, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

Daech: big blow on Winter sales towards Muslim countries

a drop in orders with distributors

The execution of a French hostage in Algeria, last Wednesday, was a blow on sales towards Muslim countries. A catastrophe that may complicate the visibility of Winter sales in distribution networks, especially in Morocco and Turkey.

Rédigé par Anaïs BORIOS translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mardi 30 Septembre 2014

Daech: big blow on Winter sales towards Muslim countries
The execution of the French mountain guide, Hervé Gourdel, by a terrorist group in Algeria, on Wednesday September 24th, 2014, provoked a wave of cancellations in travel agencies.

The destination of Morocco was particularly affected by this wave of withdrawals.

Five days after the catastrophe, the chaos has been appeased but orders towards Muslim countries are still dropping.

The agencies are attempting to reassure clients.

“The destinations that appear in orange and red on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the same as before the catastrophe, stresses Richard Vainopoulos, President of the TourCom network.

We have however asked our members to remain aware of the development of the situation, and yet, there is nothing more alarming than usual.”

“We are faced with a dramatic event, adds Jean Dionnet, CEO of Tourism Invest, but that took place in a zone known for being dangerous.

If we were to follow this philosophy, then we should add France to the list of dangerous countries, because I believe that there is more insecurity today in the RER (public train - translator’s note) or in a public setting inside our country, than in a tourist zone in Morocco, for example.”

Major deferrals towards the North-Mediterranean bassin

Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is placing around forty countries in orange or red warning (see map.)

Within the distribution networks, we fear repercussions particularly in Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and a bit less, in South-East Asia.

“This may risk complicating the visibility of Winter sales, especially for TOs, specifies Francois Pio, CEO of the Prêt-à-Partir network.

They could stop scheduling some destinations. In that case, we will offer deferral destinations around the North-Mediterranean bassin, such as Spain and the Canaries, Italy, or Greece.

But in that case, our margin will be reduced, because we will have to pay the 20% tax rate that applies to sales made on countries in the European Union.”

With Selectour Afat, we’re witnessing fewer cancellations at the moment, since clients are going to destinations that haven’t been affected. Same deal for Winter reservations where clients are looking to destinations like the Mauritius and Reunion islands.

“Our clients come see us in the agencies to get advice after the Ministry's latest recommendations. Our role is to assist them and provide them with the information they need, adds Dominique Beljanski, President of the Cooperative.

As for France, it may not actually benefit from the effects of this deferral. “It’s a fake problem, the sales on France are not increasing and the destination is still dependent on the weather, continues Richard Vainopoulos.

If the weather is fine, everybody travels, if it is morose, clients only go to Paris or the Côte d’Azur.

However, customers will always travel abroad. Since the tsunami, 10 years ago, they have been reacting very quickly. If they can’t leave then they cancel and go somewhere else.”

Now it's the job of tour operators and agencies to adapt and act accordingly, like always…

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