Comment: Insightful events give cause for optimism

Lucy Huxley reflects on positivity shared at Travel Weekly’s Industry Leaders’ Breakfast and Inspiring Women Lunch

Travel Weekly held its first Industry Leaders’ Breakfast last week, bringing together 30 chief executives and managing directors from across the UK travel industry.

They heard from Deloitte senior economist Debapratim De and discussed the findings of our 12th annual Travel Weekly Insight Report, produced in partnership with Deloitte and Service Science.

In the context of recent data showing the UK fell into a mild recession in the second half of last year, it was interesting to hear how strong demand was at that time but how sales patterns had appeared more erratic during February. Several senior figures suggested customers are holding on to their money longer, often forgoing payment plans that would allow them to pay in instalments and waiting six to eight weeks before departure before committing. Should this trend continue, it could contribute to a strong lates market – but agents in the room urged suppliers to hold their prices to ensure they can still make good commission on last-minute deals.

Equally upbeat were the 30 senior executives who attended Travel Weekly’s latest Inspiring Women lunch. They heard from the government’s first menopause employment champion, Helen Tomlinson, appointed last year to engage with industry on improved support for menopausal women in the workplace. The number of women affected by the menopause who step down from their jobs or move into lesser roles because they aren’t supported is staggering.

Tomlinson said she was encouraged by the steps many travel companies are taking. But in an industry still experiencing recruitment challenges, there must be scope for more to be done.

Access your free copy of the Travel Weekly Insight Report 2024 here

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