Package holiday days 'are over' says Jersey tour operator

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Package holiday days 'are over' says Jersey tour operator

Post by GD on Tue 03 Jan 2012, 6:09 pm

Jersey must promote itself as a destination for specialist holidays, an island tour operator has said.

Robert Mackenzie, managing director of the Channel Island Travel Group, said he believes the days of standard package holidays are over.

His comments came after a report by KPMG, which looked at whether the industry was in decline in Britain.

It said tourists were designing their own holidays instead of booking package holidays.

Richard Hathaway, KPMG's head of travel, leisure and tourism, said: "The traditional high-volume tour operating model based on customers pre-booking flights and accommodation packages well in advance is in long term decline as more and more travellers opt for self-packaging online and niche solutions."

'Niche marketing'

He added: "To survive, operators must ensure that they are flexible and in a position of financial strength.

"Operators who do not adapt their business model to meet the demands of today's holiday makers will face increased risks in the next year, including takeover or business failure."

Mr Mackenzie said 40% of visitors to Jersey still book through a tour operator, but he agreed companies needed to move with the times.

He said: "The old days of the commoditised tour operator, one which is piling it high and selling it cheap, is gone.

"Where you will be successful is in niche marketing and specialist products.

"So we're for example creating a lot of products along walking... so that we can encourage more people who'd be interested in that sort of thing to come to the island."

Simon Le Huray, from Jersey Tourism, said: "Fifty per cent of all holidays to the island are booked with a travel agent or tour operator, demonstrating the importance and success of these businesses to the success of Jersey's tourism sector.

"This level of business has been consistent over the last five years, which demonstrates these businesses have been adapting to maintain vital business volumes for the island.

"It is also worth noting that Jersey's continental business is predominantly trade driven, in France over 60% of business is booked with the trade, and in Germany 65%."
(from BBC)

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