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Fresh barriers to travel’s recovery A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR


The mood in the industry was subdued this week as events and government strategy presented fresh barriers to recovery, and yet more companies announced redundancy consultations ahead of the end of the furlough scheme next month (page 7). As a number of speakers in our Future of Travel Week sessions noted, continued changes to travel policies and shifts in infection levels across Europe have effectively torpedoed hopes of a meaningful winter-sun season after the damp squib of summer (page 6). Meanwhile, momentum behind calls for progress on airport testing slowed as the demands that previously made the front pages of national newspapers were overtaken by events in the UK and the government’s battle to prove the UK testing regime is fit for purpose (page 5).


Amid the downbeat mood, there was a resigned acknowledgement among many speakers that companies and the wider industry must now work on the assumption of limited external assistance to help them make it through the winter. One imminent hurdle to overcome is the September 30 end date for the issuing of new refund


credit notes (RCNs), after which only those already issued will have Atol protection (page 4). The CAA and the trustees of the Air Travel Trust were understood to be considering an extension to that date as Travel Weekly went to press, and insiders hope it should be a formality. Agents and operators alike will be praying for a rare swift and definitive decision to enable them to reassure customers and avoid additional refunds costs that could tip some over the edge.


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


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T ravel Weekly’s


Agents shift away from DIY packaging 4 CAA weighs extending RCN protection 4 UK spike dashes hopes on quarantine 5 Abta bonding ‘unclear’; winter market 6 Iglu jobs at risk; Hays defends takeover 7


PTA conference; Sunny Heart; C&M 8 Future of Travel Week


Distribution: Hays, Rowland, Hughes 10 Cruise: Donald, Bettridge, Bouldin


12


Diversity: Abtar; Consumers: Hearst UK 14 Comment


Gordon McCreadie: Duty to reassure 16


NEWS YOU CAN USE Product


Tui, Fred Olsen, Hurtigruten, Azamara 17 Wendy Wu, G Adventures, If Only, Titan 18


FRONTLINE agent diary


THE QUEEN’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE:


INTERNATIONAL TRADE 2020


Kim Kent: Thank you, Cyplon, for being so cooperative 20


FOLLOW US: travelweekly.co.uk @travelweekly


Get Social Jobs, testing, refunds, Richard E Grant 21


DESTINATIONS Cruise


Restarting River: Find out what changes clients can expect on board with reports from recent A-Rosa and CroisiEurope sailings 22


Training: How Princess trains its crew 30


Small Ships: Five upcoming launches 31 Asia


Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s capital has transformed itself from a stopover city to a thriving destination


Q&A: Chris Lee and Carrie Kwik BUSINESS NEWS


Future of Travel Week report: Experts tip hike in APC to boost ATT 38 CAA’s demands put pressure on firms 38 Abta sought chargeback suspension 39 CAA ‘favours trust account model’


40 travelweeklyuk @travelweeklyuk 24 SEPTEMBER 2020 3


33 36


WHAT LUCY DID THIS WEEK


OCaught up with Google’s Finnbar Cornwall to review the stand-out points from our Future of Travel Week.


OHeaded to Virgin Atlantic’s state- of-the-art training facility to host a special live webinar for leisure agents.


OWas delighted to meet Elaine Ferry of Elaine’s Travel in Wiltshire, who was a long way from home visiting friends in my home town in Kent.


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