The tour industry's confidence in the resilience of the British against terrorism looks set to pay dividends despite the global crisis with the British set to continue travelling and going on holiday this winter. Nevertheless, the immediate impact of US attacks and pending reprisals are costing tour operators money and many holiday companies are not committing themselves just yet to large winter or even summer 2002 accommodation contracts. Britain's second largest tour operator Airtours, which owns one of Europe's largest resorts, the Bellevue in Alcudia and has a very important operation in Majorca, has warned its pre-tax profit for the year to Sept 30 will be impacted by £10 million as a result of disruption caused by the terrorist attacks in the US. The group said, before the attacks, it had been on track to deliver record profits, in line with market forecasts. The consensus analyst forecast had been for a pretax profit of £146 million. Airtours said it is too early to predict any pattern of bookings given the uncertainly of circumstances. However, it said its previous experience during the Gulf War suggests that leisure travel markets are robust and that the disruption of bookings is more a timing issue than a loss of overall demand.

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