Looking ahead

Back to property and discussions we were having in the office this morning about cost of living, expenses etc, tourism this year – you know, all the usual topics but all in the space of a couple of hours.

I was reading the Telegraph which had an analysis in its property section of how the traditional second home areas have particularly suffered recently, saying that several agencies are now reporting an increase in interest because homes in holiday areas are a letting investment giving a good return and people in the UK now have their savings on deposit at around 0.5%, so if they buy a property, particularly at a reduced price, and let it, they will get a better return, plus enjoying their second home, in spite of the recession. Seems like common sense don’t you think?

On the subject of tourism, conversations generally seem to reflect a downturn, which is not a surprise. But the prediction is that the market has shifted to primarily that of ‘late bookings’ and I have to say that when we were at Gatwick a couple of weeks ago someone was doing a survey of when travellers had booked their holidays and a surprising number said ‘5 days ago’ or even ‘2 days ago’.

In a recession it is hardly surprising that people prefer to wait and see how their own personal affairs progress before comitting large sums of money to holidays, months in advance. Also of coure, as we know traditionally if you book late you can often make a massive saving. The only problem will be that there could easily be a shortage of flights as tour operators have to take the decision some time in advance whether or not to fly certain flight programmes, and this could well mean a much smaller selection of flights and/or holidays available at the last minute – which also means the tour operators can keep their prices up!!

These items inter-relate for us here in Corfu, since so many of us are directly or indirectly connected with incoming tourism, but I think it shows us the need to be flexible – the markets in both fields might not proceed in the way that we are used to, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that all is a total disaster – or at least I hope not!

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