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Travel industry news

26 Sep 2017

BY Tom Parry


Cook reports 11% summer bookings boost

Thomas Cook Group has reported an 11% rise in bookings this summer on the back of continued interest for holidays to Turkey and Egypt.

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook Board

Cook said business had been driven by “strong customer demand” for Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus

In a pre-closing trading update today (September 26) Cook said summer sales had also been driven by “strong customer demand” for Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus together with long-haul destinations such as the US.


The group’s bookings to Spain remained “broadly in line” with last year, which the company said reflected a “very competitive market”.


Cook said its summer programme was now 91% sold - 2% up on this time last year.


In the UK, summer sales were up 8% – in line with last year – with its programme 89% sold, helped by strong seat-only sales.


The group added that its full year underlying earnings [Ebit] outlook remained unchanged.


Its winter 2017-18 programme is currently 37% sold, in line with the same period last year, with overall group bookings up by 3%, supported mainly by a recovery in demand for our holidays to Turkey and North Africa, with average selling prices up 2%.


Bookings in the UK are up 5%, against a strong comparative period, with pricing up 3%, according to Cook.


The group said that overall bookings and pricing for summer 2018 was currently ahead of this time last year, “reflecting a good performance from the UK and Northern Europe in particular”.


Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook chief executive said: "Thomas Cook has enjoyed a good summer. customers from across our markets have shown a strong appetite for our holidays, picking a wide range of destinations in their search for the sun, with Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus proving particularly popular.


Demand for Turkey and Egypt has also picked up as customers look for quality and value. Meanwhile, bookings to Spain, our biggest destination overall, remain level with last year as we continue to manage through what has proven to be a very competitive trading environment, particularly for the UK.


"The last month has been operationally challenging as our teams took care of the thousands of customers in the Caribbean and Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma. I am proud of how fast we acted in the wake of Irma to support our customers, and offer them alternative destinations for their winter sun.


"I’m also delighted about the progress we’ve made strategically. The alliance with Expedia announced earlier this month will allow us to cut the complexity in our business and focus on our core holiday offering."

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