British tourists look further afield for some winter sun following terrorist attacks

Atrocities at beach resorts in Tunisia and Egypt have led to holidaymakers rush to book breaks in the Canaries, Cape Verde, North America and Mexico

Nick Goodway
Wednesday 25 November 2015 23:48
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British tourists are rushing to book winter sunshine holidays in the Canaries, Cape Verde, North America and Mexico after the terrorist attacks at beach resorts in Tunisia and Egypt.

Thomas Cook said bookings in the UK over the past eight weeks were up by 8 per cent, with an average price increase of 2 per cent. Its chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, also noted signs that travellers were coming back to package tours.

“In my 30 years in the industry I have never experienced anything like the events of the last year and more recently the dreadful events in Egypt and Paris,” he said. “We operate in very uncertain times but we are also seeing that customers want the security that tour operators offer.”

The company lost £130m of revenue when it stopped holidays to Tunisia last year and has so far cancelled all holidays to Sharm el-Sheikh until December.

Thomas Cook reported a better-than-expected 13 per cent fall in full-year operating profits to £310m and cheered investors with news that it will pay its first dividend since 2011 next year. The shares rose 11 per cent, or 10.65p, to 109p.

Mr Fankhauser, who took over after the shock departure of Harriet Green a year ago, said the company had moved to “empower front-line staff” following the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd at one of its resorts in Corfu in 2006.

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