Travel operator Thomas Cook is to build two new hotels in China as part of its joint venture with investment company Fosun international, including the first Asian branch of its Casa Cook brand.
Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser and Fosun International head Jim Qian recently signed memorandums of understanding for the development of a Casa Cook and Thomas Cook Sunwing family resort in one of Fosun's developments in Lijian, southwestern China, and Taicang, near Shangai.
The hotels, which are due to open in late 2020, will be built by Fosun and managed by Thomas Cook China.
Thomas Cook shares were trading up more than five per cent this afternoon, at 38.66p.
Fankhauser said: “By partnering with Fosun to develop two flagship new hotels that will be managed through our joint venture, we’re making the most of our relationship to give Chinese customers a holiday experience that’s very different to what’s on offer from the competition. It’s especially pleasing to be realising our long-held ambition to work with Fosun to launch own-brand hotels, which form the core of our group strategy for profitable growth, here in China.”
Qian said: “Today’s agreements with Thomas Cook China are another step forward in the development of our two key destination projects in Lijiang and Taicang. Building on the strengths of each other’s businesses, this strategic partnership further enhances Fosun Tourism’s proposition for the development of new tourism destinations, integrating two new hotel brands that fit perfectly within our existing portfolio.”
Thomas Cook endured a troubled 2018, as warm weather in the UK hit holiday bookings and forced it to issue two profit warnings.
Towards the end of December its share price jumped after its sales and e-commerce director Phil Gardner said bookings for 2019 had started strongly.