ATHENS – Greece is currently the destination with the greatest number of bookings at Thomas Cook, CEO Alan French said during a press conference in Athens on Wednesday, with 30% of the travel organization’s bookings for a single country.
French added that some popular Greek islands, like Rhodes, have a spike in reservations compared to 2021.
He said that he had met with Greek National Tourism Organization head Angela Gerekou and discussed both the mistakes made in the past as well as the company’s new model that will guarantee its customers’ money. Thomas Cook now works exclusively as an online travel business under the international Fosum Tourism Group. French and Gerekou also discussed the promotion of off-season tourism.
As the executive said at the press conference, Greece can offer a wide range of holidays to all travellers throughout the year, while the country is among the top destinations for Thomas Cook globally, and British and Dutch visitors in particular. He said the company aims for more flexibility, and will take advantage of multiple airlines and types of hospitality alternatives in Greece.
Based on the company’s data, he said, Rhodes is the most popular island, followed by Crete, Kos, Corfu and Santorini. Couples prefer Rhodes for summer holidays, while Santorini comes in third. Compared to 2021, he said, bookings for Rhodes have increased 7 times, Kos 5.2 times, Crete 4.6 times, Santorini 3.9 times, and Corfu 3.6 times.
As to the Ukraine war, Alan French said that reservations are higher now than they were six weeks ago, and customers appear to worry less about the war. In addition, there are more bookings closer to departure dates – 52% of bookings are for the next 10 weeks, he said.
Numbers show that customers are booking mostly 4- and 5-star hotels and all-inclusive packages. The company’s data for Greece shows that 45% of Thomas Cook travellers prefer 5-star hotels, while 58% prefer all-inclusive hotel packages. An average travel expenditure for Greek holidays is calculated at 2,600 euros, a 5% rise compared to 2021. The average expenditure in Greece is 30% higher than that in Spain, which speaks for the high level of all-inclusive and 5-star hotels in Greece, French said.