Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Geo-political volatility disrupting holiday bookings, says Cook

HOLIDAY bookings continue to be disrupted by a volatile geo-political backdrop, says Thomas Cook. 

Europe’s second-largest travel group reported that some customers are postponing their holiday decisions, leading to a later booking pattern for the summer.

The group’s summer programme is 40% sold, down 2% on this time last year, but with overall pricing described as “firm”. Bookings are 5% down, resulting in charter flight capacity being trimmed by 3%.

Average selling prices in the UK for the summer are up by 4% for package holidays and 1% for seat-only, while total bookings are below last year's levels due to the later booking pattern.

However, the company believes underlying demand for holidays remains strong as consumers benefit from low fuel prices, interest rates, and inflation.

Group chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, says: ‘Thomas Cook continues to operate in a volatile market environment. We know that customers want a summer holiday, but we can see that some are leaving it later to book this year as they consider their options. Against this backdrop, I remain confident that we are doing all the right things as a business. It's clear also that customers value packaged travel more than ever and feel safer in our hands.

‘The early actions we took to move flights away from Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt have positioned us well for increased customer demand to resorts in the Western Mediterranean, with strong sales to the Canaries, Balearics, and the Spanish mainland in recent weeks. We have also seen an increase in sales to long-haul destinations such as the US and Cuba as customers look further afield for their holidays.’

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk

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