My 2009 Predictions – update

Hi All,

In December last year our newsletter team asked me some questions regarding what I thought the would happen in the Travel Industry in 2009. With quarter 1. almost finished, I thought I’d take a quick look back and see if I’m the new Mystic Meg.

Two questions taken from the usrentacar.co.uk newsletter released December 31st 2008.

What can we expect in 2009 from the car hire suppliers?

Car hire in 2009 will be based a lot around availability, all the major car rental suppliers are increasing the amount of time they hold on to their fleet, and lack of financing will mean they will be unable to add vehicles at the same rate as in the past. We have already begun to see the issues we will be facing as availability over the Christmas period has been the worst I can remember.

Obviously price increases were always on the cards, the cost of maintaining and borrowing money has risen therefore the car hire companies have been forced to pass this cost on to us, added to the strengthening Dollar the cost of car hire does seem to have grown very quickly.

crystal-ball1So first question “What can we expect in 2009 from the car hire suppliers?” Looks like I got this one spot on, availability has been king, especially around the busy Easter period. Also Car Hire rental rates have gone up and don’t show any sign of coming down to the very low 2008 prices. So I would say at first glance I do have psychic powers ;-)

How will the economy effect travel in 2009?

I believe in the first quarter we will see a record amount of companies going in to administration. I also believe we will see further consolidation within travel, mostly bedbanks, possibly some car hire companies.

For the consumer I would think they will turn more towards trusted brands like ourselves, virgin, Thomas cook etc

I recently saw a poll of what UK residence were going to give up to ride the “credit crunch”, this poll gave the impression that city breaks would be abandon rather than the 2 weeks beach/family holiday.

With regards to destinations I think next year, South Africa will be very popular, not only due to the British Lions tour but also the pound is strong against the rand. New York and San Francisco will be strong and I’m sure the news that Virgin have purchased the rights to travel city direct will mean Orlando stays ever popular.

Question 2 “How will the economy effect travel in 2009?” Well I predicted a record amount of companies going in to administration….hmmm… I wouldn’t say record amounts have gone, but Woolworth’s went under, also Zavvi and bedbank Seligo. So perhaps my psychic powers have failed me slightly on this one… however ATOL license renewals are due very soon, so perhaps I will be proven correct. (Hope not for consumer’s sake)

I also mentioned Virgins take over of Travel City Direct, however the jury is still out on this, customers don’t seem that impressed with the new launch, perhaps due to the expected Price levels?

Summary

At present I think I can be classed as half physic ;-) I’ll take another look at this in another 3 months and see if my powers are strong.

Any predictions you’d like to make so that we can judge your powers in 3 months time?

Regards,

Gavin


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