As the first quarter of 2010 came to a close, we were eager to see how business had changed for Europe from 2009's economic disaster. We assembled a team of experts from the Europe travel industry in a roundtable held at the Sofitel New York on May 18.
Participating in the panel were Martin Rapp of Altour; Joseph Maniscalco of Auto Europe; Gianna Rivera of Accor Hospitality; Jody Bear of Bear & Bear; Jennifer Rosen of Hurtigruten; Leslie Rotkel of Leaders in Travel, LTD; Robin Fox of Pisa Brothers; Alex Herrmann of Switzerland Tourism; Jeremy Palmer of Tauck World Discovery; Simon Bradley of Visit Britain; Brit Sorensen of Visit Denmark; and The Travel Group's Ruthanne Terrero and Jose Barreiro.
Simply put by Simon Bradley of Visit Britain, but agreed upon by our team of experts, “2010 will suck less than 2009.” Numbers are showing constant improvement in 2010 in the wake of the global economic downturn of 2009 that hit the travel industry hard. Suppliers and agents still remain cautious because EU numbers still remain slightly behind other destinations’ comebacks, but our experts remain optimistic, especially with respect to France, Italy and London, which are showing a great turnaround.