As the refrain from the popular song goes, ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ – and for the travel industry, that’s August for the kick-off to another season of winter product launches.
And just like now, the industry was looking forward to a blockbuster winter when this headline ran, after a tough few years.
The headline for this edition of ‘It Happened This Week’ is: ‘Tour operators looking for strong bounceback as winter bookings start to take off’
Just as travel was finally fully recovering from the impact of 9/11, there was SARS. While Canada’s inbound tourism was particularly impacted by the SARS epidemic, outbound travellers were jittery too. The year this headline ran, the Iraq War started too.
As the story notes, “Canada’s tour operators are approaching the coming winter like a sports team starting a new season – with plenty of optimism.”
At MyTravel’s winter launch, Ian Rayment, President, The Holiday Network, was calling it ‘The Year of the Bounceback’.
Sunquest / ALBA President Eamonn Ferrin was bullish on the season’s prospects. “The Iraq War and SARS hurt our industry,” said Ferrin. “However, as a result, we believe that we are stronger and fitter as an industry today than ever before.”
ACV had just clocked its fourth consecutive year of 30% growth.
And Conquest – always a favourite at launch season for its headline music acts from the 1960s – was already ahead 20% compared to the year prior.
Twenty years after this story ran, the travel industry is riding high on record booking levels following the pandemic, and heading into the booking season for a strong winter.
Did the headline appear in Travelweek in 1988, 1996 or 2003?
Fill out the contest form below, with your guess and your email address. We’ll announce the answer and the winner next week, along with the next contest headline.
In the meantime, 3 lucky winners from the past three weeks will receive Amazon gift cards. Tres Lobo with TripOppo knew that A&K bought a share of Nordic Tours in 1986. Sue Kos with Bee Travel in Sherwood Park, AB knew that Hilton and Marriott introduced their 48-hour cancellation policies in 2017. And Arlene Gibbons with The Travel Agent Next Door in Mount Pearl, NL, knew that the ‘Let them eat cake’ NCFs headline ran in 2010. Congratulations Tres, Sue and Arlene!
Every Wednesday in Travelweek Daily, we’re posting an article from Travelweek’s archives, spanning the years 1973 – 2023. Guess the correct year the story ran, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card. There’s a new headline and a new chance to win every single week.