Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson an...

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

There’s been a great deal of discussion about VAT rising to 20% in recent weeks, with all business sectors analysing what it means for them and how far their customers will be affected. For the travel industry, however, VAT is not a chief cause for concern. Holidaymakers planning their summer beach holiday don’t have to worry about paying more for their package holiday, according to ABTA, who is reminding travellers that the VAT hike does not apply to the total cost of an overseas package holiday.
ABTA states that tour operators’ profit margins are subject to VAT but the rise will represent a tiny, if any, increase in cost to consumers.


What’s more, although many people assume that there is VAT on flights and foreign holidays and therefore that the price of tours will go up, the truth is that the rise will have virtually no impact on trips abroad. The price of package holidays outside the UK to far flung destinations will not rise, although there will be some impact on domestic holidays as many hotels will pass on the full increase.

However, many customers taking UK holidays choose accommodation provided by small companies or individuals who do not pay VAT, so they will not be affected by the increase. That said, there are other taxes at play in this industry which are set to have more of an impact on travellers.

In November 2010, Air Passenger Duty (APD) rose for the third time in three years, in some cases by as much as 50%, adding up to £100 to the cost of a family holiday. A number of travel operators, including Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook, have criticised the increase, saying it will make family holidays "unaffordable for many".

The costs of travelling can often be intimidating for families, who see it as purely the start of a long list of holiday expenses. The hike in APD will no doubt push travellers to consider looking for better value at home when considering travel plans. Travel sites can expect a big increase in consumers searching for hotels within the UK as passengers put off by the higher cost of flying opt for a ‘staycation’ in order to save money.

What arises from these issues is the need for travel companies to talk to their customers more and discuss how tax increases will or will not affect them, and what solutions are available. It’s understandable, given the hype and publicity surrounding VAT, that travellers are getting nervous, so it’s more important than ever that travel operators ensure they are communicating effectively with their customers in order to allay their fears.

Travel agents and operators alike should be giving clear, honest advice to their customers, for example highlighting that staycations may not always be the cheapest option, and making sure that people are not put off browsing for trips abroad because of rumours they’ve heard about VAT.

Consumers need education before they will buy; they need to know exactly what’s included in the price they’re paying and that they are making a good choice in booking with a company and not their competition. They need to be able to justify their purchase to themselves, so the more information they have the better.

Communicating the benefits of the holiday they’re buying is the first step, but to really seal the deal, operators need to explain the reasons why all these benefits are possible when using their products or service. This will add to the credibility of their offer and make it significantly more appealing to prospective customers.

The key for travel businesses is to be both visible and inspiring to audiences. Holidays are a hugely important part of consumers’ lives, and are likely to be one of the few ‘big’ purchases they’ll make this year. Holidaymakers are going to be shopping around even more than ever, spending more time on comparison sites and trawling through websites looking for the best value deal. Companies need to be visible online by employing sophisticated search marketing and if appropriate on the high street, as well as in press. And when they reach the consumer, make sure what they’re saying is enthusiastic, accurate and informative.

A 360 approach to marketing, driving consumers from awareness through to consideration and loyalty, is more key than ever, and travel firms must ensure they are giving customers all the tools and information they need to choose their business.

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