Government backing was bittersweet A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

The government’s confirmation last week that Atol protection on package holiday bookings extended to refund credit notes was a bittersweet moment for many (page 4). The announcement and long-awaited CAA guidance was seen as vindication for those forced to create a scheme they acknowledged wasn’t perfect or desirable but was a potential lifeline for many in the industry facing a complete shutdown of business. It will also have come as a huge relief for agents still trying to deal with customers’ refund concerns and frustrations and particularly those for whom the threat of chargebacks is now partially eased (page 4). Yet the transport secretary’s bold pronouncement that customers could have full confidence to book their summer holiday still felt hollow given

the lack of tangible backing the industry has received from the government – not to mention the erosion of trust and confidence the prolonged silence has exacerbated. The rationale for the creation of refund credit notes in March was the desire to keep companies afloat and prevent the loss of thousands of jobs. But the failures of Cruise & Maritime Voyages and Fleetway Travel in the last 10 days, and the continuing stream of company restructures and redundancies, demonstrate that the future remains bleak for many (page 6 and back page). While the travel, aviation and hospitality industries are far from alone in calling for tailored

support, we can only hope that the transport secretary’s comments indicate that the parlous state and unique challenges of these linked sectors is finally being acknowledged at the highest level.

Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief, Travel Weekly Group CONTENTS

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NEWS Chargeback fears as expiry date looms 4 Government confirms RCN protection 4 ‘Don’t expect big changes to safe list’ 5 CMV in administration; Swan Hellenic 6 Agents’ sales update; FCO river advice 7 Virgin refunds vow; Saga; Caledonian 8 Special reports Webcasts: Agencies, Celebrity, M&A 10 Restart & Recovery Hub launches


Comment Miles Morgan: Trade can aid recovery 16

NEWS YOU CAN USE Product Abta Travel Sure, APT, Wizz, Crystal 17 Explore, Elegant Resorts, Prestige Princess Cruises, Emerald, Viking


OHosted webcasts with agents from Idle Travel, Love to Travel and Holidaysplease, and one with Virgin Atlantic global sales VP Lee Haslett.

OWas delighted to speak to the team behind the launch of yet another cruise line – this one with a familiar-sounding name! (page 6)

OAfter emergency root canal surgery for agonising toothache during lockdown, I finally had to have the offending gnasher extracted. Ouch!

Get Social RCNs, Saga, Rocky Mountaineer, FCO 25

DESTINATIONS Uk & Ireland Northern Ireland: Outdoor adventure in County Down


Tour Guides: Marilyn Collis, Institute of Tourist Guiding 30

Family: Five of the best places for a UK stay, from Devon to Brecon via Haven 31 HotelS, resorts & Spas

18 19



FRONTLINE agent diary Colin Burns: Beware the ‘face mask tan’ 20 close-up Industry figures snapped in destinations 22

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Spa Breaks: Masks, gloves and other hygiene measures are the order of the day as spas start to reopen in the ‘new normal’

BUSINESS NEWS CAA issues guidance for RCNs; Shapps hails ‘trust in travel sector’



Virgin £1.2bn rescue; BA, easyJet cuts 39 Fleetway’s Stuart Jackson recounts efforts to secure funding prior to collapse

40 travelweeklyuk @travelweeklyuk 23 JULY 2020 3

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