Thomas Cook has reported that a significant number of people have booked overseas package holidays over the past few weeks. The holiday company says bookings are up eight per cent in the last two months despite this year’s terrorist atrocities in Tunisia and Egypt.
The company noted that new bookings were primarily for North America, Mexico and the Canary Islands. Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser stated that the surge in bookings seemed to indicate that package holidays were once again gaining favour.
He noted that in today’s world, customers seemed to prefer the security and peace of mind that tour companies provided. As a codicil, Mr Fankhauser said the terrorist attacks over the previous 12 months were the worst he had seen in the three decades he had worked in the holiday industry.
Thomas Cook reported it had lost £130 million after it pulled the plug on its Tunisian holidays. Terror attacks at a Sousse beach resort and the Bardo National Museum in the capital city of Tunis claimed the lives of 60 foreign tourists.
Thomas Cook and other holiday firms suspended their programmes to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh earlier this month. This was a result of the bombing of a Russian holiday aircraft soon after it had taken off from the town’s airport on 31 October. All 224 people on the aircraft were killed.
Thomas Cook has suspended its holiday schedule for Sharm el Sheikh until at least next month. Company representatives, plus those from four other holiday operators, were due to meet with Department of Transport officials late yesterday to find out what the latest advice on travel to Sharm el Sheikh was.
Mr Fankhauser stated that he could not predict when Thomas Cook would resume tours to Sharm el Sheikh. He explained that the firm fully supported efforts by authorities in the UK and Egypt to make Sharm el Sheikh Airport safe for travellers.