Spending cuts in the public sector will not hit the travel industry as hard as we think as consumers still value holidays, according to an economy forecaster. Although tomorrow’s budget will see consumer spend tighten, cebr’s Founder and Chief Executive Douglas McWilliams believes that the British love for a holiday will see it continue to be an ‘essential’ item. “We will see spend on travel rise faster than other consumer items,” he predicted. “Consumers will be cautious but liberated by shopping around, smarter consumption and better prices. I don’t think cuts will have as big an affect as you think, but they [the government] will be cautious on spending money on infrastructure.” In addition, McWilliams said that long-haul destinations could become more expensive in the future and there will be more consolidation and taxes. Meanwhile, agents and operators expressed concern in the Christmas booking period, as it is expected that redundancy notices will be made at this time. In response, McWilliams reminded the industry that any cuts would take time to come into place and that the private sector is growing very slowly. However, employees could face wage cuts until the economic climate is improved.