Youtravel boss concerned about agent failures

Youtravel bosses remain concerned that a number of travel agents will go out of business in the next three months as a result of the bad summer.


Managing director Graham Nichols said a combination of an already difficult year and the Goldtrail and Kiss collapses will continue to have repercussions on the market.


While he believes it is most likely small or medium-sized businesses that will go to the wall, the bedbank is continuing to do everything possible to protect its own business.


Nichols said: “We are worried about the next two or three months as certain travel agents will go in that period and it is about trying to protect yourself and how you set up your trading relationships.


“We haven’t had a really big agent and if a really big one did go that would be a big shock to the market. I think it will be a small or medium agent that goes and the big will get bigger.


“Some agents had a massive amount of bookings with Goldtrail or Kiss and there’s been a big fuss about when you’re covered with Atol and when you’re not.


“Some of the agents have had quite a surprise and I know some of the agents have taken some quite significant losses in the summer and that may yet be enough to bring them down.”


He added the bedbank has been able to survive the problems this summer by insisting on regular payments from its trade customers.


“We’re very careful looking at agent payment terms with us to make to make sure if an agent goes bust that they don’t owe us a lot of money,” Nichols added.


He is also confident traditional high street agents still have a place in the market, adding: “Agents need to keep investing in their people and make the service better.”


Nichols is also optimistic next year will see stronger trading, adding: “In terms of demand some people never got away this summer and they’re going to be desperate to get overseas next year. Demand will be up next year but it will probably be single digit growth.”

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