Thomas Cook sees 40 pct rise in bookings for Greece


Foreign holidays remain a top priority for Europeans despite economic and security worries, tour operator Thomas Cook said on Tuesday, reporting a 40 percent jump in bookings to Greece and signs of a recovery in travel to Turkey and Egypt.

“Customers’ appetite to go abroad on holiday this summer is good across all our markets,” CEO Peter Fankhauser said.

“After a slow start to the season and a tough year in 2016, we’re seeing early signs that customers are beginning to go back to Turkey and Egypt,” he added.

Analysts expect the group, which arranges holidays for around 20 million people a year, to report full-year operating profit of around 377 million euros.

It said summer bookings for the group were up 10 percent compared to a weak period last year.

Tourists turned their backs on previously popular resorts in Turkey and elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean last summer because of concerns about security, leaving Thomas Cook scrambling to find more hotel rooms in Spain and Portugal.

It said it had expanded capacity in Greece this season, while smaller destinations such as Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia were also proving popular.