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Thomas Cook on where demand is strongest

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Greece bookings up 40%; demand returning to Egypt, Turkey
Demand for Greece is skyrocketing this year, while smaller destinations are also seeing strong demand, Thomas Cook Group reports. Meanwhile, Cook is “beginning to see signs” of people returning to Egypt and Turkey.
The group’s summer season is now 42% sold, 1% ahead of last year, with bookings up 10% compared to a weak comparable period last year when sales were disrupted by “a series of geopolitical events”.
Greece has seen an increase of up to 40% from some markets, and demand this year is strong too for smaller European destinations including Cyprus, Bulgaria, Croatia and Portugal.
Amid “a more competitive market to the Spanish Islands”, Cook says its focus remains on selling “higher margin, quality holidays rather than pursuing volume growth”.
For northern Europe specifically, bookings are slightly below last year’s “exceptionally strong levels”, and pricing is down 3%.
Cook says that trading for the group is progressing in line with expectations. While it is seeing some margin pressure in parts of the business due to more competition, overall demand for summer holidays is strong.
Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook: “Customers’ appetite to go abroad on holiday this summer is good across all our markets despite continued political and economic uncertainty.
“Our decision to expand our holiday offering to Greece has helped support customer demand, with bookings to Greece up by around 40% versus last year, while smaller destinations like Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia are also proving popular.
“After a slow start to the season and a tough year in 2016, we’re seeing early signs that customers are beginning to go back to Turkey and Egypt.
“Following strong growth last year, bookings to the Spanish Islands have levelled off in a very competitive market. Competition is particularly intense in the airline sector, putting downward pressure on pricing.”
TTG Digital

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