Thomas Cook finds world is more wonderful

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The Independent Online

Thomas Cook has reported the first upturn in UK bookings for many months.

With Joey Ramone's version of What a Wonderful World backing its latest advertising campaign, the heavily indebted tour operator says summer 2012 bookings in the UK are now only 2 per cent down on last year. Bookings for winter 2012-13 are down 9 per cent, but the company said this was in line with its plans to cut down on capacity.

Brits are returning to Tunisia for the first time since the Arab Spring, with bookings for sunshine holidays next winter up markedly. Greece remains as popular as ever except among Germans, who continue to boycott the country as a holiday destination.

A major upgrade to the firm's website has seen a 19 per cent increase in package tour bookings in the UK in the past four weeks.

Sam Weihagen, the chief executive, said: "We have seen an improvement in UK booking trends, helped by our recently launched advertising campaign."

Thomas Cook said that talks over the disposal of its Indian business were going well with a "good level of interest". But it had no update on other potential sell-offs.