Classic Collection chief plays down impact of cost-of-living crisis

Chief executive of Classic Collection Holidays Andy Freeth has encouraged agents to feel positive about peaks season, as he discovered all 150 delegates at the operator’s conference are expecting to take more bookings in January and February than they did in the same months in 2019.

While onstage discussing the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, Freeth asked agents attending the conference how many of them are anticipating a busier peaks season than they did four years ago, to which every agent in the room raised their hand.

He went on to say that while he recognises the rising cost of living will affect some people, he doubts it will stop people from going on holiday, particularly in the luxury market.

"It’s still a massive question mark for me on how much the cost-of-living crisis will affect the holiday industry.

“I know it is affecting a segment of the population, but I do wonder how much is talk and how much is a mindset.

“We surveyed 10,000 customers and found that 34% of them haven’t travelled anywhere in the last two years so I question whether people will really give up their holidays now.

“Our average selling price is £11,000 so it makes you think, if someone has £11,000 to spend on a holiday then I imagine the crisis won’t affect them much so they will still want to go on holiday.”

After exiting the stage, Freeth told Travel Weekly: “I wasn’t expecting that number of agents to say they are expecting a busier peaks season in 2023 than they did in 2019.

“It just shows that even though there is a lot of doom and gloom out there, agents are still expecting to have a great couple of months and there’s a lot to be positive about.”

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