I’m sure by now most of you have heard about XL Leisure Group, Britain’s third largest holiday company, going under and leaving stranded nearly 50,000 holiday-makers abroad. Due to the skyrocketing price of fuel and the sagging economy it may not be the last story you’ll hear about a large tour operator going under.
How does this affect you, the investor who owns a small piece of the pie in Florida that just wants to get some solid bookings to help cover your expenses? It may have a bigger affect than expected due to the fact that 80% of the bookings that come through your management company are directly from tour operators such as XL Leisure Group. This means that if more tour operators start tanking you could also see a dramatic decline in your bookings. This is not necessarily something to be too concerned about as I don’t think it will last long term and as the economy bounces back so will your bookings.
My suggestion to you would be to contact your management company to find out if your bookings have been affected at all. If they do not do business with XL than you have nothing to worry about however, it’s highly likely that they do and you should find out what their plan is to fill those bookings. On the bright side, this may be a fantastic opportunity to those of you who depend on your own bookings. With thousand of people out of a holiday they will most likely be looking online to make other arrangements. Now would be a great time for you to start advertising your villa.www.VRBO.com is a great site to list your holiday rental villa on without having to pay any management fees.
In closing I just want to say that this is yet another reason why management companies need to start becoming more independent of tour suppliers. If you are in the process of looking for a management company please find out how much of their bookings come from tour suppliers vs. their own marketing. It’s very important and it DOES affect your rental income.