Winter programme 2018/19

Thomas Cook expands individual holiday offers

Thomas Cook Germany is having a solid summer 2018 season with a 4% increase in bookings, and is responding to customer demand with new individualised offers for the forthcoming winter season.

June 12, 2018
Thomas Cook has 25% more bookings for own-brand hotels, such as the Casa Cook in Chania on Crete.
Photo: Thomas Cook

Germany’s second-largest tour operator currently has a 4% rise in bookings for summer 2018, with Spain, Greece and Turkey as its top destinations and strong growth for Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. The company has strong demand for its own-brand hotels, with a 25% bookings increase, and a good response to recent product innovations. For example, 16% of contacted Thomas Cook Group guests booked the ‘My Room’ offer now covering 300 hotels, while 90% of reservable sunbeds in the 50 hotels covered by the My Sunbed offer were booked during the Easter holidays.

“This clearly shows that our strategy of putting customer wishes in the centre of product development is the right path,” said Stefanie Berk, head of Central Europe & East, at the presentation of the winter programme on Rhodes. “We have a 25% increase in bookings for our own hotel brands,” she added. “Our strategy of concentrating on selected properties and on high quality while expanding our portfolio of own hotels is fully paying off.”

One new service is the launch of the ‘Sunny Heart Package’ which enables Thomas Cook to treat hotel-only bookings as package holidays even if customers book their flights separately. The hotel booking will be combined with additional products such as destination services to become a package holiday covered by the new package travel law that enters force on July 1.

For its winter 2018/19 short- and medium-haul programme, Thomas Cook is offering “the biggest winter flight programme of all time,” said Sascha Büsseler, Director Yield & Product. Thomas Cook will have 50% more seat capacity on Condor flights, including to Antalya and Palma, and has added new hotels in the Canaries, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco along with Spain’s Costa de la Luz as a new winter destination. Prices will be stable for the Canaries, Egypt and Turkey.

The long-haul programme has been expanded with 47 new hotels in diverse destinations and more flights, mostly with Condor, to the Caribbean. Holidays in the Caribbean will be slightly cheaper but Thailand and the Maldives more expensive.

Thomas Cook is seeing good demand for luxury travel. Berk said bookings for company’s up-market brands Thomas Cook Signature and Thomas Cook Signature Finest Selection are “well ahead of average”. More luxury hotels in the UAE, on Sri Lanka and Mauritius have been added for the forthcoming winter season.

Thomas Cook is also focusing on two other growing target groups: millennials and best agers. In response to the trend towards ‘staycation’ (feeling at home while on holiday), the company has just opened its first Cook’s Club on Crete, offering inexpensive holidays in a stylish resort for young urbanites.

For the very diverse segment of customers aged 60+, the tour operator is offering 63 hotels in Turkey for long-stay holidaymakers seeking winter sun and a large number of group trips with its close partner Tour Vital for customers interested in cultural holidays.

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