Thomas Cook’s UK and Ireland managing director believes new players like Airbnb will become regulated as customers demand “safety and security”.
Speaking at the Abta Travel Convention 2016, Chris Mottershead insisted Cook’s 175-year history demonstrated its ability to change with the times.
He said: “The last 16 months have demonstrated we have to be flexible, nimble and redesign what we do and the way we do it.
“We’ve seen many changes to the industry over the years. New entrants actually create stimulation in terms of how we do business ourselves.
“What happens with companies like Airbnb is they become regulated. If you want the very best experience on your holiday you want someone to make sure it’s safe and secure.
“You’re not going to take a chance. There are pros and cons for everyone but it’s ultimately about that holiday experience.
“As your business grows and becomes more established and get noticed people start to look more closely at your model.
“Technology changes and moves on, but for me that’s not what’s important, that’s just access to the customer.
“Our 800 shops are in demand which shows people still want that personal service.”
Mottershead went on to call on new prime minister Theresa May to “remove” APD (Air Passenger Duty).
He said: “What I would ask is that in order to help stimulate travel we’ve got to sort out APD and get that removed because it’s unfair and it’s a specific unfair UK tax.
“I think we’ve got to assume that the skies will remain open or that would be a really backwards step.”