Thomas Cook invests in more own-brand hotels across Europe as it seeks to shake off Turkey tourism decline

 
Rebecca Smith
Thomas Cook is launching more of its own brand hotels
Thomas Cook is launching more of its own brand hotels

Thomas Cook is branching out its own-brand portfolio with the launch of 14 more hotels in the next two years.

It is investing in new hotels across Europe, with locations in Cyprus, Kos, Mallorca and Sicily, as well as elsewhere, including the Maldives. The company said it formed part of its strategy to secure long-term profitable growth.

The package holiday giant unveiled its Casa Cook brand earlier this year, with the launch of its first boutique hotel on the island of Rhodes to mark the first of a collection of hotels built specifically for Thomas Cook. So far, the company says this new direction has taken off well, with 90 per cent of the customers booking in the first season new to Thomas Cook.

Read more: Thomas Cook bookings dip due to volatility in Turkey

Peter Fankhauser, group chief executive of Thomas Cook, said: "We are investing heavily in delivering best-in-class service and our own-brand hotels give us the opportunity to take even more control of the customer experience."

The move comes after a tricky summer for the company, with bookings dropping as holiday makers opted for destinations they viewed as safer over the likes of Turkey.

Bookings dropped four per cent in the summer, when a failed coup in Turkey - which is the second-biggest destination for the firm - heightened concerns over instability in the area. With Turkey excluded, bookings went up eight per cent, and the company is focusing on capitalising on other locations to continue to plug that gap.

In July, Fankhauser said since the half year the company had "taken action to further reduce our capacity to Turkey and increased sales to holidays to other areas".

Read more: Thomas Cook earnings pushed lower by terrorism

Egypt too has been difficult for the tourism industry after a government no-fly rule last year on flights to Sharm el-Sheikh is still yet to be lifted. That was brought in after a bomb on Metrojet flight 9251 to St Petersburg led to the deaths of all 224 people on board.

Monarch recently announced it was cancelling all flight and holiday bookings there indefinitely, "with no indication from the government as to when the airport will re-open flights from the UK".

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