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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: GLOBAL ROCKS


The Global Travel Group welcomed 175 agents to its second Global Rocks festival. Samantha Mayling reports from Cheshire


From left: Michael Young-Richards,


Celebrity Cruises; Kerry Lakey, Savannah Travel; Emma Casburn, Infinite Travel;


Leighann Morgan, Opulent Travel Services; and Andy Stark, Global Travel Group


Global Travel agents ‘catch up’ in June after ‘slow start’ to the year


A flurry in the lates market after a “slow first quarter” has helped Global Travel Group members trade healthily in a challenging year.


Chief executive Andy Stark said nearly half (47%) of all bookings currently being made were still for this summer, but many customers were also looking at autumn and 2020 travel. “It’s a late market, a bit unusual,” he said. “No one is


really buoyant or amazing, but we are level with last year. No one is significantly down or up. The wider marketplace is down – but we’re not seeing a fall.” Stark said volumes for June were up 14% year on year, “some of which is catching up on a slow first quarter, and lots are lates”. Cruise was 20% up year on year in June, he added,


“even though some cruise lines say business is tough” and said members who had found a niche in the touring market had had success.


30 11 JULY 2019


Stark also warned that family bookings are coming in late, but margins were “not significant”. He said domestic operators were 20% up this year. “Perhaps as more people are taking shorter breaks and people are hanging on before booking another [overseas] holiday,” Stark suggested. He said Brexit “is always there” but had not had a major impact on bookings. Stark added “doom and gloom on the high street” in other sectors was an opportunity for Global homeworkers to move into retail premises. “Availability on the high street is good for us,” he said. “Cafes and travel agencies have a great opportunity. Premises are cheaper and leases are not so long. “But we need the government to support retailers on the


high street with subsidies on rates and tax. It’s looking good for travel agents who are prepared to work out of hours and on weekends and go out to their community and have a good presence on the high street.”


travelweekly.co.uk


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