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Published on Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Green shoots replace travel doom and gloom

The travel industry is finally showing signs of recovery, according to experts.

Two years ago, White Hart Associates senior partner Chris Photi described 2011 as the worst for overseas travel in his 33-year career and said 2012 wouldn't be much better.

At the time, he quoted one industry colleague who described the situation as "travel meltdown".

Now, Photi is seeing "green shoots…and getting the right vibes".

He said: "This year has been reasonably good, apart from July when the good weather meant no-one was thinking about booking a holiday.

"The industry in general is doing better.

"There is less negativity around the Thomas Cook position, for example, which is good news for the whole of travel.

"There is little doubt that there is a feel-good factor starting to happen.

"The financial experts are coming out saying that there are green shoots in the economy as a whole and people are starting to believe it."

Photi's enthusiasm is mirrored by C&M Recruitment, which has released details of its latest salary survey, showing earnings are on the rise (see separate story).

Sales director Barbara Kolosinska said: "Recruitment companies act as barometers for the industry and we have been hearing - and seeing - for a while now that the industry is feeling more positive.

"This ties in with the findings of our salary survey, which shows salaries are up - signifying a return to confidence in the industry.

"We've been seeing positive signs over the last few months in both leisure and business travel.

"Clients are getting busier and are regaining their confidence in recruiting staff again."

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  • Looking positive

    Anecdotally, our travel clients are reporting strong booking figures, and we"re even seeing appetite for summer 2014 come through - these are all positive signs which reflect improving consumer confidence. It also supports the findings of our Barclays Travel Forum survey which saw operators overwhelmingly confident about the outlook for their businesses, it"s been a challenging few years, but many clients have seen welcome improvement this year and this is good news for the sector. Chris Lee, Head of Travel, Barclays

    By Chris Lee, Tuesday, August 13, 2013

  • Green shoots are better than withering vines, but they don't always flower!

    I agree with Chris Photi, and another positive sign locally here in Greenwich is in the housing market. Friends of mine in real estate note very positive vibes in both sales and lettings, and we usually find that market creates positive feelings in our market too. But it isn't yet nationwide, and not yet a general recovery. Wages have gone down more here in the UK once inflation is taken into account than most other European countries, even Spain. Until the Tory Government does something to stimulate spending amongst all social classes, it could still be a 'winter of discontent' Not every green shoot becomes a healthy flower, let's pray these ones do.

    By derek small, Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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