Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

Travel agents have never been particularly fond of me. In fact many seem to think I have the horns of Beelzebub after a Tonight where I showed people how to haggle down the price.

Which is why I found this bit taken from last weeks Travel Trades Gazette, the travel industry magazine, particularly amusing:

“Colchester Travel’s Paul Bennett takes a ‘know your enemy’ approach with his list as he reveals how he makes the most of consumer websites to get into the public’s mind.

This is the home of the self-styled financial guru Martin Lewis, and this website has two million visitors a month (Note – it’s actually 4.1m unique users – Martin), making it the biggest consumer and personal finance site in the UK. As the title suggests, it focuses on saving you money, including the well-publicised methods of haggling with travel agents. I like to keep abreast of the latest techniques used against us, so I can counter in a way that is “outside their script”. They also have a useful no-frills flight checker – aimed at the public. The forums are also an interesting way of keeping abreast of the mood of the public. . . just don’t let the blood pressure rise too much!”

Thanks for the warning Paul. It’s nice to know you’re watching and I’m sure you’re happy to know we’re watching back.

Give consumers the best possible deal and we’ll love you; but if you overcharge on holidays or try and flog ridiculously overpriced travel insurance or foreign currency then be aware you’re lighting the touch paper.

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