that some of these cheap providers are not accredited by ATOL, ABTA or the CAA which can have disastrous results if the company fails, as happened with XL last year.

“My advice to travellers is to avoid dynamic packaging where possible, or make sure that providers are accredited and have a solid reputation.

“Saving a few pounds can be a false economy in the long run and that cheap getaway can quickly turn into a holiday from hell.”





By Bev Fearis


 






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  • Experts

    "More failures to come, warn travel experts" Please tell me a year when we have not had failures. Maybe that was before 1977 when I started. Experts ? give me strength

    By Nick Cooper, Thursday, July 22, 2010

  • Positive growth????

    Could Caroline Bremner please explain the difference between "positive growth" and other kinds of growth?

    By Gilbert Archdale, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

  • Holiday Ownership

    Consider the 6 Million Holiday Owners, Worldwide. Having Secured our Accommodations,surely if our right to Fly with Budget Airlines..

    By Malcolm Brownson, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

  • Protect the customer

    Crucially the customer should be guided and advised through their purchases, whether they arrange their DP travel / holidays over the counter or on the web. Financial protection is and has been available for the Dynamically Packaged holiday buyer via many forward thinking travel insurance providers. It seems that this message is still not getting across to the vast majority of DP customers.

    By Jeff Rush, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • What is Dyanamic Packaging

    I suppose it really depends on what you mean by Dynamic Packaging. As the leading gay and lesbian tour operator in the UK, Amro Worldwide dynamically packages holidays and then sells onto to the customer under our ATOL Protection. Result win for customer, win for us and the cost is just a few pounds more. Where it goes wrong is when the customer tries to self-dynamically package or the tour operator, travel agent or airline deliberately seeks to create a package in such a way as to avoid regulation and responsibility when it all goes wrong. Sadly the media did not make as much of the fact that Goldtrail was an ATOL holder and most of its customer would get their money back or repatriated free of charge. But then good news really isn't news !!

    By Andrew Roberts, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • The end of DIY?

    I can assure you all that the airlines are on the chopping block for this one - that is why they have been out in force in Brussels - they don't want to be brought into a new PTD environment! The simple fact is that the new Package Travel Directive appears that it will incorporate the DIY element into all its provisions, which is why the airline industry is concerned as is so-called DIY operators. They would all prefer the debate to stay in the UK and around the ATOL/CAA case arguments - I am happy to report, that is the side-show. As for informing consumers of their position, we have long advocated that and this is a point taken very much onboard by the EU Commission. If the industry is all for Consumer information, so that they understand the implications of not being covered, partially covered by ATOL or not covered by the PTR then why doesn't it create 'key facts' documentation just before the point of sale, or is that a step too far?

    By Frank Brehany, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • Supplier Failure Cover

    Supplier Failure Cover costs about £5 per passenger, and should be offered on any reputable dynamic packaging booking journey, that doesn't offer cover under ATOL/ABTA/CAA accreditation.

    By Adam Parsons, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • Goldtrail is a warning

    It is not the end of dynamic packaging, but it is a wake up call for many agents and customers who have fallen into the trap of thinking this is the only way forward. Many, possibly hundreds of agents, have been buying seats and adding accommodation from another source to make up the'holiday.' They fail to pass on the ATOL Invoice from the ATOL holder and are about to discover that sending a copy of the invoice now is too late and the CAA will not pay out. Customers in many cases claim the first they heard of Goldtrail was a phone call from their agent over the weekend to tell them they needed to buy new flights. If you want to dynamic package, do so but with full knowledge and full disclosure to the customer of the risks being taken. those agents who bought on an ATOL to ATOL basis have discovered they have to pay to bring their customers home, its not quite as easy as some of them thought.

    By Alan Bowen, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • Dynamic Packaging Financial Protection

    Crucially the customer should be guided and advised through their purchases, whether they arrange their DP travel / holidays over the counter or on the web. Financial protection is and has been available for the Dynamically Packaged holiday buyer via many forward thinking travel insurance providers. All our Gold travel insurance policies and Business Travel policies for individuals or corporations carry trip / holiday financial protection. It seems that this message is still not getting across to the vast majority of DP customers.

    By Jeff Rush, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • The end of DIY Travel?

    I doubt it! There is too much hunger for profit and a quest for deregulation! Fear not, help is at hand through the review of the Package Travel Directive! Much work has/is being done on the issue of so-called DIY holidays - the time is coming when they will be incorporated into the new Package Travel Directive! Until that time the EU Commission should run a similar campaign to its EU Passenger Rights, warning of the perils of DIY arrangements! In the meantime distraction is served via the recent CAA failed case and the 'victory' achieved, the message being, the future's bright, the future's DIY! Those supporting the 'victory' should remember that there are more concerned zealots about than they realise, who will ensure that the UK Consumer experience will be delivered to Brussels & Westminster!

    By Frank Brehany, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  • dynamic packaging

    End of dynamic packaging.......i hope someone has told easyjet, ryanair etc etc...to paraphrase..it's not the end..it's not even the beginning of the end...might be end of the beginning though !! Mr Harris you dont know what you are talking about.. DP is here to stay

    By andy brewer, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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