This week’s ITT conference takes place as Theresa May seeks backers to form a minority government, with the effects on the travel industry high on the agenda.
Speaking at the event in Sorrento, Gary Anslow, sales director at Monarch Holidays, said the election had not impacted the industry as much when compared with previous ballots.
“From a sales point of view, last year we saw a softening prior to the referendum vote on June 23 but we didn’t see the usual pre-election softening this year so we’re not expecting the subsequent bounce back,” he said.
He added that Monarch had not seen “any impact in the last two days” as the prime minister sought to gather support to form a government. “Consumers have gone through Brexit… My sense is that it’s [political uncertainty] become part of what we do and people are still going on holiday,” he said.
He added: “I’m always concerned about uncertainty. But we’ve not seen uncertainty from a consumer point of view.”
Derek Jones, chief executive UK of Kuoni parent company Der Touristik Group agreed with Anslow: “For once, from the travel perspective, I don’t think this election had that much impact [on sales]. Perhaps because in the run-up the result was assumed to be a foregone conclusion, it didn’t change customer behaviour, which is unusual.”
But he added: “In terms of where the result leaves us, more uncertainty is an inevitable consequence that is inevitably damaging. On the one hand, it’s become less relevant because people are becoming used to it, but on the other hand we may start to see direct economic consequences [in the economy] from this uncertainty, which I think will happen as we have to move into the negotiating phase.
“It depends on how the talks progress – that will define the outcome of economic uncertainty. In the short term though it’s business as usual – people are now used to having elections, and life goes on.”