Jet2holidays has postponed its 2020 travel agent conference owing to the coronavirus crisis, but had promised the event will return in 2021 "bigger and better than ever before".
In a letter to trade partners, head of trade Alan Cross said with businesses focusing on retaining existing clients while looking to generate new business, he felt the conference would be an "unnecessary and unwelcome distraction".
"When we exit lockdown, the subsequent months will be critical – we must stay focused on rebuilding our customers’ confidence," said Cross. "We will be working closely with you to generate as much Jet2holiday business as possible."
Cross said the only certainty right now was that the travel industry, and Jet2’s trade partners’ businesses, "will look very different" after the lockdown. "We must learn how to best support, market and communicate with you after this terrible period," said Cross.
"Rest assured, our focus will be to work with you and grow business through innovation and creativity, ensuring you have the tools, awareness and confidence to promote and sell Jet2holidays without any distraction.
"Together we will get through this pandemic, and there are positive signs already for the package holiday market – 20% of all our current holidays sold via the trade are not rebooks; clients who rebook are upgrading hotels, board basis, room types; customers are still booking the most popular destinations and hotels; but most of all, there is still future demand.
"After being locked up with partners, spouses, kids, pets and friends for weeks on end, I am optimistic there will be a last minute surge for holidays, regardless of when last minute will be."
Cross added: "So be positive, and look forward to us announcing the 2021 Jet2holidays VIP Conference at a suitable time, when we can actually enjoy it.
"There’s a lot of hard work to be done between now and then, so stay focused and be prepared to come back with a bang."
The 2020 conference would have been Jet2holidays’ sixth, with events in recent years having been held in Antalya and latterly Benidorm.