Holiday prices up 6% as Brexit pound slump bites, says Thomas Cook

The company says it is experiencing 'margin pressure as a result of currency impact and hotel bed cost inflation'

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 18 May 2018 10:49 BST
Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser on uptick in new, younger customers

British holidaymakers are paying an average of 6 per cent more for summer packages, according to tour operator Thomas Cook.

But even with holiday prices up by more than twice the rate of inflation, the company says it is still experiencing “margin pressure as a result of currency impact and hotel bed cost inflation”.

The slump in the value of the pound following the EU referendum has pushed up costs in sterling terms.

Prices for holidaymakers in continental Europe for the summer are up by 4 per cent.

In its half-year results for October 2017 to March 2018 the company reported strong demand and “significant growth” to Turkey and North Africa. Package holidays from the UK to Tunisia resumed in February, three years after 30 British tourists died in a terrorist attack in the resort of Sousse.

The firm’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said Thomas Cook is “taking out holiday capacity from Spain and moving it to the Eastern Mediterranean”.

“Thomas Cook has had a good first six months of the year, delivering improved financial results combined with tangible strategic progress. The work we’ve done in the past two years to improve customers’ experience of our flights and our holidays is bearing fruit with revenue growth of 5 per cent, and a positive booking position for the summer.

“We also have high hopes for our new hotel brand, Cook’s Club, which we plan to roll out at scale for summer 2019 to attract a new generation of design-conscious holidaymakers to Thomas Cook at great value prices.”

Thomas Cook also revealed that it will axe Britain’s strongest “sun, sea and sex” brand at the end of the summer, saying: “We … intend to discontinue the UK market’s Club 18-30 holiday brand after summer 2018 as a result of the continued strategic review of our differentiated holiday offer.”

Previously the firm had said it was “exploring options” for Club 18-30.

A new initiative to allow holidaymakers to pay in advance for a specific sunbed has proved successful. Half the sunbeds available for booking have been sold, according to Thomas Cook.

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