Greece has been named the “standout destination” for 2017 by Thomas Cook.
The airline’s latest financial results for the six months to March 2017 delivered an upbeat report on the air travel industry, with revenue up 3 per cent, thanks to “robust demand” for holidays.
“As we look ahead to the key summer season, we are seeing strong customer demand across most of our markets,” said Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive of Thomas Cook. He identified Greece as a “standout destination for summer 2017”, with customer also seeking out smaller European destinations such as Cyprus and Bulgaria.
“In contrast, following strong growth last year, bookings to the Spanish Islands have levelled off in a very competitive market,” he added.
The trend follows similar behaviour in the property market, with demand for Bulgarian and Cypriot real estate both climbing in the last six months on TheMoveChannel.com, although international interest in Spanish property has stayed strong, with buyers from around the world offsetting the dip in British interest reported by estate agents in the country.
“Bookings are up significantly for the Summer, boosted by the addition of 15 new destinations to our flight programme, further expanding the choice and value we offer our customers,” commented Fankhauser.
Indeed, this month saw Thomas Cook launch a new flight to Mykonos from Manchester Airport.
“Mykonos is a great destination for sun-seekers looking for a well-deserved break and it’s great to see so many passengers here today jetting off to the Greek island,” said The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan.
“Engagements like this are always heart-warming and fun to do, especially seeing so many happy and smiley people going off on their holidays.”
Thomas Cook is also planning a new family-friendly hotel, Casa Cook, in Kos, one of 11 new hotel launches this summer across multiple countries.
The figures arrive as Greece’s tourism market enjoys strong growth, with 30 million visitors estimated to have arrived in 2016 by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), while the number of passengers going through Greece’s main airports reportedly climbed 9 per cent year-on-year to 16.87 million.
In January 2017, Greece was the fourth most popular country on TheMoveChannel.com, its first time in the Top 10 in six months, accounting for 2.1 per cent of all enquiries – its highest share of enquiries since August 2013.
“After a brief rekindling of interest last summer, the start of 2017 showed signs of overseas demand for Greek property flickering back to life,” TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson commented in April’s Top of the Props report, which ranks the most popular destinations on the portal. “Interest was not just contained to one area, but across several regions, with enquiries soaring for property in the North Aegean, Crete, the South Aegean and Attica.
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