“Greece is currently our biggest selling destination and currently 30% of our bookings are for Greece, while bookings for some popular Greek islands, like Rhodes, are already seven times more than last year”, stressed Alan French, Thomas Cook CEO, during a press conference held in Athens. The new Thomas Cook, that emerged after its relaunching as an online-only travel business by the international conglomerate Fosun Tourism Group, has managed to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and achieve a high record of more than 25.000 bookings in the UK during last year, while growing a strong database of c.100.000 customers.
“We are very positive about the prospects of Greece tourism in 2022. Greece plays a huge role in global tourism, and for Thomas Cook holidaymakers in particular, it is one of our most popular destinations. Greece is a fantastic country offering a wide range of holidays to suit all travellers throughout the year, so we expect its popularity to continue”, said Alan French. “It is our strategic decision to step up our operations in the region with the expansion of our partnerships with the Greek hotel industry”, he added.
According to Mr French, the company’s new flexible model enables Thomas Cook to offer a huge variety of holidays in Greece for customers in the UK and Netherlands where it recently launched. “We want to take full advantage of the many and varied airlines into Greece and types of accommodation to offer our customers choice and flexibility”, he noted.
The company’s strategy in Greece is already bearing fruit. Rhodes is the most popular Greek island, followed by Crete, Kos, Corfu and Santorini, while for couples, Rhodes is the most popular summer holiday destination overall and Santorini is the third most popular. For all these destinations, there is already a quite big increase in bookings comparing to 2021. In specific, bookings for Rhodes is seven times higher than last year, for Kos is 5.2 times higher, for Crete is 4.6 higher, for Santorini is 3.9 times higher and for Corfu is 3.6 times higher. Regarding the impact of the war in Ukraine, the Thomas Cook boss noted that bookings are higher now than they were six weeks ago and customers seem to be less concerned about the war. In addition, he pointed out that customers are booking even closer to departure than last year. “52% of our bookings are for the next 10 weeks”, he said.
On the other hand, Mr French highlighted the fact that spending continues to increase as people indulge in 4* and 5* and more all-inclusive hotels. According to company’s data about Greece, 45% of the travellers prefer 5* Greek hotels, while 58% tend to all inclusive hotel packages.
At the same time, the average holiday spending for travellers to Greece is estimated at 2.600€, an increase of 5% comparing to last year. “Average spending in Greece is 30% higher than in Spain which reflects higher all-inclusive and higher hotel category”, said Alan French.
It is underlined that Thomas Cook operates under a new financial model, where all customers are protected in an external trust. “A CAA-approved trust model means that all customer money is protected outside of the business, while suppliers and customers can be assured that in the event of the worst happening, their money is safe and the holidays can go ahead as planned”, stressed Thomas Cook head. “This new Thomas Cook combines the best of technological innovation with the best of human holiday expertise to offer customers holidays to suit them. We are on a mission to design digital experiences that enable customers to create their dream holidays to suit them and their family – and so they return to us year after year for our trusted travel expertise”, he added.