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Travel Trade Gazette 13.03.2014 TTGDIGITAL.COM


Pippa Jacks Editor


to make money, but travel people will still normally agree it’s the best industry in the world. The satisfaction of selling people’s dreams, and


N


occasionally fulfilling your own, means most travel professionals would not contemplate doing anything else. To hear one of the trade’s best-known figures declare


that he has “had enough of travel”, then, shows just how frustrated On Holiday Group boss Steve Endacott has become with the pressures facing the industry. The collapse of OHG Accommodation last Friday


came as a surprise to many, with few foreseeing how bitter-sweet the Medhotels VAT ruling would be for the bed bank (see page 5). Yet it’s no secret how tight margins in the bed bank


sector are, and even if HMRC had returned the £4.5 million to OHG months ago, the fact remains that this was a business operating on perilously tight margins. Agents have inevitably been concerned that more


accommodation-only suppliers could go the same way as Holiday Brokers, but it seems stronger cash-flow has enabled other bed banks to play the waiting game with HMRC, and could now see sizeable rebates. As Martin Alcock predicts on page 25, its demise may


even release a “pressure valve” in the bed bank sector, easing business for the remaining players in the market. Knowing Steve, it won’t be too long before he comes


back with another new venture. A rematch in the ferociously competitive game of bed banks, however, seems very unlikely indeed.


Young blood Mr Endacott may have “had enough” of travel, but TTG’s Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders could not feel more differently. They gathered this week for an audience with arguably the most important man in travel – Tui’s Peter Long (page 7). If you’re feeling frustrated yourself, why not make contact with this dynamic bunch. They’ll soon remind you just why you love working in travel too...


It’s easy to get in touch – you can email me pjacks@ttgdigital.com– or tweet me at twitter.com/philippajacks


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Partner of WTM 2014 ttgdigital.com/wtm


04 NEWS.


10 Conference report: News from around the world revealed at ITB Berlin 12 TTG Interview: Hurtigruten’s managing director Kathryn Beadle on her six years at the helm 14 City: Pegasus is in talks with airports as it eyes route expansion 16 Cruise: Agents should do more to highlight different types of ships, argues Fred Olsen’s Nathan Philpot 18 The week in travel:Making pizzas in Italy with G Adventures, and a chance to win Hotel Chocolat goodies with All Leisure Group 20 Luxury Travel: If Only launches an Indian Ocean romance campaign


22 INTELLIGENCE.


Euromonitor research: Reduced travel times created by HS2 linking London and Birmingham could have a huge impact on tourism


24TALK.


25 Martin Alcock on OHG Accommodations’s collapse and the “brutal” bed banks sector: “It’s where ‘differentiation’ is virtually impossible and where only the leanest producer survives.”


26TOOLKIT.


26 Get Ahead: We investigate the interview process to be a Redcoat at Butlin’s –one of TheSunday Times’ best companies to work for 29 Technology: Genesys’ Paul Richer charts the rise of “digilution” in travel 30 Selling Power: Chloe Cann meets a young agent who’s already making a big impression at Regal Travel 31 Good Business: Follow these top tips to staying healthy at work 32 Mystery Shopper:Who impresses in Wakefield with a Gozo enquiry?


35 FEATURES.


35 On Our Radar: Katherine Lawrey meets Canada’s Signature Experiences to talk bears and Northern Lights 37Malta, Italy & Med Islands: Top tips for travelling to Italy and around by rail; why Gozo is keeping it real; plus Updates 47 Holiday Essentials: First Luggage adds VIP service; epteca lends a hand with clients’ holiday shopping; Avis talks trade relations; plus car hire in Barcelona and Lisbon reviewed


26 TTGina with all the latest gossip


56GETAWAY. 13.03.2014 03 37


obody would claim this industry is an easy one in which


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