Travel agents feed off fresh information

The Diary witnessed the travel industry’s “battle of the summer brochure launches” at first hand last week. In fact, it took place between the starter and dessert at lunch last Thursday with one industry marketing chief. The choice of starter was accompanied by a phone call to say that AT Mays, the UK’s third largest travel agency chain, was offering 12 per cent discounts, raising the ten per cent offered by the multiples before lunch. With the main course came a call confirming that brochures had been put on sale that day, one day before the tour operators’ agreed September 1 launch date and breaking their gentleman’s agreement. By pudding, agencies were on the line – hovering over ad copy with the question: what discount shall we quote? Indigestion was the order of the day.

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