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Madonna, Balkan Wars and other tales from Benidorm

A POSTCARD from Benidorm… Or rather from the industry’s premier conference

here on the hills outside the spiritual home of the British package holiday. It’s been a busy three days at the ITT event with many of the most senior players in the industry. Some common themes have been on the agenda – from the big issues such as airport expansion, the environment and the volcano fall-out, through to the true impact on business of the coalition government. Sometimes, however, those big issues can seem a

little out of reach. There are smaller things which every one of us can do in our working lives every day, and there were plenty of those I met at the conference who said these were the points they would be taking away with them. One was the fact that, when talking to customers,

you should always “be there” in the room with them, give them your undivided attention and find some common ground to help break the ice. TV star Ruby Wax illustrated that this is just as relevant when sell- ing holidays, as it is when you are interviewing Madonna – most of us are more likely to be dealing with the first scenario than the second, but you get the picture! There was a reminder of the importance of brand-

ing and carefully targeted marketing from Stephen Cheliotis, of the Centre for Brand Analysis. And then there was the simple but brilliant illus-

tration from Col. Bob Stewart, the commander of British forces in Bosnia in 1992, that when you’re faced with a dilemma, if you plan through your response and the potential pitfalls as simply as possible, you’ll be seriously raising your chances of overcoming it – just as he did in the Balkans war. London City airport boss Richard Gooding brought up some of the new difficulties facing the industry as a result of the policies of the Con-Lib coalition. But the bigger message from

my first ITT conference is about the sheer positivity of travel. You can throw a lot at this industry, and god knows it has been this year, but that won’t stop people from wanting to travel, and the industry from continuing to see long term growth.

Daniel Pearce Editor

02 11.06.2010

news Princess Cruises is on the ball

Pieter van der Schee, Princess Cruises head of brand marketing, and Peter Shanks, UK director, celebrate the start of the World Cup in front of outdoor cinema screens onboard Princess Cruises ships, which will show matches live via satellite from South Africa. World Cup report, p7 and cruise news, p20

World Cup. Tourism boost is final goal p7 South African Tourism will kick off a trade campaign after the World Cup to offset the expected downturn in tourist numbers caused by the tournament

Business travel.

Continental fam launch p9 Continental Airlines is beginning a programme of agent fam trips fol- lowing the introduction of new flatbed business-class seats on all its flights from Heathrow to New York Newark and Houston

Ftse fall. City shows Cook support p14 City analysts have backed Thomas Cook despite the tour operator losing its coveted place in the Ftse 100 list of top shares

Entertainment. Cruise line’s Dream deal p18 Cartoon characters such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda will begin appearing on Royal Caribbean’s ships from December


Safety. Cameras to spot ash p20 Using infra-red cameras to detect ash in the atmosphere could make volcanic eruptions no more hazardous than thunderstorms, easyJet has predicted

Green tourism. Virgin’s eco selection p22 Virgin Holidays has become the first mainstream tour operator to produce a programme based on holidays ranked by their environ- mental and social impact

Sales strategy. Cosmos in trade focus p24 Cosmos is “reconnecting” with agents by building up its new trade sales team, which will look after all the company’s brands


City & finance p14 Comment p16 Cruise p18 Air p20 Operators p22 Letters p28

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